I really hate Busybodies

Gladys

Abner! There’s something strange going on over there.

There’s a whole lot of folks that won’t get that reference.

For those of you that do… Well, we’re probably of a similar age.

Anyhoo, I’m heading into the laundry room (Locked by the way, so I have my key.) and this old woman comes out onto her little patio to tell me that I’m not allowed to use the laundry room.

“Is it out of order,” I ask.

“No you can’t use it because it’s for residents only.”

“I’m a resident.”

“You can’t be, you’re not old enough, so don’t lie to me. I’m calling the manager.”

“Call away! I pay my rent on time and cause no-one any trouble. Let’s see how this plays out with Michelle.”

Laundry Room

I walk into the laundry room and go on about my business. She on the other hand does not go about her business. Apparently, Now I’m her business.

“I’m not calling the apartment management, If you keep putting your clothes in the washers I will unplug them when you’re gone,” She yells from the safety of her patio.

“Look ‘Gladys’ that would be a mistake on your part, I’m a resident here and have been for a year and a half,” I say loudly.

I’m calling the cops!”

I think, “OH for Fucks sake.” 

I go back to the door of the laundry room, “Really? You honestly think that this is a matter for the police?”

“Yes, I’m afraid!”

I on the other hand am PISSED. All I wanted to do was get my laundry in the washer, go back to my apartment, have another cup of coffee, some breakfast, and then come back to put my stuff in the dryer.

“Afraid of WHAT? Its broad daylight, there are people all over the place, what could you possibly think is going to happen? You’d be better served by minding your own business, instead of trying to provoke a conflict. If you think something is amiss after observing a situation for a few minutes, then call the cops.”

“You’re wearing a ball cap, and you look too young to be here. You’re up to no good.”

I take off my baseball cap, just to check and make sure it’s not a confederate flag, or an American flag, or NRA logo or a Swastika. It’s not. It says, “Dive” with a small little divers flag. 

“Look you old crone, profile much? Is the white in my beard not enough for you? The crows feet around my eyes don’t tell you I’m old enough? Who the hell died and made you die Führer? Where exactly do you get off calling someone a liar to their face? What would it take, you want to see the gray hair on my balls? Would that do it? ”

Gladys2

Crossed a line there… I know. The stunned look on her face was damn funny… and totally worth it.

Just as I delivered that line, Michelle, the apartment manager was rounding the corner. She laughed out loud.

I turned towards the sound.

“Oh hey Michelle, sorry about that, would you explain to this person that I’m a resident?”

Michelle in her usual calm way said, “Sure, Happy to do it.”

“Thanks”

I went back into the laundry room, and went about my business. I could hear the wannabe Gladys Kravitz saying, “How was I to know?”

Michelle responded, “Because he had a key to the laundry room.”

“Well, he was rude to me.”

“From what I heard, it sounded like you provoked him. He’s one of our best tenants, quiet, generally nice, pays his rent, makes good suggestions, takes action when it’s warranted, but mostly keeps to himself.” 

Laundry started, I locked and closed the door to the laundry room, then went back to the relative solitude of my own apartment.

Over my next cup of coffee a bunch of things that went through my mind.

Trump

Why was that lady afraid? What prompts fear that makes you treat complete strangers as if they’re out to get you?

I’ll grant you, the chaos of our nation isn’t easy to deal with.  I wonder if unreasoning fear is part of what’s driving the chaos.

Yeah, Trump may not be your guy or even the guy, but he’s only the most recent in a long line of Presidents, and he’s not a dictator. Well, not yet anyway.

Nixon

I mean, you could say that the quality of Presidents, while always hit & miss, has perhaps been more miss than hit since the Nixon administration.

Perhaps longer, but I came of age the day Nixon left office under a cloud of corruption and scandal.

I can’t comment too much on Presidents up to the Nixon era because I was blissfully ignorant & uncaring of anything except my next little league game.

What happened to live and let live? Why would someone feel it’s necessary to try to reach out and control the actions of a complete stranger, especially when there is nothing to gain and the likelihood you’ll start a conflict?

It makes no sense to me. 

NAZI SS

Maybe I’m the odd man out. I just want to get through my day unmolested and without molesting anyone else. I’m seeking peace and simplicity, not angst and conflict (conflict leading to complication).

To put it simply, I just want to be left the hell alone.

I care nothing for politics. I care nothing for grandiose protests or demonstrations. Largely, these acts of theater don’t bring change.

I sure as hell don’t believe in vandalism of anyone’s property (state or private) whether I agree with them or not.

There is a better way, a peaceful way. It’s the way of listening and speaking with calm and logic, not violence and cruelty.

If someone isn’t going to listen to rational conversation, they’re not going to listen to riots. They’ll take action, usually draconian, but they will not have heard what you were trying to say.

ISIL

Granted, I didn’t practice what I preach this morning. So sue me, I hadn’t had my second cup of coffee yet.

In retrospect, perhaps I could see why the lady was afraid. If all she’s been seeing is CNN and Fox News. Perhaps she’s concluded that anyone wearing a dark colored hat is ANTIFA and she’s afraid of what that means. 

ANTIFA

I know I find myself looking at the ANTIFA crowd and thinking that they behave a lot more like fascists, and look more like the Symbionese Liberation Army, or ISIS than the historical depictions of the NAZI SS.

At least the SS was neatly dressed and you typically saw their faces, instead of looking like the depictions of traditional roadside bandits, or bank robbers.

My Grandmother once said, “If you’re doing something where you feel you need to cover your face, it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing.

She had a point. Protesting in the open where people can see your face says two things. 1) You’re not ashamed of your position. 2) You want to stand up and be counted and recognize there may be consequences. 

I have respect for anyone who is open and unafraid to speak their mind. I don’t have to agree, but I do have to respect their dedication and position.

I wonder if the need to control other’s actions is a reflection of just basic insecurity.

The world is too big to control and there are too many moving parts so people try to control the local things; don’t Smoke, don’t drink, don’t let your children walk home or ride the bus. Don’t eat fatty foods, don’t get fat, don’t be too thin.

Does insecurity inevitably lead to imposition of measures to control everyone else? 

If that assertion is true, it leads to a simple equation. You must be an elite pulling the strings, or else you’re one of the people being led around.

So you’re right back to fear being the root cause of a lot of the problems we see today.

My friends, its time to step into the light. Go forth into your day and your community being unafraid. Choose to see the better in people and understand that we all have the same basic needs, wants, and desires.

Speak your mind, listen to others, and really hear them. You don’t have to agree, just acknowledge that other peoples opinions and beliefs matter too. Recognize that you’re not necessarily right, and treat others with respect. Instead of running to tell a cop someone dropped trash somewhere, bend over and pick it up. Set a good example, and pay no attention to the people acting badly.

Hopefully, in time, the world will become a better place because we choose to lead by example, not by force.

That’s not to say force is off the table. But it should always be a last resort.

Time to put the clothes in the dryer…

I think it serves him right – United Passenger

United Plane

OK, 

So the way I heard the story, is that a United flight had to make room for a flight crew at another airport. United asked for volunteers to give up their seats, to be bumped to the next flight.

Four people said, “Sure” then ONE of those people, a Doctor realized that the NEXT flight was the NEXT day. Then decided he was too important to wait because he had patients to attend to so he needed to be on his original flight.

Dumbass Passenger

The first thing that pops to mind is… Hey DUDE perhaps you should have looked before your leapt.

I’ve been in this situation. I’ve been the guy who gave up his seat for other folks in an overbooked situation. I’ve also been the guy who gave up his seat to a person like this Doctor when they realized that the next flight out was going to be crazy later than they thought it would be.

(In that instance the flight attendants asked if there was someone on the plane who could afford to be late. In fact, in my case it was a United flight. The airline treated me like a king, nice hotel room at the airport on the airline’s dime. A really sumptuous dinner, and the next day… They put me in First Class to get me to my destination.)Dumbass Passenger2

It was all very civil and I’d volunteer to get bumped again if it came to it.

From what I understand, at around this point things went WAY off the rails.

The video clip I saw is indeed disturbing, but some passengers on the flight are saying this guy lost his shit and became a raging asshole. (Again, DUDE you probably should have payed attention to what you were volunteering for.)

Anyone who’s flown in recent years knows that if you cause a ruckus you’re not going to be on a plane. It doesn’t even take much of a ruckus, you are at the mercy of the flight attendants, the TSA, and the Air Marshal.

BUT there’s always some moronic asshole who thinks they’re more important than anyone else.

So guess what snowflake? Your ass is going to be dragged off the fucking plane.

Yeah maybe this guy got roughed up, but he had a simple choice. He could cooperate like a civilized human being and allow the Airline to see what else could be done… OR he could pitch a hissy fit and get dragged off the plane.

Well, we know what this idiot did.

But for me there is another issue…

This guy caused a scene, got dragged off a plane, and delayed 200+ OTHER paying passengers, not to mention whatever trauma his actions caused to the children who might have been on that plane witnessing this insanity, and not understanding what all the fuss was.

He’s a Doctor for god’s sake. Pull out that AMEX Gold and buy another ticket on another airline get home, then send your grievance to United. Hell, they’d probably have just refunded the cost of his ticket, or given him a travel voucher.

There is absolutely no excuse to delay a bunch of other people getting anywhere because you don’t like something.

Put your shit away, Sit DOWN, Strap in, and Shut the fuck up.

Or in his case, take it off the plane and deal with it like a fucking man. This guy, acted like a spoiled child according to witnesses.

There is absolutely nothing in my travels short of death, that can’t be fixed with a little kindness, firmness & patience.

The airline doesn’t want a scene, you don’t want a scene, and together with cooler heads both of you can come to an arrangement.

Crap, had I been on that plane, I’d have given him my seat, called him what he was; a spoiled dickless, petulant child, then told him to sit down and shut the hell up for the duration of the flight. 

At which point I’d have gathered my belongings, smiled at the flight attendants and asked, “OK, what do we need to do now?

In all likelihood the Flight crew would have seen to it, that I got where I was going smoothly and perhaps in a bit of style.

I have ZERO sympathy for this guy.  

He was all worried about not getting home in time for his patients… Well, hey moron you didn’t get home for them anyway and now you’re bitching about being in a hospital. What, You don’t like Doctors?

DUMBASS! He had choices and at every turn he appears to have made the wrong one

If I were one of his patients… I’d be severing that relationship in a heartbeat. 

I prefer Doctors with cool heads and pragmatic approaches.

Is it just me that sees the epic fail on his behalf?

But he does serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of the rabble clogging our airports…

Fuck around and you get your ass kicked.

Maybe we need a little more ass kicking and a little less “Oh that poor snowflake

I could be wrong…

______________________________________________________________________

4/13/2017

So more has come out. United originally asked for volunteers, then when no-one could be inconvenienced, they went to a lottery. This guy LOST the lottery. Hey, that’s the breaks. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Get over it.

Then things went off the rails. This guy refused to leave the plane like an adult. Chicago PD came on board and told him to leave, he chose instead to fight with the police. BAD MOVE.

After all, doesn’t every snowflake know that the police are fascists? 

My original thinking still stands.

Get a ticket on another airline, lodge a complaint and demand a refund from United. You paid for services that were not rendered, that’s what an adult does. Regardless,  you cooperate with the authorities, have a little grace and work the problem.

But the other passengers, the ones saying “Oh, this is wrong,” the ones videoing the event, you know the OTHER people on the plane who were too self important, who could have simply said, “Hey, I’ll give up my seat,” putting an end to the situation. Where were you? Surely ONE of you could have taken the next flight.

Instead of paying lip service to “How wrong this was” any one of them could have stepped up and everything would have been OK. But no-one did, because everyone was too self absorbed and couldn’t be bothered to look at their schedule to see if they had some flexibility.

Apparently, because no-one knows how things work, no-one thought to ask if United could help them with their rental cars, or rescheduling connecting flights or simply asked “Since I’m accommodating your needs, can you help accommodate mine?” Hell, I’d have simply asked for a travel voucher on another future flight to a vacation destination, say Hawaii?

This is a symptom of the overarching problem with everyone thinking the world revolves around them. 

Helpful Hint: IT DOESN’T

We live in a society of rules. Some of those rules are enforced by rule of law, others however, are simply good manners. Both types of rules help insure that we live in a nice place where we are not angry all the time and always fighting to get our cut. 

The problem is, too many people think they’re special, entitled, and better than everyone else.

United, screwed up… Given. This dumbass compounded the problem by deciding to be an asshole. Chicago PD was probably a tad over zealous. All this tracks back to an easily predictable outcome when no-one can think beyond themselves or their own selfish needs.

He still got exactly what he deserved.

So this is funny, in a really sad way.

I talk to people all day long.  I help them figure out what’s wrong with their machines and there’s the added factor that these machines are part of life monitoring. 

Sometimes we replace parts, and we ask for the broken parts to be sent back so that they can be analyzed.  To facilitate this, we send all the packaging necessary for the client to send the broken bits back. Yes, we pay the shipping to their homes, and then pay to have the units shipped back to us. 

That’s the system anyway.

Sometimes the return label gets lost, or misplaced. 

This leads to the client calling us to request a replacement label.

Our usual procedure is to email the replacement label to the client and have them print it locally on their printer. This is fast efficient and cheap.

Which leads me to the funny, sad part of it.

I actually spoke with someone today who’d lost or never gotten their label.

I said, “No problem, I’ll email it to you and you can print it out.”

They said, “No, I shouldn’t have to waste my paper printing out your label. You must mail it to me.”

My brain rebooted.

I’d looked at the order, we’d sent this person almost 2K worth of equipment (approximately half of it un-necessary but this person had raised a stink and got their way.)  FOR FREE. They were sitting right at the end of their warranty and were clearly milking another year of stuff out of us.

I said, “Excuse me?”

They reiterated, “I shouldn’t have to waste my paper or toner, on your crappy product.”

Sensing this was a trap. I said, “Sure thing.” Then printed the label, folded it placed it in an envelope and put it in the outgoing mail. 

What I wanted to say to this person was, ” If you’re not happy with the product, why the hell do you keep having us replace old stuff with new stuff?” I wanted to call this person out on their being an ass. 

To do that would have demonstrated that I can also be an ass. So I’m glad I restrained myself. I’m trying to be a better version of myself.

Humans!

Capable of unbelievable kindness, creativity, compassion, and accomplishments that rival some of the legends of gods.

But there is an element of humanity, a subspecies if you will, that make me wonder if eugenics based breeding should be mandatory.

Honestly, If it had been up to me I’d have terminated this person’s account. Billed them retail for all the equipment, then made sure that they were never able to purchase anything from us again. None of these actions would have been harmful. The person would have survived just fine they simply wouldn’t have had convienience anymore.

Alas, such things are not up to me. Perhaps that’s for the best. Had I done this, it wouldn’t have demonstrated much compassion on my part.

I did send the return label, postage due,  by 5 cents. That’s the approximate cost of the paper this person saved.

Someone in the mail dept caught the postal discrepancy. Probably for the best too, I’m sure that the person would have demanded another label be mailed.

But I tried!

Time for some “Old School” thinking

There’s been a ton of stuff said about the Refugees and their plight…

In my opinion, a large percentage of it is complete and utter bullshit.

Ever heard the saying “Man the lifeboats! Women and children first!”

Ever thought about what that actually says?

IF you think about it, that simple phrase is saying; “We value our future, we’re protecting it by making sure the women (who may be pregnant), and our sons and daughters (who are our future), and our culture, will survive.”

That’s historically been the stance of Men in shipwrecks, times of war, and disasters.

It does not mean the men thought their women inferior, it says; we recognize that while we may be bigger and stronger, you can do something we can’t, give birth. 

It says; women are strong enough to raise a new generation of our people and that our culture and people will survive if they do.

It says; that right now it’s our job to protect you from whatever disaster is befalling us so that you have better odds of surviving to raise our children.

So without hesitation, I’d accept refugees from war torn places who were in fact women and children.

That’s what you’re supposed to do, in fact it’s the exact opposite of racism, because instead of fostering genocide, accepting women and children refugees insures that a group of people who may be completely different from you will survive and presumably return to their homelands when whatever disaster they escaped is over.

The above is the Old School view, at least as I was taught by my father and grandfathers.

So within that framework, looking at a majority of male, young, able-bodied, men calling themselves refugees, simply doesn’t track.

I can’ see them as refugees, I can only see them as cowards, or worse.

They’ve left their wives, children, mothers, and sisters in countries devastated by war, and famine, to fend for themselves. These cowards have boarded boats to foreign countries to live in relative opulence where they often don’t work, have a stipend, food, and time to complain about housing, and internet access.

What the bloody hell?

These men are exactly the men who should have been waving to their wives and children from the shore.

After the boats carrying their future were safe, these men, (if they were men) should have grimly turned to meet their enemy, fueled by rage and sadness that they may never see their wives & children in this life again.

This is the philosophy I was raised with.

I was raised to be suspicious of large numbers of able bodied young men going anywhere. Typically, large groups of young men were an army.

I find myself wondering what the hell is going on and how we’ve come to this place where we don’t or can’t question the nature of refugees.

More concerning to these old eyes is that it’s apparently verboten to even ask questions about refugees, and their intentions.

When you look at Europe, who has accepted thousands of refugees and see the unrest, it becomes pretty obvious that something is wildly amiss. The violence in Paris & throughout Germany should at least give you momentary pause.

It’s not hatred to point out a problem. Understanding the problem is the first step to correcting it. Superficially, one could say the problem is these refugees are coming from war torn countries.

Ok I’ll buy that. But where are the women and children in all this? When refugee centers are overwhelmingly young and male doesn’t that speak to another issue?

Add to that the basic culture clash about women’s rights, what is considered appropriate attire, and behavior. Then throw in the more  relaxed religious beliefs of the west, boredom, a healthy dose of alienation due to language difficulties, or misunderstanding of how to live in a free society where everyone is supposed to be equal,  and you’ve got a powder keg waiting for a spark.

Isn’t that what we’ve been seeing?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Phd in Sociology to see what happens next. Any idiot should be able to predict the outcome.

It’s never rainbows and unicorns.

With that in mind, I’m all for vetting all refugees carefully. To do that, we have to have a plan and procedures that will ensure those claiming refugee status are in fact refugees.

We’ve done it in the past and there is nothing wrong with having a standard today.

 

 

An Ugly Tableu

Getting home form a hard day at work. I get out of my car and see two neighbors having a conversation. I think nothing of it at first.

It’s only as I’m opening my car passenger door to get my backpack that I clearly hear the woman in the conversation fairly shrieking “You touched your penis!

Some part of my exhausted brain went, “Huh? What?”

The conversation that I heard after that went something like;

You touched your penis, you were in my apartment. You’re a piece of filth! No wonder your wife left you, no wonder your son doesn’t want to live with you. I hope everyone figures out what a peice of trashy filth you are!

The man who was the object of this tirade is using a cane to walk, he moves slowly and uncertainly, due to severe spinal damage. In other words, this guy is probably zero threat to a woman. And God only knows that he may have adjusted himself because of something to do with the injuries.  

I honestly don’t know, I wasn’t there. I can say that occasionally this guy when I’ve spoken to him outside the apartments. I have noticed that sometimes (clearly unconsciously he adjusts himself). Honestly it looks like he’s in pain when he does it.

As I focused on the “Conversation” I could see that he was genuinely ashamed. I could also see that the woman was quite enraged.

Then I really took a look at her and the first thought I had was she looked like Jabba the Hut.

Hell, I’d have been adjusting myself to prevent my penis from crawling up inside.

But then I realized I was downwind. I couldn’t help but notice the fetid odor of unwashed human, with just a touch of yeasty vagina. Yeah, I could smell all this from about 10 feet away.

RETCH

Now I have a conundrum, I can ignore this insanity. Or I can say what I really think, which is;

Damn lady if this broken old man is getting wood because of your fat stinky ass, you should count yourself lucky. I’d imagine there’s been nothing twix your legs that didn’t run on batteries for decades. I’d bet your vibrators are so stinky that you have to replace them every month because some stink just never goes away. I’d never punish my dick by putting it in you. Hell, seeing you naked would make me want to suck cock for free, on the street, in Iran! At least then my torment would be ended quickly by a fall from a tall building.

But I weighed my options, decided that I was too tired and that this was not my battle.

After all for me, very few people I encounter would be worth my energy.

I evaluated the situation for a moment more…

I closed the passenger door to the car, shook my head and walked away.

Neither of these people were my concern. 

In retrospect, I think that it was the shrillness of the harridan, and how closely she was mimicking, so closely the “Group Think” of the feminist movement today. Obviously she thought all men were scum but wasn’t pretty enough or gutsy enough to simply declare she was a lesbian.

Some gay men who never fully embrace their gayness get really weird and very hostile to women and other gay men. Perhaps this was the female version of the phenomenon.

Remotely interesting… Still not interesting enough for me to engage. Perhaps it was simple penis envy… Nope, not interesting enough.

I climbed the stairs to my apartment, unlocked and opened the door, closed it behind me and was immediately cloaked in silence.

Bliss!

I guess that I’m just over all the politics, victimhood, and insanity. 

I did feel kinda bad for the guy. 

But like most men, I figured if he wouldn’t defend himself then I wasn’t going to do it for him. 

Yep, the peace of my apartment was a lot better than listening to a shrill bitch badmouthing men simply because we have external plumbing.

Shut up and take my money!

I’m over it,

I’m tired of corporations being political. I’m tired of companies who feel that they’re somehow entitled to attempt to shame any of us into thinking the way they do. Yes, that includes Apple and Microsoft.

All of you have exactly one thing that you need to do. Provide your products or services and shut the hell up about anything else.

You don’t dictate policy, and you deserve what ever punishment you get when you stick your noses outside your area of expertise.

If you want to pull advertising, or make a statement about politics or elections… DON’T.

Either you’re a goods & service provider or you’re not. As a shareholder I’d be seriously pissed off at Kellogg and their executives, not for their opinions per-se, but because they’re stupid enough to remove themselves from the advertising sightline of potential customers.

How moronic can you be?

Conservative money spends just as well as liberal money.

Have you people learned nothing? Trump won because a rather large percentage of people in this country are sick and tired of being told what they’re supposed to think, how they’re supposed to act, and what they’re supposed to feel; by a bunch of ivory tower “Elites” whose sole concerns during the day are if their maid is stealing cleaning supplies, whether to wear Channel or Cartier, or if their driver is smoking in the limo.

Get a clue.

The larger majority of Americans are concerned with feeding themselves, and paying the bills.

Which does open an interesting possibility…

If the demand for Kellogg cereals drops, does it follow that the company will be forced to lower their prices? Isn’t that one of the market factors that control prices?

I don’t as a rule eat cereal so that’s a non-issue for me personally. But I can’t see myself purchasing products from companies that don’t know their place.

That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? I don’t have to actively protest or boycott anything. I can simply choose to make my own coffee, cook my own taco, breakfast, or burger, I can hold on to machines and other durable goods for a few more years and in the process save money.

So to corporate America, keep your opinions to yourselves and take my money.

To Kellogg… I’ll expect deep discounts in the coming months and an apology would be nice too. $6 for a box of cereal? Really?