Monday, March 28, 2011

Car Owner Categorization

Since there are many different types of drivers out there, it is only natural that there are many different types of car owners.  Keep your tongues firmly in cheek, get in and buckle up!  Here we go….

The Appliance Owner
I think this category is the most popular.  Most people see their cars as appliances, like microwaves.  It is a crucial material object designed to serve humans.  It gets us from Point A to Point B.  However, if we find ourselves without one, we are in a world of hurt and can barely function.  You know, like if the microwave broke.

The Wacko Dog Owner

People who are good dog owners love their dogs and treat them appropriately.  Mentally ill dog owners (who have lost all concept of reality) also love their dogs, but treat them better than they treated their children (which I will go into in a future post).  The Wacko Dog Owner can be recognized in a couple of ways.  One way is that there is a dog bed either on the dashboard or the rear package shelf.  There is no thought as to what would happen if they had to slam on their brakes.  Another way to recognize the Wacko Dog Owner is that you see the dog’s head hanging out the window – of the driver’s seat.  Yup, these Wacko Dog Owners don’t bother thinking of Fido’s safety, noooooo!  They think Fido wants to be in their lap.  To hell with safe driving!  It’s all about Fido, who, for some reason or another, is usually about the size of a large rat.  So, who is really the “owner” here?

The Stuffed Animal Collector

This category seems to be exclusively female.  I say “seems to be” because I have not paid that much attention to them.  Well, that and you can’t always see them clearly.  Anyway, the Stuffed Animal Collector is so obsessed with stuffed animals that they can’t bear to be without them.  In order to be surrounded by plush toys at all times, the Stuffed Animal Collector fills their dashboard and their rear package shelf until their field of vision is partially obscured.  They also hang stuffed things from their rear view mirrors (not that they use them).  All of the dashboard toys may come in handy, though.  When the Stuffed Animal Collector gets into an accident, they will be pelted with the plush toys AND the airbag!  This is vital, as the airbag may not deploy because of all the string used to tie on the plush steering wheel cover. 

The Compensator
The compensator has a lot of emotional (and possibly physical) issues.  In general, they are desperate for attention.  They attempt to garner attention by doing something noticeable to their vehicle and sometimes by behaving poorly.  You can recognize a compensator because their vehicles are too _____ (fill in the blank):  too tall, too big, too loud, too gaudy, too over-accessorized.  These too tall/large vehicles will never be seen offroad, the too gaudy will never be seen at a car show, etc.  Compensators also like to attempt to intimidate you.  I say “attempt” because it doesn’t work on people like me.  Besides, I might laugh at you.  Your fragile ego wouldn’t be able to handle it.

The Waxer
The waxer is someone with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.  Their cars live in garages or trailers, sparkly clean under their blankies.  If it rains, they will not drive.  Why?  Because the car might get wet!  This might work a lot of the time if you live in a warm, dry climate (like the Southwestern US).  However, if you live anywhere else, your sanity for owning a garage queen should be questioned.  Waxers have to deal with a strange conundrum:  they want to be seen by others, but they are afraid something will happen to the car if it leaves its sanctuary.  Oh, the horrors!

The Ricer Racer
You’ve seen/heard them:  automatic, 4-door Hondas with wings and a giant fart can.  The body work often includes spots of primer and/or unpainted aftermarket body kits. The ones that make lots of useless engine modifications never show up for a legal, organized race.  They would rather brag online that they owned someone on Main Street.

The Poor Pimp
Although pimps could be saving toward retirement or stashing their girls’ profits into their 401ks, we know they’re not.  It is obvious they are putting the money into Cadillacs, LTDs and large SUVs.  Window tinting and 22” chrome rims with spinners cost a lot, you know.  They have big back seats, too.  Just sayin’.

The Emotionally Attached
The general public is confounded by the emotionally attached car owner.  The cars are often middle-aged and not in perfect shape, but they are loved by their owners.  On the surface, some of these cars are impractical.  Take two-seaters, for example.  They usually get good mileage and are fun-looking, attracting the ire of depressed minivan drivers.  Best of all, the two-seater owner will never be asked to pick up anyone at the airport!

The Retentive
The retentive are extreme cases.  It’s what Waxers become when they really lose it.  They can be found at car shows.  Their cars are always in a covered trailer, their tires wrapped in linen.  The retentive do things like pick blades of grass out of the treads with tweezers while wearing surgical gloves.  Cotton swabs are probably bought in bulk, as they are used to clean every last nook and cranny.  If you’re OCD, this is the hobby for you.  The retentive are usually single, and with good reason:  they are obsessed with the car and have nothing else to think about or talk about.  If they could, they would sleep with it.  Good luck trying to have a conversation with the retentive about anything else.  Your attempt will be met with silence and a blank stare.  However, if you ask them about their car, they will talk until you physically leave.  Beware.

Friday, March 25, 2011

March Madness

This week's photo theme (via written inc.) is "March Madness". The rules are:
* It must have been taken during the month of March
* It should illustrate some semblance of madness or silliness. If it makes you smile, it's good.

I chose this photo because, besides being taken in March, the cat looks really mad!  He is giving us the ol' stink eye for sure.  Usually I'll Photoshop out the red-eye (green eye?), but I kind of liked it in this case.
I must confess:  I did not take this picture, DH did.  He said I could use it, though. :-)  As it's cold and/or wet outside in March, I don't take many photos this time of year.  Good thing DH takes lots of photos!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Public Service Announcement

The other day, I witnessed something that horrified me.  The fact that it actually happened leads me to believe that some folks out there might not realize why such a thing could be so awful.

So there I was, putting gas in my car.  Across from me, at another pump, were a woman and a child in a Mustang.  Not one of the newer Transformer-type Mustangs, but the gen. prior to that – a nice-looking car.  Anyway, she walked over to the front of the pump to get that thing you use to clean off your windshield.  You know:  it has a scrubby/spongy bit on one side and a rubber wiper on the other.  She dunked it in the fluid bucket and SCRUBBED the passenger door!  Up and down, up and down, over and over!  Aghast, all I could do was stare, open-mouthed.  Did she not know what she was doing?  Think about what is actually in the windshield washing fluid bucket.  Further, think about all the people who have used it before you, scraping bugs and dirt off of their windshields, and merrily putting the sponge back in the bucket.  Further yet, think about how often said fluid is replaced.  Yes, this means that she was scrubbing her car’s paint with a grit-infused sponge.  This is the close equivalent of scrubbing your car with wet sandpaper.

For all I know, the kid could have barfed out the window.  Couldn’t she have at least waited to get home to wash the offending particles off properly?  From now on, every time she walks by that door when the sun is shining, the scratches will remind her of that fateful day when she used a filthy windshield scrubber to “wash” her car.  {{shudder}}

BTW, this also applies to those fundraiser carwashes that the local schoolkids/baseball team, etc. have.  If you want your car scratched, go to one of those.  If you want to help their cause, just give them cash.  It’s worth it to not let them get near your car with a sponge that has been collecting grit all day.

Monday, March 21, 2011


This week's photo theme is "transition". To me, this photo represents the transition from Winter to Spring.

Repetitive Redundancy

Seen yesterday at a gas station:

It is tempting to contact Texaco and ask them what they think "ATM" stands for.  Maybe I could even have a scintillating conversation with them about "the HIV virus" in "the US states".  Nahhhhh....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dreams of Money and Bras

There’s one thing we all have in common:  money.  We love it, we hate it, and we need it.  Sometimes we even dream about it.

One dream is “The Lottery Dream”.  If you won millions of dollars, what would you do with it?  Since you won an extravagant amount of money, you would probably do something extravagant like quit your job, travel, or buy a new house.

Another dream is “The Inheritance Dream”.  What would you do if you inherited a modest amount, say $20,000.00?  Since you inherited a modest amount, you would probably do something modest like pay down bills or put money toward a new car.

A dream I’ve had for about two years is “The Paycheck Dream”.  “What would I buy if I had a paycheck?” I’ve often wondered.  I’ve had a long time to think about it.  The first thing I would buy would be bras.  Yes, bras!  Being the no paycheck = no purchases sort, that means I haven’t had anything new for two years.  Since, like most women, I loathe bra shopping, you can bet that my bras are more than two years old.  Well, they can take their somewhat-elasticized selves off to the landfill, because my dream has come true.  Within a couple of weeks, I will be starting a new job.  Not much is known about it yet, as we’re in the negotiating phase of things.  But I do know this:  I’m going to get new bras.

Why are the darn things so expensive, anyway?  Besides costing money, bras are actually kind of like money:  we love them, we hate them, and we need them.  Sometimes we even dream about them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2011

Just today, courtesy of Gwirrel's Garden, I found "Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day".  For "bloom day", you are supposed to post pictures of what is blooming in your garden.  Although I am not a garden blogger, I do love to share pictures. So what is blooming in my garden today?  Not much!  Even more "special" will be these photos.  When I found "bloom day", it was already 7pm.  Well, I guess that's what that flash thingy on the camera is for. 

 First up is a primula.  Apparently the slugs have discovered this, too.

Next is some lamium.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend this groundcover.  Although it quickly spreads and looks nice, it smells funky when you touch it.  It's easy to pull up, though.  Did I mention it spreads quickly?

This will eventually be forsythia.  It's trying, but it's just not ready yet.

Last but not least is some vinca.  This stuff can really go crazy if you let it (I do).  It is great at covering ground that is difficult to get to.  It covers said ground and prevents weeds.  I like that.

Also "blooming" right now is my Nishiki Willow.
Now that I know about "Bloom Day", I will be better prepared next time!

Monday, March 14, 2011


This week's photo non-contest theme is "late". I chose this photo because it was taken late in the day.
Fall and Winter often present some great photo opportunities.  Unfortunately, it is also cold then, which means I don't want to go outside!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When Honesty Is Not the Best Policy

Recently, I spent some time with an elderly relative.  Let’s call her “Aunt C”.  Aunt C is a lovely woman who bravely married into my family quite some time ago.  Since she is widowed and lonely, I arrived armed with questions intended to keep her talking.  Basic things, like “Where did you grow up?”, “How did you meet Uncle E?”, “How many siblings do you have?”, etc.  Although I already knew a lot of the answers, I asked the questions anyway, since the point of my asking questions wasn’t necessarily to gather previously unknown information.  Well, I was in for a little surprise.  After telling me how she met her second husband (“Uncle E”), Aunt C then told me how she met her first husband, “K”.  After she and K married, he went away to war (World War II) for a few years.  Upon his return, they moved to his home state.  Eventually, Aunt C became pregnant.  One day, K didn’t come home.  K’s mother called and said that he had died in a car accident.  Pregnant and alone, Aunt C returned to her home state where she met and married Uncle E.

Researcher that I am, I knew there had been no car accident.  K actually died about ten years ago.  As his full name is unique, the information was easy to find.  For once, I did not blurt out the truth.  Instead, I said, “What a difficult time it must have been for you.”

Although I am big on being honest and accurate, sometimes it’s just not a good idea.  What purpose would have been served by telling Aunt C (and Aunt C & K’s child) that K was not killed in a car accident all those years ago?  I couldn’t think of any purpose at all. 

There are other circumstances under which telling the truth is inadvisable.  A classic example is, “Does my butt look big in this?”  Ladies, if you ask men this question, you are just looking for an excuse to pick a fight or cry (or both).  If you have to ask that question, you already know what the truth is.  Men, if you want to take your life into your own hands or are looking for an excuse to fight, answer honestly.  However, if you don’t, you need to redirect things by saying something like, “I think your other jeans are more flattering” or “Honey, your ass looks fine in everything you wear”.  You get the idea.  Sometimes honesty is not the best policy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blame Bruce - On the Double!

Most of you know Bruce.  If you don't, you should.  You see, besides having a blogging dog, he is an antagonizer.  This time, he sent me over to written inc.  It seems they have something of a weekly thematic photo gathering.  Seeing as how I have thousands of photos that I do absolutely nothing with, this seems as good a place as any to put them.  The current theme is "doubles", so here is my photo:

I haven't seen these photos in years, so it was nice to see them again.  Plus, it reminded me that Spring truly exists!  Thanks, Bruce. :-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Fungus Among Us

While out hiking the other day, I ran across this:

Normally, I don't find fungus attractive. This one, though, I thought had interesting form and texture.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Hopefully, some of you will be able to get outside and enjoy nature.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Growing Old Gracefully – Or Not

We’ve all heard the term “growing old gracefully”, but what does it really mean?  In search of an answer, my first stop was Google.  The results varied widely, from “How To Stay Young” to articles about birds.  The thing is, we are not supposed to stay young.  What is it about our society that sees aging as a negative thing?  As we age, yes, we lose things, but we also gain things.  Why doesn’t this get mentioned more often?  Sure, we’ll change as we get older, but that’s normal and inevitable.    We’re going to grow old whether we like it or not.  What is “old”, anyway?  Our perception of age changes as we do.

But what if I don’t want to grow old gracefully?  What if I don’t take things so seriously and have a little fun?  Maybe it’s time to rethink aging.  Maybe we should be thinking more like these guys: