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Saturday, January 9, 2010

bruce johnson, super slueth

      I have an affinity for the line if you don’t like the way I drive; stay off the sidewalk. It sounds funny to me, but I like to use it when I make a boneheaded driving mistake. I also use whoopsie doopsie. (Stolen from my son Chris) In the right situation it makes the near avoidance of an accident seem a trifle bit less tenuous. It can take the edge off the tense afterglow of the near miss, even if you are saying it to only yourself.
      I also am a very observant. I know what is happening all around me when I am driving. Well, really at all times, because as we all know I am a Multi-tasking Machine! My awesome powers of observation seem to end immediately where the aura of a woman begins, but that is the subject of another blog. Or a…..what was I talking about?
     Driving is a challenge for some people. I drive way too much for that to be a reality, but it is. Some drives are more of an adventure than others. This past week was no exception. With the two plus hour trip home on Thursday, I can say with authority that there are quite a few drivers that drive worse than me, because I observed the fact that they were in the ditch or their cars were mating and I was not. For some of you that may be a stretch, or embellishment, but in my reality, I am not terrible. A little de-stracted, at times, but not super scary….
     Browndog needed to go out to drop a deuce. I took him out. As we walked uphill on the sidewalk to the drop destination I saw a rather odd trench running nearly parallel to the sidewalk. Brown-brown wandered off to the perfect pooping spot. It must have been the perfect spot as it took him five minutes to find where to drop a deuce. Then he wandered hell’s half acre while pooping. I cannot wait until spring for all those Browndog bombs to be visible after the thaw. And the bouquet, the aroma of a drop destination minefield is like no other. No matter, it won’t be me poop scooping, because as we all know that is why you have children, to clean up the sh!t .
      As we were walking back downhill the side walk I noticed that the trench appeared to be a tire track to the street side of the sidewalk. Seeing the alleged tire track made me decide to do some NCIS investigating. Well, not really, but some sleuthing needed to be done. Someone may or may not have been driving down the sidewalk. That some one was not me. I did not get drunk last night away from the house, so I was not drunk driving on the sidewalk. I also did not have a narcoleptic driving experience, so the obvious was this ludcrosity was perpetrated by some other culprit. However, I was still not sure what I was looking at. It sure looked like a tire track.
     As I put on my “As seen on T.V.” High Definition Wrap Around sunglasses, a cool Christmas gift from my wife, I noticed the tread design. More correctly, I noted the distinct lack of tread design. As a side bar, with these glasses on, even the Lions do not look quite like a 2-14 team. I know because I wore them while watching the Lions nearly beat the Cardinals.
     I admit I was tempted to go get a bag of Plaster Of Paris, and make a casting of the tread, to fully engage in my super-sleuthing, but I decided it was a bit too cold to introduce water to the equation, and my feet were already cold. The cold and the fact that I do not have any plaster negated that idea, but I guess I could have used some 5-minute mud as a substitute. Whatever….
      Curriouser and Curriouser, I walked up the hill to the rather odd shaped pile of snow just to the left of the side walk. This pile of snow had several tire tracks leading to and away from it, leaving me to ponder another one of my favorite Diehardisms, “Who’s driving this car, Stevie Wonder?” to be honest it looked like some one was doing one of those patented “Bruce Johnson 17 point turns”
     I investigated further, by walking out to the road by following the incoming tracks. My innate Sherlockian reflexes lead me to the deduction that the car entered from the road. The lack of tread on the tires of the suspects vehicle, were the culprit.
     The driveway up the hill was the entry point; unfortunately the driver missed the driveway and exited by driving 250 feet down the sidewalk and exiting thru my driveway. I know that is what I would say if it were me. I am sure they were saying or screaming as they trundled embarrassedly down the sidewalk, “If you don’t like the way I drive; stay off the sidewalk.”
Just another day in paradise

Friday, January 8, 2010

welcome to the party

I like to watch television. I like to watch sports. I love to watch the REDWINGS. I like the discovery channel. I do not like to watch “reality” television. Reality television is a joke. It is not real. It could be real, if it were not so ridiculous. It is entertainment. Why do people watch RTV? I WILL NEVER KNOW. I guess watching paint dry could be considered entertainment as well.

If I were going to do a reality show, it would be a real show. Not some contrived faked bunk. My first idea is called Real Survivor. Take a bunch of Ritchie Riches and put them on an island for 30 days. There would be no camera crew, no food no water, just the “contestants” and a bunch of hidden cameras. On a real island that we may or may not remember how to find. Come back in thirty days, to see if anyone is still alive and gather up the cameras. Then watch the carnage. That would be real. Kind of morbid, but real. This is not the best idea. It may be entertaining and real, but still stupid.

So that stupid idea aside, on to the better idea called Welcome To The Party, Pal. Or WTF Just Happened? I have not chosen a name, but I would guess I am leaning toward the first one. It would center on a politician or bank executive, or some other excessively wealthy jackass and their family. I do not know who I would choose. I have to get the money together to produce it. Then I could start the research. I guess I could just rob banks…or I could ask for one of those nifty Government Bailouts…

The premise of the show would revolve around real situations. In the first episode, the politician would lose his job. He will have to file for unemployment. That would be hilarious. For any of you that have dealt with this bureaucratic bamboozle, you would find it humorous. Or pathetic. Imagine losing your job, and having to work for the pittance that is unemployment. Looks like you’re going to have to get rid of that top of the line BMW, Jaguar, or Benz because you cannot afford it. Looks like a brand new to you 1997 Corolla.

He (or she, but for sake of ease, I will say he) will have to have at least one kid in a private university. This poor sap would not be on scholarship. That would mean end of the gravy train and on to Community College. He or she would also have to get a job. That would be difficult, since there are not many places hiring. But hey, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

He will not have health insurance. For grins and giggles, he will have to have an emergency room visit. He will have some kind of chest pain, that turns out to be stress related, nothing serious or major. Then he has to pay for the doctors, tests and all the other things that make medical emergencies so much fun and real. He will have to deal with a real situation, and what reality is for many of us. Oh and imagine his elation when he cannot pay and gets sent to collections and is asked by the collection agency why he is a deadbeat.

He won’t be able to afford that awesome house, so guess he will be renting, or moving to the hood. With his new position as a CSR at the local burger hut, he will be living the reality of many, many people. He can forget about those dinners out, and all the other things that he used to do. Those things cost money that he no longer has. I would feel sorry for him. Not really. It sucks to lose everything, but it is happening everywhere.

His spoiled wife will go get a job at the local middle school, serving lunches, for minimum wage. That will be funny, but not really because that is reality for so many people. True, but not funny. They will not be able to pay the bills for anything that is needed like the dog visit to the vet for shots, the new muffler, or the blown head gasket on the used 1997 Corolla. Funny stuff! Unless it happens to you.

There is never a good time to lose a job. It sucks. Until the people that have it all start to feel the everyday trials and tribulations that the common people deal with on a daily basis, there will never be true change. It will always be a tipped scale. As good as this idea is it is hard to pull off.

Oh, who am I kidding, it would be just as stupid as all the other RTV crap. Real, true and everyday, but still stupid. Why ? Because it is reality television, and the two words should never be used in the same breath, or same sentence. It simply does not exist. IT IS STILL TELEVISION. Television is entertainment, not reality. Maybe I will try my hand at Situation Comedies….nah…I’ll stick to writing the real stuff, and leave the television out of it.
Just Another Day In Paradise

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Occasionally while I am driving

I once thought that it would be a great thing to pay it forward. I probably still do. Yeah, I still do. A smile is translated by any language, so since I am smiling I speaking to everyone. I am multi-lingual. It is a great concept. I am paying it forward. Maybe it is trite, maybe it is silly, but nonetheless, I am doing that selfless act right now. I bet you are smiling as you are reading this. If not now you will be. I am confident of that.
It is easy to pay it forward. It is harmless. It is the right thing to do….Whatever….the other day I was driving. I write most of my blogs while I am driving. As most everyone knows, I am not fond of multitasking. Thinking and driving is not really multi-tasking. But it does require a two-pronged attack. In essence it is a form of multi-tasking.
Digression aside, I was doing a Michigan turn. I was in the right most lane readying to turn into the right lane. Suddenly, some smiling-jack asshole pulled around me from the left and took my space. I jammed the breaks, and squealed the tires. I am sure I uttered a couple of f-bombs. I continued driving, still fuming about the near miss. I was not a happy camper.

Occasionally while I am driving I am susceptible to road rage. The reason for road rage is simple: people are more concerned about their agenda than the others on the road. Inconsiderate people are everywhere so the road is justifiably a proper place for them to be. Karma is a powerful force. So is a gun. I would rather be in a room with a person with a loaded karma than a loaded gun. I would prefer to never have a reason to be pissed at another person, on the road or not. However, I am a red head.
When you get jackassed, you have the right, no, the responsibility to act in a considerate way toward the jackass. Or you can pay it forward. Karma be damned. I call it jackass pay it forward. The best part of this is that you will invariably get the opportunity to pay it forward in short order. So many jackasses, so little time.
A little while later I was given the opportunity to pay it forward. Jackass pay it forward. Some non-driving vehicle operator was just begging to be jackassed. I declined. While loaded karma is not as deadly as a loaded gun, I’m not taking any chances.

Just another day in paradise

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The magic DVR

I am wearing my new LIONS logo snuggy. My daughter bought it for me for Christmas. It is cold in the basement, but I will “Have fun in the basement da da da da. On my lucky couch”, I am Mr. warm and toasty. And just a wee bit snuggy. The Lions are losing, as usual, but not in real time, however, as I am using the magic DVR. I can hit the pause button and walk away. When I come back the Lions are still in the game. No bad plays have transpired, not a single one. At least as far as I know, the game is still winnable. For me the game is still at the same spot as when I left. Magic, sheer magic.

As I am typing the Lions are playing their Super Bowl. A loss coupled with a Rams win and the LIONS get the first overall pick for the second straight year. And that, my friends is a strong possibility. If they can get the number one pick they can land Ndamukong Suh. We could then call this game the Lions SUH per bowl. Ok, they can land him with the number two as well, which we are assured when the Lions lose. ‘Cuz even with the magic DVR, you cannot make the Lions win. I am not sure that is a drawback, but I can say with authority, “We’ll get “em next year.” Or the year after next…or some day…it is the Lions after all…

“Ndamukong Suh (pronounced /ɛn dɑːməkɨn su/; born January 6, 1987, in Portland, Oregon) is an American football defensive tackle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in his senior year.” This guy is AWESOME!!! The Lions NEED him….King Kong!!!

I can pause the game and come up and type a few lines, and go back to the basement and watch some more. Thru the incredible hocus-pocus that is the magic DVR. This incredible technology may overtake the toilet as the most important invention ever. Nah...but close! We finally got the magic DVR hooked up after 6 months of thinking we had it but having the wrong cable box. No wonder the games did not record. I just thought I was that techno-challenged. (Ok, I am techtarded, but I was trying to be PC) I also may have thought we were just behind on our cable bill. Maybe.

I can set the replay speed. I can decide to fast forward thru the commercials. This is a huge plus. No more stupid commercials!! I can, however, re-watch the good ones. But not today. Today I am speed watching. I can pause to let the game go on, and come up here and report that someone forgot to tell the Lions that a loss is expected. They are actually still in this game and it is near the half.

I can also record things that I do not know the outcome. I have set the magic DVR to record a movie called Thirteen Days. It is a movie set in 1962, about some Russians (commies) and some Americans, and a president in crisis, the one and only John F. Kennedy. It has to do with a big fiasco over some nuclear missiles in Cuba. God only knows how this will turn out. Don't tell me!!! I can’t wait!!! But I digress.

The Lions just tied it up with plenty of time for the Bears to come down, run out the clock, and score. However, the Bears are terrible. They really suck. They may have won a few more games than the Lions, but they do suck. And as a lions fan, I know suck when I see it. Cutler is an up-grade to the fiasco that was Orton, but still the Bears suck, but not as much as the Lions. It is a battle of two teams with nothing on the line, except a monster d-lineman. SUH per bowl!!!

I hit the pause and magically, time on the field stops. I can go mix a drink, drain the lizard, or take a few puffs and NOT MISS A SINGLE SECOND of the action AND/ OR TRAIN WRECK and suspense of Lions football. I come back up to report that after watching a bit more of the game, the Bears did score. And the Lions had a chance to tie it. Culpepper is god awful, though, and the Lions settle for three. Now they are down by only 4 points. With like four minutes to go, the Lions are doing their part, they are losing. The Rams however are losing as well. They need a quarterback, so maybe Suh is still a safe bet for the Lions. SUH per bowl!!

The game is over. But thru the magic DVR, I do not have to endure the final two minutes in real time. Zipping thru the filler of time between the plays like a NASCAR driver on an empty track, I eliminate all distractions. Except for one. THE STAUTS BAR. The Lions lose to the Bears, but I don’t care. I don’t know the score. The status bar, as I am fast forwarding thru the final agonizing minutes, covers the truth. And thank god for that. If the Rams do their part we have won our SUH per Bowl. Now I can watch that movie I have recorded, on the magic DVR, with that surprise ending…don't tell me what happens!!!I cannot wait!

Just another day in paradise