September 16, 2010, 6:30 a.m.
-sigh- Another day another dollar. At least it’s raining today. I’ll finally be able to wash off that McDonald’s milkshake that the guy in the Prius tossed on me last week. Real environmentally friendly dill-hole.
Well, everyone looks pissed again. Not that I blame them. My buddies and I have been sitting in these spots for going on four months now. Plus, there are signs everywhere requiring everyone to slow down for the construction zone. Does my mere existence in this lane really constitute a construction zone? Not like it matters though…no one can drive faster than ten miles/hour anyway. And while the drivers mutter under their breath about ramming stuff, my buddies and I are occupying this perfectly good lane for miles just hoping that some day, actual construction will take place next to us. I’m afraid many of us are now beginning to lose that hope.
Yesterday seemed like it would be different. An orange IDOT truck pulled up next to me. I thought construction may actually start! But it was not to be. Instead of actually beginning to improve the roadway, two guys jumped out of the truck, rolled that measuring wheel thingy, laughed about something, and then got back into their truck and left. I was, I’ll admit, disappointed; and confused…did they really think the measurement changed since they took it a month ago?
My buddy Herb told me that he had actually spoken to a barrel further down the road that said construction was actually occurring. He said it was really strange because after all of these big machines tore up the road, everybody left for a couple of months. He said something about workers striking. He and I both thought it would have been nicer if the workers had decided to stop working before tearing up the road. But what do we know? We’re just barrels.
I still remember being placed here in the spring. I was so excited! I figured I’d get to watch some cool machines construct a road. When the drivers creeping past me first became angry, mumbling about the same construction being done last year, I smiled, because I knew the construction would be done in no time. But here I sit. Taking up a perfectly good lane when there hasn’t been construction equipment anywhere near me yet. Seriously, why close a lane for miles, when only about 10 feet is getting worked on at any given time? I mean, I know my brain consists of a flashing light, but it would seem that only closing the road being worked on would be a smarter idea.
However, after talking to my buddy Gilbert yesterday, I do think the drivers are being a little hard on the government. Apparently there are spots where the road isn’t being torn up at all. In fact, Gil told me that all of the toll lanes are still open, and there are lots of those. It could be worse, right?
Drudge has as his main headline this morning, which links to a CBS News report, “Big Sis Blocks Websites With ‘Controversial Opinion.” I love Drudge, and his is the first site I visit every morning. That being said, I think the headline is a bit misleading. The Transportation Security Administration is blocking federal employees from viewing certain websites, including those with “controversial opinions.” The government isn’t blocking the general public from visiting these sites (yet?).
This sort of behavior doesn’t seem out of line to me. I would guess that almost anyone who works at a company of any significant size has an employer that filters internet access. Why should government employees get all the fun, especially on tax-payer dollars? The categories of internet sites that are now banned from federal employees are:
• Controversial opinion
• Criminal activity
• Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content
The first thing that strikes me in this list is no gaming. Does this restriction also apply to our congressman while they are in session? What about solitaire?! I’m seeing a special exemption for Mine-Sweeper on the way.
The second thing that strikes me: no restriction for porn access! That’s right, while those thousands of federal employees who routinely visit this site daily for its wit and intelligence will be forced to incur the inconvenience of receiving their news elsewhere, that creepy guy in the corner can still spend all day surfing websites about rodeo clowns. For an administration that prides itself on fairness, I’m not impressed.
I said to myself, “self, no more writing about the World Cup.” Well, I can’t help it. If my favorite Michigan football blog is going to fill up space with ramblings about soccer, than I will too.
If World Cup soccer is such a big freaking deal, why is it that the the most popular subject of conversation seems to be a South African noise-making device? Moreover, why does everybody need to be so insensitive as to complain about a local culture-type thing? I mean, we’re talking about a sport that tolerates regular riots and celebrates 1-1 ties!
Is an annoying horn really going to take away from a game where men routinely line up and cover their marbles with their hands? I doubt it. I say blow your horns South Africa and damn the man.
Thanks to a quiz at Health.com, which I’ve linked above, I now realize why I’m so bored and/or distracted at work…I have adult ADHD! I took the quiz and scored off the chart. Now when the boss asks why I’m constantly playing Bejeweled Blitz at work, I can provide him with a totally legit medical diagnosis. Fortunately, there wasn’t a category for “how long can you sit around playing xbox” or “how often do you get distracted while watching football.” That would have totally ruined my score.
Today I sat on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta for approximately 45 minutes in the afternoon sun with neither captain nor air conditioning. While most people complained, I took the opportunity to think about stuff that sucks. Here’s my (admittedly incomplete) list:
1. Flight attendants thanking me for my patience. I’m not being patient, I just have nowhere to go. No need to thank me.
2. The World Cup. Why do I need to be subjected to this every four years? Why do I have to be forced to watch commercials on ESPN that attempt to make soccer seem more riveting than watching a hamster on a wheel? Why do I have to have family members joining Facebook groups in support of some random country when they don’t even own a soccer ball? People don’t get this excited about Jai Alai, and that game involves hard little balls flying really fast in close quarters. The World Cup involves little men trying desperately to score a goal…two if you’re lucky.
3. The guy sitting next to me on the plane who keeps touching me when he’s asleep.
4. Instant replay. I hate instant replay. In fact, nothing has ruined sports more than know-nothing talking heads with the opportunity to look at a play twenty times in super slow-mo from ten different angles…and still get the call wrong. And then to have to deal with all the gnashing of teeth over the blown call during the Tigers-Indians game that cost Armando Galaraga a perfect game, and how instant replay would have saved us from the travesty…enough already. Look, I’m a HUGE Tigers fan, and yes, the ump totally blew the call. But you know what? I’m a bigger baseball fan, and baseball, like all sports, is played by humans, and officiated by humans, and mistakes are part of the game. Grow up. If Jim Leyland, Dave Dombrowski, and Galaraga aren’t complaining, you shouldn’t be.
5. Sitting at a red light at 4:00 a.m. for five minutes, with no cross traffic. Why don’t all lights have sensors? Why do I need to feel compelled to break the law and drive through the intersection on a red? Wouldn’t that constitute entrapment?
6. The World Cup.
Woman on Plane (W.O.P.), I feel your pain. One moment, you’re laying your head back to take a snooze, and the next thing you know, you wake up, and you’re alone in the dark.
Apparently, W.O.P. fell asleep on her flight from Dulles International to Philadelphia. She must have been really tired, because she woke up some three hours after the plane arrived. After she woke up, she was forced to be on the plane alone for an additional fifteen minutes before being released from her hellish confines. She had a cell phone, and used it to check the time, but never thought about using it to call somebody. I’m guessing she was busy trying to get into the alcohol closet and grab some of those little bottles of liquor.
After her “horrifying” fifteen minutes, which must have truly been horrifying since she forgot how to use her cell phone, she did what any red-blooded American would do: she sued the airline. Just to make sure she didn’t waste her incredible tale of bravery in the face of what might have been the end of her, she retained none other than Goeffrey Feiger. That’s right…the guy who defended Jack Kevorkian (and ran for governor in Michigan…as a Democrat I might add). She’s claiming, amongst other things, false imprisonment…for fifteen minutes? WTF? Good luck with that lawsuit Einstein.
By the way, I do feel W.O.P.’s pain. I was riding the Metra into Chicago one snowy morning when I fell asleep. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the train yard. After I found an open door, and began walking towards downtown through gigantic snowbanks, I ran into a Metra employee. What did he say? “Fell asleep huh?” Apparently this had happened before. I should have sued the bastards. My claim would have been even more compelling than W.O.P.’s., since I didn’t have any of those little bottles of liquor to keep me warm.