Not Cease from Exploration

Monday, November 24, 2008

Road Apples, #4

A Day On - I'm taking today off, if for no other reason than I have a lot of days to take off and a few months ago, for some reason, I thought today would be a good day to be off. Does that make any sense what so ever? Like most days off, I usually don't broadcast the fact at home, lest I be given massive lists of things to do, which in turn morphs my day off into a day on. Again, I don't really know if what I just wrote makes any sense to anyone but me, but that's ok, as it's my day off anyway. Regardless, I do have three things that must be done today:

1. I have to get the Cruiser's oil changed. I also want them to install the new, high-intensity headlights I bought back in March. I got these things with every intention of installing them myself, but then I learned that Chrysler, in it's infinite wisdom, requires that you install PT Cruiser headlights via the wheel wells (I kid you not), where there are these two little access panels. Sorry, but I have very big hands and these look like mighty small openings. I'm thinking that the Laser Lube guys will throw these bad-boys in for me for around $20, which will be worth it. The Laser Lube guys are great, by the way. Anyway, the new headlights should be about 40% brighter than what I currently have on the car, and with bad weather approaching, every little bit helps.
2. I have a meeting at noon in the office. Yeah, I know it stinks going in on a day off, but this is in support of someone who quasi-reports to me on this big project I'm working on, and she's really done a great job so far. The least I can do is to go in for a 30 minute conference call.

Oh The Weather Outside - It looks like our first real winter storm is approaching. My only real worry is that my oldest daughter was planning on coming home from school tomorrow (Kutztown). I'll have to call her this morning and tell her to consider coming back on Wednesday. I do sorry about her when she drives.

I'm Still Waiting for My Bailout - The federal government is going to pump billions into a bailout of CitiBank, just like the state and local governments are going to pump millions into keeping a department store (Boscov's) afloat. I agree that the government should help, but I do worry that we are now in essence rewarding failure for big-shots, and still punishing it for small-shots. Maybe, just maybe, this can change the culture of consumption that we have in this country. Maybe, just maybe, when all this is said and done, we will realize that there is no such animal as unlimited economic expansion.

Christmas Is Approaching - and I've got most of my shopping done. I still have some gift cards to pick up, and I still need something else to get my mother. I like having it all done, even though I know there are buys to be had on "Black Friday". About 20 years ago I worked in retail (assistant store manager at a Bon Ton in another part of the state), so I'm very familiar with the "big day". As a consumer, I've only been out shopping early on "Black Friday" once, years ago, to get a present for my mother-in-law. Never, ever again. I had to go to Walmart to look for a TV and a VCR/DVD combination machine. It was like some bizzare cross between shopping and "rollerball". I had old ladies ramming my heels with shopping carts. Scientists could model shark feeding behavior by watching this stuff. Definitely not worth it, even though I do love my mother-in-law.

Big Plans - I don't have my 2008 bonus, but I'm hoping it's at least quasi-ok, as I'm interested in doing some work around the house with it. Normally, my bonus is split between three things:
1. Pay the Property Taxes - Since I don't have a mortgage (I paid that off a few years ago), I have to pay my taxes on my own. It's about $1800 or so in total for everything...I think.
2. Pay Kate's Tuition - The biggest chunk of the bonus goes towards paying my oldest daugther's tuition bill. We get no real financial aid, other than an unsubsidized Stafford Loan, so this is a big expense.
3. Stuff Around the House/Vacation - I'm not big on vacations, truth be told. When the girls were younger it was different, but now everyone has their own interests, so that's not something I'm really all that keen on, truth be told. This year the money will go towards some much needed repairs around the house (last year those repairs included replacing some roof shingles and upgrading the house electrical service), including replacing part of the TV room ceiling...which had some water damage...and I'd like to get a small flat screen TV for my office, where I can couple it with my XBox360 and maybe a PS3. I'd also like to get a new mission-style cabinet for the equipment and to store games, DVD, etc. This would free my existing cabinet for the ever-growing collection of CDs.

Let It Be - I discovered last night that you can see the entire motion picture Let It Be, by the Beatles, on YouTube. I watched about half of it. Damn, Paul was really, really bossy back then. Interesting if you are a hard-core fan, but otherwise I think it would bore most people. I'll probably try and catch the rest of it this evening.

Note for whomever read this: If I were you, I'd be thinking right now "Damn, that's an awful lot of stuff I didn't need to know". Sorry...if I could credit your life with the 5 minutes you just took to read the above, I would. Hell, contact me and I'll buy you the non-alcoholic drink of your choice, just because I feel guilty sometimes for writing this stuff.

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