Trip to a local bookstore–reading material for our upcoming flight to Australia.

Lunch date, a place recommended by friends. Service was good, food was mediocre, and too pricey. Recommendations didn’t always pan out.

Regular oil and filter changes at 6,000 mile intervals were expected.  Other maintenance items had no set timetable.

Why was it that service advisors at local automobile service departments made recommendations whether they were needed or not?

Answer:  To make profits for the dealership.  My advisor, recently recommended a wheel alignment.  There were no signs/symptoms of misalignment–uneven tire wear, cupping, steering wheel shake.

Different brand of car, different dealership, a few years earlier, had the same policy.  I objected to their alignment suggestion–whether it was needed or not.

So what if my vehicle had 30,000 miles on the odometer?  Mileage didn’t directly cause misalignment–or alignment.

I’ll do what was done before–go to an independent repair shop that specialized in brakes and alignments.  If no alignment is needed, then I’ll only be charged for an inspection.

Waste, Not Wanted

I am continually troubled by items, appliances in particular, that are so complex, that when they break down, it’s less expensive to get rid of them, buy new items, than to have them repaired.

Our washing machine is no more than five years old. There are warning signs, an expensive repair may be imminent. Of course it has complicated digital controls. None of the inner workings are covered by warranty.

The local big-box appliance store will carry away the old machine, and I know from working there, they re-cycle.  Which makes me feel better, because I wouldn’t want to contribute to excessive landfill waste.

It hasn’t happened yet, but if and when it does, the replacement washer will have a conventional agitator, and less complicated controls.  A previous machine lasted 26 years, before gearbox teeth ground away into iron filings.

Expensive extended warranties shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s like manufacturers know their machines won’t last.


Waiting for the washer to finish spin cycle. This is holding up breakfast. Newer machines with computerized controls are convenient, but more complicated.

This is not about perils of technology, rather about waiting. How many hours does an average person, in a lifetime, spend waiting?
Waiting for everything. At the doctor’s office. In traffic congestion. At the airport.

A fair assessment would be, that at least, half of our lives are spent waiting.  Most of the time, there’s not much we can do.  How we react to waiting–with impatience or calmness, is our choice.  What we do with that time, determines whether or not it was wasted.

Parking Woes (Poor Sportsmanship)

There is no way to determine if infractions were caused by winter visitors, or by regular health club members.

It’s been much more crowded, inside the gym–outside the gym, in the parking lot, since the arrival of winter visitors.

Today, I parked in the hinterlands. At a parking row next to the back of the property. Why was it an issue?

Because of a few that refused to park between the lines. At least eight prime spaces were rendered useless. Cars parked crooked–took up one and a half spaces. Pickups, with their back ends extended halfway into the spaces behind them.

When I left an hour later, the offenders were gone. There were plenty of spaces. Which meant I exercised with what my high school coach, Rock Rosetti, called “Poor sports.”

One More Time, Now

Political ads went away, after what seemed to be the longest period of mid-term elections, primaries, primary run-offs, regular elections, more run-offs, and recounts.

Fast forward to the present day.  Sound asleep in my comfy, overstuffed armchair. It’s unnerving to be awakened by the same annoying political ads–only to realize they were part of a previously recorded favorite program episode on DVR.  If I were more tech savvy, such commercials would have been edited.

Television commercials are purposed to be annoying.  This Holiday Season there’s one particular children’s toy commercial, like indigestion, tends to stick around.   It’s for the “Magic Pad.”  Which, for lack of better terms, is what those of my generation would view, as an electronically enhanced version of the old “Etch-A-Sketch.”

Who, beside myself, wasn’t frustrated with the old version?  It was nearly impossible to write legibly using the two control knobs–much less draw pictures.  Mostly, I spent time turning it upside-down, shaking it to “erase” the amoeboid hieroglyphics on the screen.

There are no young children in our household.  If there were, they each would have one of these contraptions, with plastic stylus, to draw on lighted screen, in several colors.  Annoying as this commercial may be–at least it’s not about politics.


You’ll be happy

You’ll be glad

Light it up

With Magic Pad



Short Attention Span Theatre

I’m sure there are those among us that will be dismayed, because Santa didn’t bring what they wanted.

Stuck waiting for punch lines, because there should have been more, but, there wasn’t.

Personal electronic devices allowed us the “have it our way.” That was until advertisers and spammers worked their way around firewalls and roadblocks.

Internet “click bait,” has the same content as supermarket tabloids. You Tube videos are chock-full of pop-up ads. Included political ads recently–to my dismay.

Has anyone tabulated the percentage of legitimate telephone calls received during an average day–compared to telemarketer and nuisance calls? What would it be: 5%? 10%? 1%?

Recently, a city hall clerk in a certain state, refused a marriage license, because the gentleman formerly resided in New Mexico. The clerk mistakenly thought New Mexico was a foreign country.

Some Solitude?

There are so many things to interrupt one’s solitude. Where was that horrible repeating little ditty coming from? From a smart phone, of course.

Smart phones weren’t the only sources of unwanted noise. There were plenty of others. Loud thumping bass kickers, from the house around the corner.

Noise pollution is everywhere these days. TV commercial soundtracks are louder than those on regular programming.

Where can a person find solitude these days? Perhaps in the deep Arctic–or on Mars?