Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 

Early morning blues and greens

Ein kleines schadenfreude this AM, as that idiot Susan Sontag has assumed room temperature. The likes of her and Chomsky make me ill with their idiotic deconstruction of all that's good about the US. And undoubtedly the media will crow about what an incisive commentator she was, for utterances such as "The white race is the cancer of human history."

And regarding 9/11 (in The New Yorker, of course) :

"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a `cowardly' attack on `civilization' or `liberty' or `humanity' or `the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?""In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards."

Minor car trouble this AM, so it's off to supplicate to that most beastly of creatures, the Service Writer. Were this my first car, a 1970 massive GM boat, I would've had this thing fixed in a matter of minutes, however, taking a fast look under the hood indicates that some disassembly is required, and basically, other than topping up fluids, I dread doing any work on my cars given the miniscule elbow room and the invariably over-torqued bolts. On that first car, I remember replacing everything from the thermostat to the transmission modulator myself. Great car, unfortunately got rear-ended and it wasn't cost-effective to fix. Sometimes I think that people getting driver's licenses should be required to have cars like that and learn how to handle minor maintenance themselves. Then again, it's all about improving that ongoing revenue stream, eh? And that results in us begging the Service Writer for a quick slot-in. I'd take it to the local gas station to fix, but then I get the dirty look from him why I don't bring the car in for things like oil changes and such, and maybe, if I'm lucky, he'll do it right.

Back in the pre-kids days, the local gas station was my first-line choice for fixing my sports car, which the last year before I got rid of it for a sensible parent's car, had an unbelievable array of electrical and engine problems. The local dealer for that marque was singularly uninterested in working with me, hence I chose the gas station. Unfortunately, said local gas station had the local version of Motti, i.e. "What do you care if it's fixed, the car runs, doesn't it?". Very confidence inspiring. Reminded me of a road trip we'd taken up to Vermont way back in the early 80s for a week to go skiing, with my first car. Unfortunately, the car started acting up, and having no tools handy (I had four friends driving up with me and the car was packed with luggage and skis, so something had to give; I know, dumb move) I ended up taking the car over to the local gas station to be checked out. I knew I was really in trouble when I saw the mechanic, a guy who looked like D-Day from Animal House, but with a sort of mullet, and a very distinctive, vaguely scatalogical nickname emblazoned upon his overalls. Ordinarily that wouldn't faze me in the least, however, there were several letters from dissatisfied customers posted on the station office's walls with specific complaints directed at "D-Day" for not only technical incompetence, but poor customer relations, as we say in the trade. Fortunately, the gentleman in question only kept me waiting for five hours and charged me a mere sixty bucks for what was undoubtedly a minor adjustment. Car worked fine after that, except he did something to the temperature sending unit and I ended up driving home with both the cold engine and overheating indicator glowing brightly.

New toy is supposed to arrive later today, however, looking at UPS' tracking info, I'm not so sure. Anyone answer a stupid question here? Why, if a package is coming to the northern NYC burbs, and it's located in Philly, would UPS send it to Louisville, Kentucky? And of course, since it left Louisville at 4:11am today, it's now somewhere indeterminate, but being scanned?

Dec 29, 2004 6:10 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
5:54 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
4:11 A.M. LOUISVILLE, KY, US DEPARTURE SCAN
Dec 28, 2004 11:47 P.M. LOUISVILLE, KY, US ARRIVAL SCAN
9:49 P.M. PHILADELPHIA, PA, US DEPARTURE SCAN
5:48 P.M. PHILADELPHIA, PA, US ARRIVAL SCAN
2:30 P.M. DES MOINES, IA, US DEPARTURE SCAN
4:05 A.M. DES MOINES, IA, US ARRIVAL SCAN
2:50 A.M. DES MOINES, IA, US DEPARTURE SCAN
1:21 A.M. DES MOINES, IA, US ARRIVAL SCAN
Dec 27, 2004 9:54 P.M. KANSAS CITY, KS, US DEPARTURE SCAN
8:22 P.M. US BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED
5:20 P.M. KANSAS CITY, KS, US ORIGIN SCAN

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