It was like a cartoon was taking place in front of my halted car as I yielded to two octogenarian gentlemen with canes crossing comically slowly from the parking lot to the “Nifty After Fifty” fitness center.

Note to self: FIRST drink the Emergen-C, THEN eat the chocolate chip cookie. It’s not nearly as pleasant the other way around. Whoops.

A stranger on a park bench in Union Square just asked me, “Is it fixed?”

I’d like to give him an answer to ease his mind, but it depends what he means. If he’s asking about something that’s broken, then the correct answer is “yes.” On the other hand, if he’s asking about fate, or an election, then the comforting answer is “no.”

I’ll just ignore him, obviously.

Am I the only one who hates automatic drop-down navigation menus? You know, the kind where as soon as your mouse moves across the top bar of the web site, a bunch of links appear below it? I hate them because nine times out of ten, I’m not interested in navigating anywhere, I’m just moving my mouse from the browser’s address bar down to something on the page. But as soon as my cursor moves past the navigation bar, a bunch of crap shows up and blocks my view of the actual content of the page, which is what I actually want to look at. I actually prefer if I have to click on a menu to make it drop down. I’m not such an invalid that I can’t click my mouse button.

Today’s pet peeve was brought to you by paypal.com, verizonwireless.com, and a whole host of others.

There needs to be a word for the action of stirring or blending your drink with its own straw. I can’t decide if it should be a noun, such as strawrobics: “The frozen drink required considerable strawrobics in order to succumb to suction”—or a verb, such as strawgitate: “All of the sweetener kept falling to the bottom, so I kept having to briskly strawgitate my iced tea.”

One person per SUV is the Rule!

Propaganda Remix Project ©2006 by Micah Ian Wright

Cars in Southern California have become so ubiquitous, when I see more than two adults in a car, I actually think to myself, “That’s odd.” It seems much more commonplace, if a group of adults is going from one place to another, for each couple or individual to take their/his/her own car. Sadly, I suppose that’s why traffic is so bad here.

9:17 am Observations Comments Off on Seats Five Adults (Theoretically)

Shoppers Drug Mart

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Every time someone in my family mentions Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian drug store chain), it sounds like a funny name to me. It seems like it has one too many words in it, and you could rearrange the words in any order and basically have the same store. I think that there should be competing stores called “Druggies Mart Shop” and “Martyrs Shop Drug.”

All these soccer games got me thinking about what a great invention the rubber (née animal-skin) “ball” was, especially since every culture seems to play some kind of sport or game involving a ball. I can only assume that it was invented concurrently in many places (not by one person or even a group of people in one specific place) and must have been preceded by a coconut or gourd. Still, I think that when even a coconut or gourd is used for the purpose of playing a game, it is a ball. Clearly the ball has been around for a very long time, and yet it basically only serves one purpose: recreation. Still, I think it’s safe to say it’s the greatest invention since the wheel.

Then again, I’m only assuming that the wheel was invented first. In fact, I doubt that’s true. Perhaps someone out there can correct me because I’m not about to start researching it. But the more I think about it, it seems to me that cavemen may have played with a ball before ever having any use for a wheel.

Meanwhile, saying that it’s “the greatest invention since…” also got me thinking about how people say that something is “the greatest invention since sliced bread.” Now, I have a huge problem with that cliche. Think about this:

Bread was a terrific invention. It’s an easy way to get grains in your diet, it’s useful in many different ways (put it around meat, make it into pudding, pour soup inside it), it doesn’t get your fingers messy when you’re holding it, and it generally tastes good. It took a lot of time and effort for people to invent bread, and it comes in many different shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and can be made from many different ingredients.

Sliced bread, on the other hand, was an incredibly lazy “invention.” Someone just took bread, which already existed, and decided to slice it and package it. Before that, people sliced it themselves. It took all of half a minute with a good knife. The invention of sliced bread maybe saves you half a minute each time you buy a loaf of bread, and it doesn’t really solve a problem (unless you were without a bread knife, but even then you could still tear the bread with your hands).

So if something is only the greatest invention since sliced bread, I would argue it’s not a very imaginative or useful invention. Conversely, if something is the greatest invention since “ball,” well, that’s actually quite impressive!

Despite their high price tag and countless standard features, I’ve noticed that BMW vehicles don’t come with turn signals. I don’t even think it’s an option. With all that German engineering, it seems like they could figure out how to put a little blinking light on the back of the car that lets other drivers know when they’re about to be cut off. What a horrible oversight!

My uncle wrote a reflective essay today about his 51st birthday (today). It seems he’s wearing the same black sweater today that he was wearing on his eighteenth birthday, immortalized in a photo from Yosemite. Apparently that black sweater had an even longer history: it had been passed down to him from my father, who also had it as a teenager. My mother commented that “they don’t make sweaters like they used to.” I disagree whole-heartedly. I think they do make sweaters like they used to; they just don’t make consumers like they used to.

12:16 pm Observations Comments Off on They Make Sweaters Like They Used To

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