Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014 Is Off to a Very Slow Start

The battery in my 1993 Jeep Cherokee has been dead since Thanksgiving, except for an hour on January 3, when I called AAA out to jump start it. I should have run it for 2 hours I guess. No worries, my second car is a ZipCar.

The hot water went out at the office and it took 3 days for the building owner to get that fixed. I suppose if you needed hot water you could microwave it. Speaking of which, my stove-top microwave at home has been dead for a year. I bought it new in 2005, so that's too soon. I may wait until it reaches the end of it's natural life before replacing it. I can hardly drive to an appliance store to replace it.

Then there's my cable box, which has been out of whack since Christmas week. The internet still works, so I've been working my way through Breaking Bad on Netflix. I'm in the middle of the 4th season and they seem to be just marking time. If I don't get the cable fixed, I guess I'll be boycotting the 2014 Russian Winter Olympics.

We've been having one of those cold snaps that can only be caused by global warming. Not Minnesota or Wisconsin cold, but cold enough for the mile walk to and from work. That reminds me,  I ordered a Clore jump starter battery from that is not legal in California or Oregon. I forgot to stock up on incandescent lightbulbs before they became illegal on January 1. The fluorescents don't really work in my dimmer-switched sockets.

I decided to bypass Windows 8 and bought a Mac Mini, which I can't figure out how to use. My pictures are on there somewhere but I can't find the files to upload them. About 1% of my iTunes library disappeared in the transition, another 6% lost the album titles, and some unknown percentage lost their cover art. I could painstakingly fix all that, I'm not going anywhere.

The Windows laptop I use for work says I should consider replacing my battery. OK, I'm considering it. I watered my cactus.

I'm looking at my 2013 To Do list. If you don't sweep your stairs for a year, they begin to resemble the stairs to a hay loft. And if you don't pick up your guest bedroom, it begins to resemble a tool shed. That's the bachelor life. Glamorous. My late grandfather once asked me, how do you feed yourself?

I grilled a nice tenderloin steak tonight, along with grilled onions and zucchini. The steak reached it's expiration date 4 days ago. You should never grill a steak before its time is up. Aged beef, it's what's for dinner.

I will not be taking down my Christmas decorations until Valentine's Day. Happy Holidays. Sorry, no picture. I did have an epiphany earlier this week, but it passed.

Three of my favorite shirts have worn through the elbows. Why, in the internet age, can't you go back to the same shelf in the same store you bought your favorite shirt 10 years ago and get another one just like it? Well, one or two sizes bigger.

My brother-in-law in Beaverton found a great pair of ecco boots he liked and bought a second pair to have on hand when the first pair wear out. They are great boots, I bought a pair too. Six weeks later and I can't find them on the ecco website.

My kitchen sink garbage disposal, which is no older than my microwave, occasionally leaks under circumstances that are hard to pin down, not that I'm trying to pin them down, you understand. The drain in my bathroom sink is also slow, unless I pull out the drain stopper, which solves that problem.

The flavor bar on my Weber tabletop grill has after a decade or so begun to rust through. The model has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

And there you have it, a fine beginning to 2014.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013, The Year That Jumped the Shark

I spent New Year's Eve watching the made-for-TV movie Sharknado. I could explain the 86 minute plot, but here's the two minute version:

I started writing this post 6 days ago, but then got lost watching Breaking Bad episodes. That's all that was deserved for 2013, the year that jumped the shark.

Gold jumped the shark in 2013:

That may not be a bad thing, if it cures us of the insufferable gold bugs. King corn is down too. But Wall Street is up, so there will be no crying about gold or corn.

Hillary Clinton jumped the "guys out for a walk one night" shark at the beginning of the year:

Barack Obama jumped the "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me" shark at the end of the year.

But don't cry for them either, Gallup says that at the end of the year, Barack and Hillary were the most admired man and woman in America. Shark jumping is only fatal if you fail to jump the shark.

Even a partial list of 2013 shark jumpers is quite impressive:

Fiscal Cliff
Lance "The Doper" Armstrong
Domestics Drones
Bradley "Chelsea" Manning
Edward Snowden and the NSA
Anthony "Tweets His Junk" Weiner
Miley "Twerking" Cyrus
Federal Government Shutdown
Legalized Marijuana in Colorado and Washington
Toronto Mayor Rob "One of My Drunken Stupors" Ford
Nelson Mandela funeral sign language interpreter
Phil Robertson's Duck Dynasty anatomy lessons

Not all of these shark jumpers made it, some landed in the shark pool and were eaten, others are still in the air. More than a few of them did make it, and most of us got over 2013 unscathed too.

The original shark jumper was Fonzie in Happy Days season 5, episode 3:

That was 1977, and Happy Days ran for 7 more years. That will bring us up to the end of this decade. Sharknado 2 is already in the works.