Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random Observations and Trivial Events

1. What do you think when you see a place of business sporting a sign that says “under new manage- ment?” Does it inspire a positive response in you? My feeling is that the only businesses that display such a sign are ones that have gained quite a bad reputation, either for bad service, bad products or both. I mean, if a successful business had built up a sterling reputation in the community, the last thing a smart new owner would want to do is to let people know the management had changed, for fear that they would begin to have doubts about whether the quality would continue. Right? In short, the only business owners wanting to advertise a change in management are the ones who sincerely hope those past unpleasant incidents with food poisoning or sexual misconduct or police raids will soon be forgotten.

2. Once a year, the City of Waco graciously holds something called a “Hazardous Waste Day,” where you can haul down all the stuff they deem hazardous – old paint cans, old batteries, unused lighter fluid, motor oil, etc. – and dump it for no charge. My question is, why do they only have these special days once a year? Yes, I imagine they cost the city money, but do they think people wait patiently for an entire year before throwing away things like old paint and oil? Sheesh, no. If there’s not an easy way of disposing of it safely, then we will likely toss it in the weekly garbage, where it will be taken to the landfill, and cost a lot more in the long run in terms of trash, cancer-causing agents and the underground creation of large, radioactive monsters that arise from the dump and wreak havoc on surrounding suburbs.

3. Here on campus I see all these college students looking bleary-eyed lately, and I know they are high on caffeine and going without sleep studying for finals. For all I know, it’s the first time they’ve studied all semester. I remember the stress and fear that came with finals, and I’m tempted to really feel sorry for the students, but then I remember that after a week of taking tests, they’ve got three months to basically sleep in late, party and do nothing they don’t want to do. Let ‘em suffer awhile, I say.

4. I know this probably sounds goofy, but I’ve seen the trailer for the new “Poseidon Adventure” movie (a re-make) that’s opening this month, and I want to see it. The original movie (the one where Shelley Winters constantly got stuck and Ernest Borgnine complained all the way through) was one of my favorites as a kid.

5. I was behind a college student at the convenience store the other day, and I noticed that she bought one item – a large bottled water – and paid for it with a credit card. I thought, this says something about modern society in a nutshell. We’re paying for things like water that we could easily get for free, and to do it, we’re in effect borrowing money from a bank at interest. I’ve done this before, too (with Dr Pepper, of course), so I’m not exempt.

6. I have been unable to finish a book, cover to cover, these last two or three months. Some books I have gotten almost all the way through, some I have gotten to the end of only by skipping big parts in the middle, and some I’ve abandoned after only a few chapters. But there's not one book I have read every word of. A lot of these were great books, classics, ones I was excited about reading, so I can’t blame the material. What is my problem?

7. On second thought, don't answer that.

Today’s quote:

”Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?”

--Actor Peter Lorre, to Vincent Price at Bela Lugosi’s funeral


Jenn said...

I worked at a shop that changed management. We did NOT advertise it on our window. As people started figuring it out, they started finding new places to do business. The old management was much better.

Laura said...

I used to love finals. Such a feeling of triumph to ace them. That definitely shows what a nerd I am. I think I have probably charged a bottle of water too. Not so smart as I'd like to think, eh?

So you didn't finish Jayber?

Muley said...

Jenn: See, I knew I was right.

Laura: Oh, how I miss your blog! One of the daily joys in life is gone. My apparent bookus interruptus came on after I read Jayber Crow, which I loved. I'm getting more and more into Wendell Berry now, especially his essays, even though he upsets me as much as he pleases me. Oh, and I'm now reading one of your faves, Hard Times by Dickens, which I've read before. I think I might actually finish it.

skywriter said...

I loved the Poseiden adventure! I remember the scenewhere the captain is watching the huge wave, traveling 60 knots, coming at him and he was so casual. .
Captain Harrison: [discussing the huge approching wave] It seems to be piling up in those shallows... By the way, happy New Year.
First Officer Larsen: Thank you, sir. Same to you.

Gee.. . we're all going to die. . but have a nice holiday! That's professionalism under fire folks.
I may not tell my friends, but I AM going to go out, get the big triple bypass sized buttered popcorn and watch the new one.