Friday, October 17, 2008

This year's birthday post

On Thursday I said a stupid thing at work and I continue to hear those words in my head--as my brother Muleskinner said during our phone call on Friday (He always calls Johnny-on-the-spot for my birthdays.) that words always hurt more than sticks and stones . . . and they bounce around in your memory for a lot longer. I apologized for my stupidity and I hope it'll be okay.

The kids did very well during Lynda's absence. They try harder (I think) to be good listeners and they play more willingly with each other when L goes on a business trip. It like they know to cut the home-bound parent a little slack when he's a man down. (That also means that they don't feel the need to be so conscientious when we're both here, I guess.) The fact remains that they are, without a doubt, excellent kids.

I took my birthday off from work (something I have not done in past years). I planned to have fun and relax, but my plans were changed for me when the van began showing symptoms of brake problems--ABS dash light kept coming on and a slight shuddering resistance one time when I depressed the brake. So, I "took advantage" of my day off and promptly threw it away by spending the hours between 9 and 1 sitting in the service center's lobby. I listened to podcasts (four of them, totaling 2.5 hours) and read two issues of Newsweek. But I was still staring at four walls in a small waiting area for the entire morning. Finally the mechanic said the brake pads and rotors were in good shape and didn't require changing for another 6 to 8 months and that the dash light is too intermittent to indicate a specific problem. The computer for the van indicated that it was a left rear wheel speed sensor (????) that was acting up and that I should let the issue turn into a "hard fail" permanent dashboard light warning before fixing. So, I only had to pay $33--along with the additional expense of my entire morning.

I resurrect the rest of my day off, I decided to get lunch at a new chicken restaurant close to the office that I hoped would bring back memories of my favorite college-era chicken restaurant. (The verdict? A pretty close match.) However, I discovered that because this was the opening week of the restaurant, a free food promotion was going on that day. It was, of course, monetarily good for me but the crowd in the parking lot made it less smooth than I was hoping for. Is it a sign of the economic times that people were lined up so far for free chicken or just an indicator that people love new fast food novelty and friend chicken? (Given the enormous lines at Chipotle before the 2nd Great Depression began, I'm choosing the second option. But keep on "committing to be fit Columbus!"

I got my free chicken and went home to watch "Good Night and Good Luck." It was a good movie, but now I feel like a putz for watching TV for enjoyable pablum all these years of my life rather than letting it educate and en-noble me. Thanks, George Clooney and ghost of Edward R. Murrow! 

No comments: