Monday, March 4, 2019

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Probably because I have to deal with so many weirdos at my job, I'm often reluctant to leave my apartment on my days off, especially since I live in one of the more economically disadvantaged areas of town. Yesterday I had to take out the garbage. A guy from one of the other units was burning an onion on a rock with a propane torch. At the same time, a man wearing a leather jacket was passing by, walking a massive pit bull. The dog was also wearing a leather jacket. I felt like I was in a David Lynch movie.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Wheel in the Sky

Click to embiggen
Spotted what appeared to be circular contrails. I had never seen such a thing before, so stopped for a snap. A quick search of the internet reveals that others have seen such things. If they are contrails, that jet must have been doing donuts.

And in case you're wondering, I don't believe in chem-trails.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Elf Shorts History Update

As I mentioned in my previous post, I accidentally erased almost all images from my blog. I'm happy to report that the Continuing History of the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts has been restored to its previous glory.

Careful What You Wish For

Yesterday I was carrying on about how I wasn't spending enough time working on this blog. Then, I got an email from Google/Blogger saying that they were going to be getting rid of certain products like Google +, which would affect my pictures stored in Google Pictures, and blah blah blah. They advised that I should download any pictures I wanted to keep. So I did. After downloading them, I thought I was safe to go ahead and delete those albums.

I wasn't safe. The effect of that foolish action on my part stripped almost every single photo from "Raise the Thunderbeam", including my "Continuing History of the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts", which had a LOT of images.

Well, at least I had just downloaded them all! Now I have the tedious task of going back through all my posts and replacing hundreds of these...

...with the proper pictures.

This wasn't exactly the "quality time" I had been hoping to spend with this blog, but c'est la vie - especially when you're stupid.

So, my apologies to readers who are encountering mysterious symbols which look like some kind of incomprehensible international traffic sign telling you not to do something and you don't know what you're not supposed to do. I will be working on the problem as I am able. Yay.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

From the Vaults: Pt. 1

I've been feeling lately that I haven't been doing enough with this blog, or any of my other blogs for that matter. I've grown weary of trying to feed my need for dopamine by mindlessly scrolling through Tumblr and Facebook. I need to get a little more engaged with my on-line time. I used to get a lot of satisfaction out of actually creating content here on Blogger.

I've had various blogs over the years. My first one was called "Rants in my Pants" (from which I derived my on-line moniker "RIMPy". Then one day I was riding the bus, and I heard a crazy lady utter the phrase "Raise the thunderbeam". I had no idea what she meant (if anything), and a subsequent Google search revealed no definite answers, but a couple of possibilities: 1) there is a brand of air raid siren called a "Thunderbeam", which seems like the mostly likely candidate, given the phrase, "raise the alarm"; 2) the popular video game character Mega Man had a weapon called the Thunderbeam - not as likely, but kind of interesting.

Anyway, at the time I heard her say it, I thought, "THAT'S a great name for a blog!", and I changed the name of my blog to what it is today.

My other significant blog is "The Punctuator!", in which I take snarky jibes at abuses of our language that I find. That blog actually got fairly popular for awhile, but like many good blogs over the years, it has fallen into desuetude.

When I became a bus driver (for the third time) about eight years ago, I experienced so much frustration with the average bus-riding population (which had taken a significant nose-dive in quality and intelligence in the years since my previous employment in that field), that I started a new blog called "The Idiots Aboard", in order to have a place to vent my spleen about the various morons and psychopaths I encountered on a daily basis.

That blog didn't get very far. For one thing, I was usually so exhausted and mentally frazzled by the end of a day, that the idea of sort of reliving the day's unpleasant experiences by writing about them seemed more like torture than therapy. Plus, after a while, as I got a little more used to the dummies and crazies, I developed more sympathy for them, and it seemed rather mean to be lambasting these poor bastards on the internet.

Finally, a couple of years ago, I decided to write my autobiography. It's not that I've lead such a fascinating life or anything, but I am able to make the rather dubious claim that in the 35 years between when I entered the legitimate work-force and my current job as a bus driver, I counted that I have held approximately 85 different positions. I don't know if that's remarkable. I was unable to find any facts about anyone who has had more jobs, but my count is about 8 times the national average for jobs held in a lifetime. I thought people might be interested in hearing about someone who had accumulated so many jobs over a working lifetime, and perhaps WHY this happened. I kind of wanted to figure it out myself.

But when I sat down at a blank word processing document on my computer screen, I myself went blank. I didn't know how to begin. Then I thought, "I'm used to writing in a blog format. Why don't I write my story as a blog?" So over the next several months I sat down about once a week and wrote a new chapter in my life's story. When I got up to my current job, I copied the whole mess into a word document and had it printed up into a spiral-bound volume. I mostly wanted to see what my bio would like in book form. I was pretty pleased with the results, but I have not attempted to get it published. What if it's not good enough? I don't think I could handle the rejection! If you're interested, my strange relationship with work is available for viewing at High Turnover: 85 Jobs in 35 Years. Observant readers will note that the URL and the title don't match in number of jobs. That's because I remember three more jobs after the address of the blog was chosen. Oops.

Getting back to the reason for this particular post, though I decided I needed to spend more time on this blog, I'm starting off on that quest in the laziest way possible: by recycling my old posts from those other blogs here. I was getting tired of maintaining (as if!) multiple blogs. Sometimes I thought of something that might be appropriate for one or the other, but it seemed like too much trouble to have to pigeon-hole ideas like that. Plus if felt strange to suddenly make a new post on a blog that had lain moribund for some years.

Basically what I'm doing is incorporating my other blogs into this one. If I feel inspired to post something that would have been appropriate for "The Punctuator!" or "The Idiots Aboard", well, heck, I'm just going to put it here! Why not? It's my blog! I can do what I want.

In the meanwhile, I'm slowly going to be transferring old posts from the other blogs onto this one, perhaps with some additions and corrections, as needed. After I get them all transferred over here, I'll probably delete those other blogs, with the exception of "High Turnover", until I figure out what I'm going to do about trying to get it published.

So, I present the first post from the second iteration of "The Punctuator!":

Originally published in The Punctuator! May 3, 2012

I'm ba-aack! I deleted the old The Punctuator! blog because I just wasn't keeping it up the way I wanted, but I just can't seem to stay away. Maybe it was the change of venues. Now College Town is my Home Town, but I shall continue to call it College Town, cuz that's what it is. What's more, now the URL matches the name of the new version. So, without further ado, first post:

Grandrimpyette One's new school has a cool playground. In addition to the usual hopscotch and what-not, it has some pretty esoteric looking games you can move about on, plus interesting things like a cut-away diagram of a human heart and a giant skeleton. The creator of this extravaganza worked in a little advertisement for herself, and wouldn't you know it - she spelled the name of her business incorrectly.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Gutter Sniping

Image result for christmas tree curbside pickup

There is something going on around here, and if I don't rant about it, it'll drive me mad...der.

In my town, I've observed that some people dispose of their Chistmas trees by tossing them into the gutter (or curb, if you prefer) in front of their places of residence. Then the trees just remain there, slowly turning brown and then browner, and losing their needles until they're just trunks with dry branches sticking out. This situation can carry on for weeks and even months, before eventually some unseen force finally seems to take care of the problem. Whether the owners finally give up and shove the dessicated sticks into their garbage bins, or some frustrated neighbor decides 'enough is enough' and does it for them, I'll never know. I am, however, quite certain that no organization, either private or governmental, has taken charge of the remains.

Apparently these people believe that this is the proper way to dispose of their trees, despite the lack of evidence to support this view. I should think it would be obvious to the former owners of the trees that what they think is supposed to happen never does. As they come and go to and from their homes, or even just look out their front windows, they must see that their tree is still slowly decomposing in the gutter.

There are a couple of factors which may contribute to this erroneous thinking. One is that here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Christmas holiday season starts in Fall, and our very tree-heavy town does have curbside leaf pick-up. So even after the winter festivities, city crews are still scooping up piles of leaves and dumping them into large trucks. I suppose it would not be unreasonable to think that one could toss one's old Xmas tree onto a pile of leaves and the city will take care of it. But...that's not what happens. Eventually, all the leaves are gone, but the trees remain.

The other factor which directly contributes to the belief that the city picks up your unwanted trees is that the city actually DOES pick up your unwanted trees. However, there are some terms and conditions, which of course no one reads.

I didn't know about the city's policy until I had decided to blog about this. Breaking with my usual methods, I decided to actually do some research before shooting off my proverbial mouth. It turns out that the local solid waste company will pick up your tree for three weeks starting December 26th, as long as you set it next to your trash bin on the day scheduled for your usual visit from the "garbage man".

I think the operative words there are "next to". If you just chuck the tree into the gutter, instead of making it obvious that it belongs with your other waste, well, I think the garbage men are going to ignore it. And if you toss your tree into the street after the three week deadline (which many people seem to do), then there it shall remain until the sun burns out.

So, while I'll admit that there may be fairly valid reasons that the average citizen of my fair city thinks that bunging their tree into the gutter is a perfectly apt method of disposal, that doesn't excuse lazy thinking. Once they see that their tree has never been picked up, maybe some of them figure it out and adopt a different method on subsequent years, but I know there are serial offenders in this town.

What really brought this to a head for me and drove me to my keyboard to burden you with my obsession is one residence in particular. A few blocks from my residence, on a route I frequently take to and from work and errands, one house had done the tree-in-the-gutter thing. I didn't think too much about it, because it's such a common sight this time of year. Then, a few days later, two large pumpkins appeared next to the tree. They were whole pumpkins, not carved jack-o'-lanterns, but had been painted up, obviously as Halloween decorations. One bore silver and black vertical stripes. This being northern California, I can only assume that there was the emblem for the Oakland Raiders on the side of the pumpkin turned away from me. The other seemed to have some kind of floral pattern on a white background.

This really bugged me. How could anyone think that the city's limited Christmas tree removal policy would also include your other unwanted organic holiday decorations? What's more, there is no earthly reason that those pumpkins couldn't be put in the waste bin. What the serious hell?

I find this unfathomable. I have half a mind to toss their stupid gourds onto their porch, but I'm sure they wouldn't derive any lesson from that, and I might get caught and beaten, or jailed, or both.

Thanks for listening. I feel better now.