Thursday, December 26, 2013

I (might) Play A Small Part


... and then, a bit later in the morning, this happened several hours after Rupe submitted his posting.

Which only goes to show Rupe may be "part of the problem" ...

And then maybe not ...



Ronald, being nothing more than a mascot at the corporation can field calls ...
... but there's nothing he can really do about the website ...


.......... Ruprecht ( Did Rupe help McSTOP the site? )

I Can't Think For Myself Any Longer ... And Neither Can You


2013.  Two thousand thirteen.

Pivotal year.

It's the year we became dumb.  Really dumb.


And dumb with regard to some of the most personal aspects of what we do. 
 

You see ... in 2013 we suddenly became dumb about our lifestyles.


Ronald wonders: "Why are you so dumb?"

How do I know this?  Because a fast food corporation is telling us how to live instead of our own selves telling us how to live, that corporation being McDonald's.  Here are some examples:


  • McDonald's is advising us against eating hamburgers, fries and sodas because they "are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight."
  • McDonald's further states "in general, people with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease must be very careful about choosing fast food because of its high fat, salt and sugar levels."

Yeah.  I know.  Do you get the picture in reading those points it's obvious we became incapable of any rational thought?  Because that's being screamed at me loudly and clearly.



Ronald asks: "What's the point of rushing into 2014?"

I figure I might as well toss out any hopes and dreams about 2014 right now, having them join a place right next to the discard McBurger wrapper and the drained McCoke container in the waste bin.  You, reading this, might want to do same.

I mean ... what's the point of continuing on if we're incapable of exercising rational McThought?  You're already in the throes of a food coma anyway with the holidays still going strong ... right?


Ronald says: "You're in a food coma already, anyway ..."

Oh. And ... Happy New Year ...

.......... Ruprecht ( we must figure out how to McSTOP our incapabilities )


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus


"I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about. Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about ... ?!??"

"Sure Charlie Brown.  I can tell you what Christmas is all about ...

"And there were, in the same country, shepherds ... abiding in the field, keeping watch over the flock by night. And lo ... the Angel of the Lord came upon them.  And the Glory of the Lord drew 'round about them.  And they were sore afraid.  

"And the angel said unto them: 'Fear not!  For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior. 'Tis Christ The Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.'

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men ...'"

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown ..."



Hark the herald angels sing "Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim: "Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing "Glory to the newborn King!"


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP and behold )

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Five Years Hence


Five years hence, I still wonder about The Raskins.

I never did hear from them when I reciprocated greetings in 2008. I'm not even certain they received the greeting I sent.

But no matter - I wonder about them ...

I'm sure they're a perfectly normal family with all the perfectly normal interests and oddities and familial traditions.

And they bring a smile to my face ... even now as they originally did then.


Merry Christmas once more, Raskins.


..................... Ruprecht ( hasn't STOPped wondering about The Raskins )

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Genre Shift


Earlier in the week, I was privy to a most interesting segue on the radio.

Here it is in all its interestingness ...




You're welcome.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Paper Clips


Nothing says Christmas ...


... like a doctor's office tree complete with ornaments mounted by paper clips ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP paper clip abuse )

Hand Picked

Oooooooooooooooooooooooo ... 


....... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Hall Where The Contributions Should Count



Two of my "wishlist" performers - Cat Stevens and Peter Gabriel - were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame today.

But I'm not finding much joy in that fact.

As much fun as it is (and has been) to be happy and confounded at the Hall's inductions and to catch the (sometimes) circus-like antics of the ceremonies, you have to step back, take your blinders off and seriously scrutinize the artists being let into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Look at any of this year's inductees and you'll see each one has merit for inclusion into the Hall. But - as with previous years (many, many previous years) - look at those being considered, their histories and contributions and you'll find inconsistencies, glad-handing and plain old stupification at work in moving an artist or group from outside the Hall to within.

This particular year, I'm aiming my sights at Hall & Oates over Link Wray. While H&O do have a super (and popular) body of career work, their "soul progenitors" status pales in comparison to what 
Link Wray has done for rock history, the influences he's passed down to others and his immense contributions at large.

And that makes their inclusion a joke.

Am I bitter? Yeah ... I'll admit: I am.


Because 30 years is too, too long not to recognize someone of the stature of Wray ...


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Where Did I Go Wrong?


"That's the shit ..."

"Riley? Stop cussing. Try being different than everyone else and don't cuss ..."

"It's not a bad word ... you do it every day ..."

*sigh*

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meanwhile ...


... at yet another gang initiation ...




.......... Ruprecht ( STOP gang initiations )





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pop Cap For Greeting

I don't know this guy ... I've never met this guy before ... you've got to admit this is a strange greeting ... and I really don't know what prompted it:


Hokay ... I "know" this guy. He's Rick Arthur, teacher, life student, comic aficionado and (I have it on authority) all-around good guy. It so happens he's the brother of one Douglas Arthur of Assault Of The Two-Headed Space Mules and Dougside comics and singular member of Flaming Schwarzkopf Experience.

I've been champing at the bit to post this since Rick created it in January of this year. By then, it was too late to put it out for general public consumption, but here it is now ... in all its glory.

When I first viewed it, I was doubled over in fits of laughter with tears running down my eyes. I thought it hilarious. And I still do.

So ... please, enjoy.

....... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Product Contains No Actual Seal ...




Wouldn't it be funny if - once, just once - fresh seal actually wafted through the air when one of these was opened?

....... Ruprecht ( STOP inciting PETA's wrath )

Sunday, November 17, 2013

With Attitude



http://cliqueclack.com/p/lifeguard-sam-elliott-kathleen-quinlan/


Sometimes, for no other reason than it amuses me, I like to respond ...

... occasionally with underlying attitude ...



.......... Ruprecht ( I simply can't STOP )


Friday, November 15, 2013

I Suspect ... Lights ...




I'll be the first to admit: Even if you don't know me, I'm strange. And the domineering, rather intimidating Fu Manchu I've adopted of late? That doesn't do anything to soften my appearance.

So I could see why "Peggy" came over quietly and rather gingerly to talk late this morning.

"Hi! I called Gino and Bingo a little while ago and told them two strange men were in their yard. Gino said you were there putting up holiday lights. I was worried you might be burglars or something ..."


All the while, I was on my ladder. I'd turned Peggy-ward to listen and, when she was done, I dismounted from my perch and walked over to her. I stuck out my hand and she took it and shook it.

"I'm Michael" I offered.

"I'm Peggy. I live next door. We've had quite a few break-ins over the last year, lots of them right in this area. So I was wondering who you were."

"Well ... I can understand that completely. I've heard same ... and you can't be too careful. I'm glad you called Gino to make sure we were on the level ..."

"I'm the neighborhood watch president ..."

"Really?" I stated, startled. "How long have you been president?"

"Going on 15 years next year," she responded.

"Wow. The watch association must have an incredibly small pool from which to draw overseers, I take it. Because you're the worst neighborhood watch president I've ever met ..."

"Ooooooooooooooo ... ???" she said chillily. "And why do you say that?" Understandably, there was an underlying fire I could feel building within her suddenly.

"We've been decorating this house - and others in the neighborhood - about as long as you've been president. We're usually here two days in November decorating Gino and Bingo's place and another day breaking it down in January. On top of that, I've personally been here to fire up the place around Thanksgiving morning or afternoon all those years and I've checked on things when there were problems. In all that time you've never seen me or my van?" I looked at her with a broad, toothy grin on my face ... and she smiled right back at me, blushing.

"You know what deters
burglars?" I asked her. "Christmas lights."

"That's just the reason I came over here after talking to Gino. Could you tell me what it would take to get some on my house?"

"I'd be more than happy to, Peggy ..."

"You know ... you looked a little suspicious when I saw you, but you seem all right."

"Just don't talk to anyone I know" I told her. "Or any of my friends. Or my relatives. See that guy over there I'm working with? Don't talk to him either. Don't talk with anyone about me and we'll get along just fine, Peggy ..."

"You still seem all right ..."

Me and my wily ways ... got'em fooled again ...



.......... Ruprecht ( STOP being so suspicious )

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chasing Funds That Just Aren't There





A suspicious call came over my phone yesterday afternoon. "Unknown" was the caller.

S/he left a message. I accessed it. The message stated it was Chase bank asking I call about a possible fraudulent activity on one of my bank accounts.

With the number having come up as "unknown" on my ID, I continued to be suspicious.

I called Chase at another number, one I knew would be on the up and up. V
arious coded verification run-arounds later, I explained the call received to "Cindy" who confirmed the call was legitimate and she would be happy to help me after further verifying I was who I claimed to be.

Moments later, and with verifications in place, she confirmed there had been some attempted fraudulent activity on one of my accounts: "Someone tried withdrawing $459.15 via your bank card. Of course that didn't happen and we were flagged. The attempt was made in Las Vegas. Have you been to Las Vegas recently, Mr. Noble?"

I hadn't. "Nope. Guess the joke was on them. That particular account has a mere $7.00 and change in it, a far cry from what they were trying to get ..."

"We will of course cancel that bank card, Mr. Noble, and issue you a new one. Can we send it to the address where you receive your statements?"

"No. I would prefer to run down and get one immediately. I can do that at any branch, correct? There's one a hop, skip and jump from me ..."

"Of course you can, Mr. Noble. I'll put a note on your account you'll be doing just that shorty. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

"Not a thing. Other than to note in your log that I appreciate Chase's efforts and customer service. Thank you, Cindy. Have a good rest of the afternoon."

30 minutes later - with additional verification in place and a few jokes tossed back and forth with several of the banking staff at my local bank branch - I had a new bank card.

You know? You don't want to go through any kind of fraud, but that crap happens. I'm appreciative my bank is on top of things.
 

Bankin' good times ...

.......... Ruprecht (banks at a fraud STOPper)
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Luke Cage, Power Man ...

 
It's only the most popular superheroes who get their very own Slurpee cups, you know ...
 
http://cliqueclack.com/p/disney-marvel-netflix-daredevil-luke-cage-ironfist-jessica-jones/
 
.......... Ruprecht ( STOP misusing "most popular" )

Sunday, October 27, 2013

He Forgot ...



I have interesting acquaintances ...


Me: McWhoops ...

Acquaintance #1: Things like this happen. England is a very bland place - easy to miss.

Acquaintance #2: Plus he didn't know it went all around the country.

Acquaintance #3: Well, it's easy to miss, they just put it in.

Me: ... wait ... wait ... wait ... it goes ALL around the country ... ?!!??

Ac. #3:  So it would seem.

Me: Did I miss the memo ... ?!? When exactly did this happen ... ?!?

Ac. #3: Couple weeks ago. It was kinduva last minute thing.

Me: ... I need to keep more up to date on world events, obviously ...

Ac. #3: Well, there wasn't much said in the media about it.

Me:... well ... one would think the media would want to be a little more on the uptake about something like this being the cap'n crashed his vessel into the new coast ... yes?

Maybe it's just me, but that seems kinda important.

And, at the very least, England could have made their afternoon teatime productive by shooting some word of the new obstacle.


Ac. #3: Good point.

Me: ... the only kind I make ...

Ac. #2: You two should take this act on the road ...

....... Ruprecht ( STOP )




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shirked Unbelieva-Duties



It's come to our attention there might be folks out there not familiar with The Unbelievables

I know ... difficult to comprehend. But sometimes the truth is just that: The Truth.

After minimal infighting (hokay ... there was a lot of infighting, actually) Jeff, Clark and I drew straws and Clark came up with the short one ...

... which, in retrospect, wasn't necessarily a bad thing because he did an excellent job coming up with a pretty succinct history of The Unbelievables.


So go access that link and get schooled. 

Because being bad (and uninformed) is just no good.

....... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Meanwhile ...


... at yet another gang initiation ...




.......... Ruprecht ( STOP gang initiations

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Only 50%

  
"I feel I'm only half the monster that I once was ..."
"... now ... I'm just somebody that I used to know ..." 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )
Thank you, Yvette Thomas
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pick A Winner




Autumn. It's been with us a few weeks now.

The changing of the seasons. The demarcation of summer into fall. When the leaves begin turning colorful hues. When the arrival of the evening comes noticeably earlier. When temperatures start dipping and we begin to feel cooler breezes waft through the air.

Some call it the "autumnal equinox." Others "fall." But autumn doesn't just guide the above into our notice. It isn't merely the harbinger of end-of-year holidays and festivities.

Apparently, it also ushers in the "fall" of common sense, too ...

Over the weekend, I found myself craving Chipotle, a
favorite fast food joint, one of the very few I really like. I'm a big fan of their barbacoa burrito with all the hot, spicy fixings. With an early dinner savored and completed, I started leaving the establishment only to be virtually steamrolled by a couple of incoming patrons.

Now, generally, it's a common courtesy to hold the door open for folks, whether you're coming or going. At least it is in my sphere of influence. The courtesy is extended at different times and in varying situations depending on many variables - who gets to the door first, whether folks are handicapped or disabled, older folks, kids, large parties of people, all sorts of things. But, in this particular instance, I was subject to a couple who were not open to giving any quarter to anyone nor who couldn't give a rat's ass.

I was at the door and had begun opening it to leave when up the curb they leapt, seemingly to bulldog toward the opened door. I barely had time to get out of their way as the swooshed right on through. Never did their heads lift to see who was holding the door, never did their eyes make contact with mine. As a matter of fact, the girl of the pair seemed to make a concerted effort to weave around so as not to bump into me.

They wound their way into the restaurant without a word of acknowledgment, without a nod of appreciation, without a wave, without even a muffled, under-the-breath "thank you."


And you know what? That's all right. They might have been deep in conversation right up to the point they zoomed into the place. They could have been miffed at each other for all I know, not willing to break their heated concentration between themselves. If that was the case, I could understand that.
 

But I don't believe that for a moment. They were simply rude. How do I know? Because I barked out a gruff "You're welcome!" as the door shut behind them. And I made certain they heard me. They never bothered to turn their heads.

Nothing. No turn. No wave. No tip of the head. Nothing. They were just didn't give a rat's ass.

But ... there are even ruder folks out there, folks. It so happens I was in yet another place a few days later. As I made my way through throngs of teenagers just let out from school, I managed to make my way to one of the few tables available. As the place was packed, there weren't too many spots open. The one I was fortunate enough to sit at, however, afforded me a terrific view of a woman ... flossing and picking at her teeth.

And let me tell you something: She was going to town. Those picks were working overtime on her teeth. Then she pulled out floss to clean between her teeth. And then more floss. And then more floss. She was going through it so quickly I thought I saw smoke coming from her mouth. I'm not kidding.

This little show went on for a long time. 8+ minutes to be precise.

Which leads me to ask the question: Who does this? Who is rude enough to sit in plain sight of strangers who are eating and literally pick your teeth smack dab in the middle of them all?

I was tempted to recruit a couple teenagers at a nearby table and get them to move to seats near her, put our chins in our hands and just stare at her. And then I had a better idea: How about sitting directly across from her and watch her intently? I figured if I did that she wouldn't pick at her teeth in public ever again. (Who was I fooling? Of course she would ... but it would give her second thoughts before she did so.)

But my actions would have been just as rude as her personal little dental hygiene show. It's not like me to sit idly by and letting something like that take place without capitalizing on it in some way. But I knew that would have been just as rude as her actions. Still ...
 

I mean ... it's not just me that stumbles on this stuff and these people. My buddy Clark Brooks on the other coast has run into folks whose common sense has left them as well.


So I ask: Where did common sense go?
It must be gone with the summer wind?


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )
Careful. The man below could sit at your table for no reason other than to embarrass you in public.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Contextual Quotations


And in today's edition of "Friends' Quotations Taken Out Of Context" we have ...


"No canned air! I tried blowing hard but to no avail..."

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )
Thank you, Douglas Arthur ...


Monday, September 23, 2013

What A Cranky Ass ...


A fellow writer and friend of mine, Marnie Broderson, is the same as many of us writin' fools - we need mental expurgation to clear our thoughts, a metaphorical soapbox so to speak on which to stand and complain about stuff.

In her latest entry - Six Kid-Related Things That Can Kiss My Cranky Ass - Marnie does just that very thing. Whereas you might find her a bit crochety, you really can't blame her. After all she is a wife and a mom of two, more than enough fuel to ignite some occasional cantankerousness.

Show her a little reading love by visiting the link. If you care to comment, I'm certain it would make her a little less cranky.

Maybe.

Warning: Expletives abound in Six Kid-Related Things That Can Kiss My Cranky Ass, specifically the shortened four-lettered versions of "fornicate" and "No. 2." When you read the post, you'll understand why. I mean ... she is cranky ...


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When I Was In School ...


"So how was school?"

"Okay."

"Do you have a lot of homework today?"

"Yeah ..."


"Tough stuff? Or is it pretty easy?"

"It's not that big of a deal. But ... I need some colored markers to do one project. I have to color in some things for a history assignment."

"We have crayons at home ..."

"No. I need markers. Colored ones."

"Oh. Well ... there are colored pens you can use. I saw them in a drawer just the other day."

"I can't use those. I need markers. The big ones. And they need to be colored."


"Why do they need to be colored?"

"For my project."


"Did your teacher tell you this project needed to be colored?"

"No ... that's just the way I want to do it."

"Do you have money to purchase markers?"

"No. It's your responsibility as the adult to buy markers."

"No, it isn't! My parents never bought me markers! I never needed to 'color' anything for a project. Matter'n fact, we didn't have markers with colors back when I was in school. We only had crayons if we wanted to color anything. And they were pretty expensive at the time. A lot of us couldn't afford them. And those that couldn't afford them ... like me? They managed by creating our own primary colors."

"How did you do that?"

"Well ... we picked our nose and used the boogers for the color green. We poked our fingers with stick pins 'til they bled for the color red. And we peed to get the color yellow. Green, red and yellow ... primary as primary colors get ..."

"Dad ... !!!"

"Wow ... that trumps the walking two miles uphill to and from school story ..."


"Yeah ... I'm rather impressed with myself ..."

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


Monday, September 9, 2013

You Need This Book


So ... there's this guy: Douglas Arthur.

He likes giving things away. 

Case in point? His new book Antisocial Lawnmower.

Yeah ... strange name for a book. (But, if you think about it, aren't all lawnmowers antisocial? Exactly.)

Anywho ... follow the links above and do what the instructions say and you can be the proud owner of almost 400 pages of his hard-published efforts.

Because there is such a thing as a free lunch. And antisocial lawnmowers ...


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


Friday, September 6, 2013

Parking Fun

I made a mistake recently.

(Hey ... I'm good at makin'em, you know? One of my pithy little comments has always been "Stick with your strengths." And making mistakes? One of my strengths.)

I was on my way to pick up my daughter from high school. The retrieval system the school has set up leaves much to be desired. Seeing it for the first time, I figured it was just a matter of time before there's a fender bender or five from folks seeking out a parking spot.


The area in front of the school is a no parking zone except for certain time frames of drop off and pick up during school hours. The pick up time is the more disconcerting of the two. Folks tend to park at a 45°  angle at the curb. Not a bad idea in and of itself - parking space is increased and it's easy to zip in and out of a space ... except ...

... it's not quite that easy.

The angle people park at is such they back in to spaces from the main thoroughfare; they don't pull directly up to the curb and parallel park. Instead, everyone stops in the middle of the street and backs into a space, creating 45° parking that is easily exited from once their kids are retrieved.

But this creates major stoppages in the middle of the street forcing drivers to be hyper-aware of what the car in front of them is doing ... not to mention making certain you have an eye in the rear view mirror to see what someone behind you might be up to.

In the very few times I've been to the school to do a pick up, I've seen more near misses than I care to mention. They're rampant. A fender bender is just around the corner, waiting to happen at any moment.


It was just yesterday I was hunting out a space in which to park and I needed to jam on my brakes suddenly. Some already nestled up to the curb yahoo wasn't happy with their particular parking job and decided to pull out in front of me without looking to see if there was any oncoming traffic, said oncoming traffic being me. I quickly braked to a stop, waited for the person to do their thing and motored on. As I slowly passed him to toss a dirty look his way, I immediately encountered a car in front of me. Again, I braked. But it was too late to have realized the car in front of me was attempting to grab a spot I was now blocking. I saw the hands of the driver fling up in exasperation. I was immediately and silently apologetic. The driver wasn't going to see me mouth an "I'm sorry" as s/he was too busy trying to find another spot in which to park. Fortunately I noted s/he found one a few spots up. Realizing this (and in the light of having blocked the car's originally proposed spot), I grabbed the one vacated one for my ownself.

Parked, I got out of my car to make nice with the person I'd flummoxed and to apologize face to face for being rude ... albeit inadvertently. I walked up to the person's car and noted it was a woman. I came around to her driver's side and tapped the window, startling her somewhat. She was on her cell phone texting or viewing something. She rolled the window down.

"I just wanted to apologize for nabbing your parking space back there. Maneuvering this place is trial of nerves ..."

She looked at me wide-eyed. "You came all the way over here to apologize for that?" she asked incredulously, but with a little smile on her face. "Who does that?"

"I do that. There are still a few good people in the world wading through all the boneheads," I told her. "Anyway ... I just wanted to say I was sorry. I didn't mean to appear the jerkwad."

"Thank you!" she stammered and I walked away.


After having practically killed a kid a bit earlier in the day, it was good to right a minor wrong and put a little balance back in the world, miniscule though it might be.



.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Today? I Almost Killed A Kid ...



Today? I almost killed a kid.

Literally.

The light was green and going my way as I approached a four way intersection. I looked right as I entering into the intersection, then I looked left.

I should have looked left first.

Veering around the front of me was a kid flying down the street. His velocity was was uncanny. He was going downhill ... flying. I slammed on my brakes and nearly clipped him at across the right headlight. "What the hell ... ?!??" I yelled out loud.
 

And then, in my left peripheral vision, I caught movement. It was another kid, flying right at me, directly at me. He slammed his brakes squealing while swooping behind me. In the moment - it appeared as if he was mere inches from hitting me. He motored on behind me, never really stopping and kept speeding down the street.

Stopped partially in the intersection, I gathered my wits, looked to my right and saw them both cruise away. I breathed a sigh of relief I hadn't hit anyone. I accelerated and continued out of the intersection on my way.

And then I thought again: "What the hell?" I motored on up to the next light and got into the left turn lane. I decided I wasn't letting those kids get away with this. I was certain that had I clipped that first one? I would have killed him. He would have been splayed across the concrete in a bloody mess. Backpack askew ... front wheel in an odd and obscene oval ... legs at impossible angles ... unnaturally colored asphalt everywhere.

I zipped through a U-turn as the light turned green and began looking for the bicyclists. I caught them ripping down a street to my right and I turned down it. At another light, I caught up with them.

I rolled down my window.

"Hey! You guys have a choice: You can give me your names and numbers ... or I can call the police ..." (Hokay ... not my finest moment. But I was pissed.)

"Why?!?" one of the kids - the one I almost ran over - snapped back.

"Because I just about splattered you all over the road as you ran that red light back there ... that's why ..."

"You're not having me arrested" he replied.

"Both of you! Pull over right there and don't move!" I yelled.

I moved out into the cross street and pulled up to them. They maneuvered 180s and then took off in the opposite direction.

A police officer passed me as they fled and I accelerated up to him. I motioned him to roll down his window: "I just about killed a kid who ran through a red light. Anything you can do?" I asked.

"Was it one of those two kids you were talking to back there?" he asked.

"Yep."

"I'll talk to them ..." the officer acknowledged and swung in their direction.


Another U-turn later I was hoping I'd see the officer with the two kids. I didn't get that satisfaction. But that wasn't the satisfaction I was looking for.

Sure ... it would have been nice to have seen that. But ... honestly? I was just glad I hadn't clocked that boy in light of his bad judgment. It would have made me sick.


In retrospect: I really need to keep my weathered cane in the car so I can wave it at those damned kids ... tell'em to keep off my damned lawn.

Dammit.

In the meantime, I'm content to count my blessings ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Can't Flunk ... Only Your Teacher Can


During an evening dinner out not too long ago with a group of people, the conversation was as lively as it was all over the place. 

Fast-paced. Enjoyable. Interesting.

And then, at one point, it turned to the subject of school. That school "started so early this year" ... earlier than ever. About our personal experiences with school as kids. What school used to be for us. Why in the world has discipline been removed from schools? Things like that.

And then came "the bombshell" ...

"Well ... here's what I think: Every student that enters a class automatically has an A+. If their grades suffer as the year progresses, it's the teacher's fault. Their grades are a direct reflection on how a teacher teaches, not on how a student learns ..."

All of us just looked at her with our chins in our laps.

Agree? Or disagree?

Chime in, Folks ...





.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Real Life Adventures In Construction - The Problem Child


There was a knock on the door.  

"Come in!" I yelled to whoever was knocking.

A grey, mustachiod man stuck his head inside. "Hello. Is there someone here who owns the grey SUV parked in front?"

"That would be me," I responded.

"Well ... you're parked on the worst part of the street. The mailman won't deliver the mail if you're parked in front of the box. And you can't back up because there's that fire hydrant directly behind ..."

"Why won't the mailman deliver the mail?" I asked him. I knew where this was going.

"Again, you're blocking the box ..."

"I'm not blocking it. He can easily get around it and make his round. I don't have the mailbox surrounded with my car."

"I realize that ... but the carriers don't like to get out of their vehicles to deliver the mail ..."

"Really? Wow. That's kind of spurning their job if they do that. There are parts of my job I don't like doing, but it doesn't mean I avoid it. I mean ... they have to get out of their vehicles at some point - certified mail that needs a signature, oversize packages that won't fit in the box, that sort of thing. And if they do that, I'm positive they'll unseat themselves long enough to put parcels and posts in the box on the occasion they're 'inconvenienced' by the errant obstruction. I'm not worried; I have confidence the owner's mail will get where it needs to get. It's not as if I parked in front of the mailbox with intent or to be vindictive. It was simply a convenient parking spot today."

"Like I said: They don't like to get out of their trucks ..."

"Have you ever heard of the postal service's unofficial motto, from Herodotus' mention of the Persian Empire? 'Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.' Trust me they can walk around a car ..." 

The look on the man's face was one of realization he was dealing with an asshole. The guy was just doing his job. But ... I was right and he knew it.

"Look ... I'll play nice and move my car. And because it's not me who has to live here permanently. I don't want to be the object of someone's slow burn. But, if I did live here, my car would stay right where it is ..."

The man left in a bit of a huff. Through the front door windows, I'm positive I saw him write something in a little notebook he carried ... probably the word "trouble" ... who, some would say, is my middle name ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP being a pain in the ass )

*Those stumbling upon this blog posting (admit it - some of you have done just that) may wonder if the above depiction is on the up and up. If you know me, you know it is. Enough said.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Real Life Adventures In Construction - Grout


"So ... what's the difference between 'sanded' and 'non-sand' grout?"

"Sand ..."

Yes. Sometimes even I walk into the obvious at times in not elaborating properly ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Real Life Adventures In Construction - Injury Report (... a continuing series ...)


Let's take a look at the "Owie Count" during construction so far, shall we?

10: Various shin injuries amounting to more than a bump but less then a skin tear (results in a bruise at the very least)
1: Attempts at a finger stopping a 9 foot door from closing by jamming it into the lintel
12: Need for Band-Aids
4: Wooden splinters being shoved unceremoniously beneath fingernails
14: Various slips and falls
2: Collapsed scaffolding incidents from insufficient construction resulting in injury to pride rather than to body
4: Twisted wrists from improper use or holding tools
5: Trowel injuries resulting in cuts
7: Blisters
2: Slips on wet concrete
3: Need for Bactine / Neosporin / hydrogen peroxide
4: Falls off ladders
1: Drywall patches falling out of a ceiling and onto the head from not being properly attached
3: Kitchen incidents as a result of preparing food
3: Scrapes from 2x4s resulting in blood flow
5: Smashed knuckles as a result of yanking nails out of walls
11: Incidents of debris being dropped or blown into eyes necessitating brief work stoppages
innumerable: Assaults on the ears due to epithets being yelled out
4: Overly loud sneezes almost resulting in falling off a ladder or scaffold
1: Incidents of heavy machinery throwing someone against a wall, almost tearing off a leg and splaying an individual prone on the floor
1: Deep cuts to the leg as a result of a tile scraping machine's razor-sharp blade
2: Electrical shocks
0: Fatalities (So far so good)

Oh ... don't worry: Tile installation is coming up soon. There's sure to be plenty of injuries during that phase of construction.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Real Life Adventures In Construction - The Jealous Socks (... a continuing series ...)



Thursday late afternoon - the day's duties complete - we were "in the midst of a meeting" on the back porch with a couple cold beers being nursed. I brought out stale pita chips and guacamole to compliment our refreshment. We sat and talked about what was on tap the tomorrow.

I was the first to get my butt into the shower so we could venture out to dinner. Little did I know I was supposed to be the keeper of the foodstuffs. (I mean ... I brought out the chips and dip. I was supposed to put them away, too?)

Later that evening, I was informed the dip was not put back in the refrigerator; it was left out. 

And it was left out all night as it turned out. Outside. On the patio. All through the 89° night. To turn into congeelee. Great.

Fast forward to the next morning. I got up, made coffee and went out to the patio with my first cup. There was a bowl atop the guacamole. Steve had placed it there to ward off any flies that might come by to sample the stuff. Commendable of him to do so ... but, again, neither of us had remembered to put it back the night before. I lifted the bowl, but I didn't see the plastic container the guacamole was in. What the ... ?!?? Then I realized it was stuck to the bottom of the bowl. I lifted the bowl higher realizing the container was attached. And as I did so it fell onto the table, bounced off and tumbled to the ground while depositing half its contents into my left shoe with more splattering on the ground. Most of it, though, went my way. 

Warm, drippy guacamole slid directly into my shoe. Terrific. 6:15 in the morning, the day hadn't even started and I was already a mess. *sigh*

I mopped up as best I could. I got most of the goop out, decided I was clean enough and that it wasn't worth changing socks. After all I was going to be mixing and applying texture all day. I'd be a mess anyway.

Fast forward an hour later. 

Texture mixing was under way. It can be a messy job. Long story short? The over-sized drill with the heavy-duty mixing blade attached shot a load of gray gunk out of the 5 gallon container it was being mixed in ... and arced a perfect trajectory into my right shoe. 

Seriously?

My right sock and shoe were that jealous of the left shoe's guac sock they needed attention, too? Come on ...




.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Real Life Adventures In Construction - Thirsty Thursday (... a continuing series ...)


We went to dinner in downtown Palm Springs Thursday evening. We deserved it after a long week and headed into a Friday with two more days of blood, sweat and tears to get through. Besides, the weekly street faire was in full bloom. Off we ventured.

Dinner, as it turned out, wound up at Las Casuelas Mexican Restaurant, a rather fine establishment. We'd visited the companion locale in Rancho Mirage a few weeks prior (tasty margaritas!) and knew we were again in for a treat.

Understand: It was a day before becoming what I'll refer to as "Africa hot"* in the desert. The weather that evening was almost to the point of oppressive - 108° and no breeze. But it was pleasant outdoors so long as you were in the shade. And there was no humidity. Bonus: Water misters schpritz you from passing businesses and eateries as you walked along the boulevard.

Our waiter came to take our drink order. It was margaritas for everyone ... except me. I felt the need for something different. With the weather being as balmy as it was, I felt a Lynchburg Lemonade to be the perfect refresher. (My repast turned out to be broiled fish tacos, by the way. Because I know you needed to know ...)

"Margarita as well, sir?" our waiter asked in a rather thick Spanish accent as he took my order last.

"No. I'll have a Lynchburg Lemonade, please," I responded.

"Excuse me, sir?"

"A Lynchburg Lemonade."

"A what? I'm sorry ... I didn't get that ..."

My dinner mates almost guffawed at me. "You realize you're in a Mexican restaurant, right? They probably don't have any idea what that is. *I* don't know what it is!" one friend told me.

"I have a good feeling I will be accommodated," I said. "A Lynchburg Lemonade" I repeated to the waiter.

"You mean ... a Long Island ice tea?"

"No. A Lynchburg Lemonade."

"Michael ... seriously: No one in the history of this restaurant has *ever* ordered a Lynchburg Lemonade before," another friend surmised.

I looked at him: "Well ... I'm a ground breaker, then. 'Michael Noble: Trendsetter.' I'll add that to the bi-line of my business cards ..."

"A 'leechburr lemonade' ... I don't think we have that ..." the waiter said with his face screwed up in doubt.


"Oh, you have it. And, if you don't, I'm sure the bartender is sharp as a tack and can figure it out."

"Spell the drink for me, please sir?" he asked. I spelled it out.

The confidence "exuded" by the waiter was a bit troubling, I'll admit. If it would have been *me* waiting the table and taking the order, I would have expressed a certainty to my customer the order would be fulfilled ... whether it could have been or otherwise. If I found it wasn't possible to do so, I would have crossed that bridge when I'd've come to it. Customer satisfaction, y'unnerstan' ...

10 minutes later, our drinks arrived. I was the last to be served.

"Here's your special drink,
seƱor," our waiter noted as he passed me what looked to be an authentic Lynchburg Lemonade.

"Thank you," I said as I accepted the decorative glass with the lemon slice and green straw.

I tasted it while everyone watched me. I was shocked ...

Shocked at how tasty and mouth-burstingly refreshing it was. The bartender hit the nail on the head. And s/he didn't hold back on the alcohol either, a little added bonus.

At the end of the meal, I made certain the waiter knew the drink was exactly what I had ordered and that I'd enjoyed it. I asked he compliment the bartender.


* Thanks, Jan Snipes

.......... Ruprecht ( won't STOP bucking the system