Bag Your Own Damn Groceries or Fail After The Fall of Society

It’s burrito week at our place. Don’t worry, they are pretty light on the beans and heavy on everything else: Guacamole, coleslaw, pico de gallo, and lime and cilantro rice. We were running low on salsa. I made eleven jars last time, but we kind of went through them faster than expected. Since I think it should be a federal offense to have burritos without salsa, I had to run to the store and buy some.

I love our grocery store and have been going there for years. Let me tell you though, I do not like it around meal time or after brunch hours. Basically, when hipsters appear en masse. The aisles are narrow and some folks simply stand there in slack jawed amazement at the sights and sounds of a busy store. Literally. They stand there and wonder what it is they went to the store for. How about a pad and pencil so you can make a fucking list? Okay, I am getting mad about something I am not even mad about, this time.

I flew into the store and grabbed the salsa that I wanted. It is salty and delicious. Not as good as my homemade stuff, but still delicious. I headed to the cash register. All of them were quite full, so I picked one and proceeded to space out. It is a trick I have taught myself in recent years. A good way to increase patience and let the time fly. Because time flies when you’re not paying attention.

That was me, until I became aware of two customers in front of me. After requesting plastic bags, she just stood there. Her card was in her hand and for a moment she acted like she may start bagging her own groceries. That is, until she remembered that she is the queen of the universe; that she had a line of people behind her and an able bodied cashier to do it for her. So, there she stood. A growing pile of groceries and several plastic bags in front of her. All she had to do, was put them together. She didn’t. The cashier finished ringing her up and quickly placed her items in the bags.

Seems to be more proof that we are screwed as a race. I could also, just be high strung. Am I crazy? Either way, see you at the end!

 

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Gluten Free and Zero Fuchezes

I bought a bag of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos at the store last night. I can’t remember the last time I had some. I typically don’t buy them because they don’t seem to be all that good for you and they are pretty damn expensive. They also don’t last very long around me and last night may have been a record.

I didn’t care about health or cost yesterday. I was tired of the rain. I was even more tired of bad news. Thoroughly dejected, I strode into Safeway and bought some overpriced gamer gourmet goodness. It took every fibre of my moral being to not tear open the bag as soon as I had paid for it. If it hadn’t been raining and I didn’t want wet chips, I probably would have failed. However, I continued to make saving throws against temptation all the way home. Mostly because I had put the chips in the trunk.

As soon as I got in the door and washed my hands, it was on! The place was in disarray because I just dropped everything and started eating Doritos. My wife sent me a text to let me know she was on the bus. This was when I would typically start warming up leftovers. Not this day though, I was eating Do-fuckin-ritos! I just kept eating and eating.

As I did so, I watched the news, but had no idea what they were saying due to the crunching sounds in my head. In the end, it probably didn’t matter anyway. People are upset, people are dying, and something funny happened on the internet. What did matter, was the bag of Doritos in my hand and keeping the supply line open.

Feeling like I should earn my keep, I started to prepare dinner. Every now and then I would grab another chip or two. When my wife got home, she remarked on how many Doritos I had eaten and we ate real food. However, my dinner was basically ruined. As I was pretty much too full to eat. Even so, I still had room for more Doritos after dinner.

Later on, it was time to bake cookies. I had managed to stay out of the Doritos for a good thirty minutes. When baking though, there are no rules. I got back into that bag. Eventually, there came a point where I realized that I could almost see the bottom of the bag. Only a few typical full sized Doritos remained on a bed of crumbs. Half disgusted and partly amazed with myself, I put the bag away. That is until I started to write this and remembered that some still remained.

New Viewing Context: Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday

*Very minor spoilers follow; things that are apparent in the first few minutes of viewing.*

My wife and I watched Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday the night it was made available and all in all, I enjoyed it. Although I was kind of apprehensive about watching it at first, because rewatching the TV series made me realize I didn’t like it all that much and Large Marge scarred me for life. Let me tell you though, I am glad I watched this one.

Viewers get to see Pee-Wee’s hometown and the people that inhabit it. There is a lot more to it than we have been lead to believe – at least from what I remember. Also, Pee-Wee is the coolest guy in town, which is strange because he is also, the oddest. If any normal person saw him creeping around their real-life neighborhood, they would avoid eye contact and quicken their pace.

So, where is this new viewing context? Well, I came up with it early on in the movie and for that reason, I think it made the movie beautiful. I had a thought that somewhere, in a hospital bed or on the side of the road, Pee-Wee, is lying in a coma or something. Perhaps he is an elderly man with Alzheimer’s and hyperkinesia. Some sort of trauma has caused the brain to lock off a chunk of time. A fantasy land that Pee-Wee can be a total weirdo and at the same time, be the most popular guy in town. A place that seems like it should exist just off of Route 66 during its heyday.

This was made concrete as Pee-Wee makes no reference to any of his previous movies or the tv show. Not that anyone specifically asks, but he doesn’t remember them at all. That made me think about the TV show in this context as well and it all just made sense. That pretty much sealed it for me. This strange land that is our own and yet is most assuredly not. While the time frame seems to be contemporary, there are too many instances where it is clearly not.

In general, it is a menagerie of scenes and settings. As if, a brain is exploding and replaying random events all at the same time. People from bygone eras appear and intermingle. All the while, Pee-Wee has a difficult time controlling his face and bursts of sound that resemble laughter.

While this context does seem a little sad, the movie is so happy it somewhat cancels it out. Trust me, this makes for a sublime movie viewing. Besides, if you’ve read this far, it may be a little difficult not to recall while watching Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.

 

Two Homeless Guys On A Bus

It came to light this week that two homeless men from Saskatchewan had ridden a bus to British Columbia. That doesn’t sound very interesting, but the why and how is. The Saskatchewan government provided the tickets. This is apparently not that unusual. Provincial governments have been known to purchase bus tickets for people who are out of province and need to get home. However, in this case the one-way tickets were out of province bound.

On the surface, it seems sleazy for a province to export its homeless. At the same time, the reason for all of this was a cut to funding. These two men had nowhere else to go. The spaces they currently had, had no more resources for them. They were getting kicked out and cut off. Climate wise, it would seem far better to be homeless in Vancouver than Northern Saskatchewan.

There were several soundbites regarding this issue. A lot of people were pissed off, as one would expect. Provinces should simply not export homeless to another province with no notice or plan. However I have a feeling that, if proper communication channels were used, the B.C. government would have ultimately shut it down. All the while these two men would have been fending for themselves.

Vancouver already has a homeless problem. A problem that it can’t seem to fix outright. A problem whose epicenter is right where everyone wants to develop. Which seems to be the only reason why the government cares in the first place. To that end, the municipal government’s solution is to load people up on buses and drop them off somewhere else. Basically, to thin the problem by spreading it out. There is one such example, literally two blocks away from the Vancouver and Burnaby border. Pretty much as far as they could legally move them. Out of sight, out of mind. That is the thing with Vancouver. The only reason why it wants to “fix” this issue is because it is right where the money is. As soon as homeless are out and zillion dollar buildings are going up, the issue will probably be considered resolved.

At the same time, British Columbia recently opened its doors to Syrian refugees. Exactly how many, I’m not certain. Definitely more than two. Is there a good plan in place to get them set up with places to live and work? Mostly, yet some still haven’t found a place to permanently reside yet; Vancouver housing problem much? Those relocated to other areas of the province seem to be finding residences and work. I am sure a few more logistical issues will arise as it seems impossible to transplant that many people smoothly.

What I am getting at is, if a country as a whole can bring in 10,000 refugees in with a plan that will work for a majority of them, then a municipal government should be able to handle two guys. I mean, it isn’t like they really care anyway. They will more than likely give them a bit of funding and a hand with the paperwork, then plop them down somewhere, never to think about them again. I guess accepting homeless guys just isn’t that trendy.

The Electric Company: A Shocking Realization

I live in beautiful British Columbia, in the GVRD to be specific. We get our electricity from our plentiful amounts of water. We also, like to call our electricity, hydro. Ever since the economy crashed and western culture – somewhat – turned toward green technologies, BC Hydro has had this campaign, Power Smart. The whole idea of the campaign is to get people to turn off their power when they aren’t using it. What a great idea to make people aware of how they are wasting money and impacting the environment.

I thought it was really cool at first. A big company telling people not to be jerks, that’s progress! However, as time went on I started to wonder why a company that makes money when I turn stuff on, would be reminding me to shut it off. In hindsight, I should have figured it out right away.

Basically, BC Hydro wants residents to shut stuff off so it can sell excess power at a premium. That is right, the hydro we don’t use is sold at a higher price to other areas. There are probably some tax kickbacks as well. Maybe BC Hydro can state that the excess power is a loss. Maybe it can say that due to the Power Smart Campaign it is trying to save the environment and get some tax credits that way. Maybe it is just flat out more money in general and there are no loopholes.

It isn’t illegal and I know that BC Hydro is just a squirrel in this world, trying to get a nut. However, it does seem a little shifty to be so preachy, just so it can make more money. What if your Mom told you to not eat everything on your plate. Then she would go sell your leftovers to the weird neighbor kid. That isn’t wrong, but it isn’t quite right either.

Of course, I am just spit balling here. Until recently, it was just a hunch and even now I don’t have all that much evidence. Although, last week there were some talks and articles revolving around BC and Alberta. British Columbia hasn’t been very open to letting Alberta crude flow through the province on its way to the pacific. Now, Alberta has a bargaining chip as the BC government was planning on selling excess electricity from the Site C dam. Turns out, Alberta just isn’t that interested because BC isn’t interested in oil. Kind of a pickle isn’t it? Well, there is always Washington!

Trump vs. The Raccoons

Recently, I read an article written by a Trump supporter. I just had to know the inner workings of their mind. I thought I maybe I would come to understand what the attraction is. Hell, I thought I may even find, the love. The article was essentially about how Washington has started fail people in order to keep career politicians employed. I agreed with that part. I see a bunch of partisan babies unwilling to compromise, unwilling to do the right thing. Why won’t they move legislation along? Because the other party came up with the idea or because it goes against the hardline definition of what their party stands for.

Which is rather laughable. The party lines have become fairly blurred. Sure they have abortion and guns they can disagree on, but both love them some war, spying on citizens and lobbyists. That last one makes them love whatever their lobbyists love.

I admit the situation seems quite dire and not likely to improve. Even worse, I am certain that whatever we have sown has not fully yielded yet. There are no quick ways to fix it either. Although, I do have one solution that may blow off some steam. I think congress needs to be pulled out on the front lawn with their pants around their ankles and swatted.

The author of the article saw other failings as well. It wasn’t surprising to see refugees and illegal immigration topping the failings list of a Trump supporter. That wasn’t all though, the article went on to say that the country was in debt and seen as weak by other countries.

I can’t argue against the debt part, but I don’t think we are seen as weak. Ruthless, soulless, money-hungry, fat-ass pricks maybe, but not weak. With all the death, destruction and insurgency the U.S. has caused, there is no way we could appear weak. In fact, when it comes to insurgency we are downright inspiring!

All of the author’s ideas were conveyed through a metaphor about raccoon extermination. Basically, the candidates are competing pest removal specialists. All of them are lazy and won’t take the job. Somehow, between xenophobic bouts of turrets and talking about the size of his man-dangler, Trump says he will take the job and guarantees he will get rid of the raccoons that are living the house.

My immediate resolution imagery was that of Trump standing in grimy coveralls in front of a house. He holds a metal box in his hand and twists the knob. Behind him, the house explodes. One of those great fiery explosions, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the cancelation of Miami Vice. One of those explosions that send the boards careening in every direction. Presumably, the raccoons are gone.

The author never went into detail about how Trump would get rid of the raccoons. In fact, the author didn’t seem too pragmatic or care what the answer was. Instead, the author was just fed up and angry with politicians and thinks that Trump is the answer. Which I can see where he is coming from, but disagree on the answer.

I will give the author that Trump’s actions are refreshing in comparison to his competition. Unfortunately, they are as refreshing as a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. While the first few moments of chewing Juicy Fruit border on euphoria, one is ultimately left with a tasteless white thing they have to deal with until they are able to find an appropriate and ethical means of disposal.

By the time I finished the article, I could see the attraction. Hell, I didn’t need the article for that. It’s pretty obvious what the attraction is. The guy is a snake oil salesman! Mostly because he says he will fix everything, but does not provide specifics. Then proceeds to be a base knuckle dragger. He doesn’t inspire people to become better. Instead, he inspires them to drag others down to their level, forcibly in a lot of cases. To be blunt and speak my mind, a trait his supporters love, I did not find love for the hot air billowing busted ass elastic ass bag.

Takin’ Her For A Spin

For a little over the last year I have been looking into getting a laptop. What started it all was a heavy interest in chromebooks. I figured why not? I didn’t want to spend a lot money. A majority of the time I spend in front of the computer at home is spent writing. Somedays after a day of sitting at a desk all day, I want to get up and go sit somewhere else.

Of course reviews of chromebooks have been a little dicey. I wasn’t sure if I was fully ready to let go of windows. While there are plenty of apps and extensions for chrome, there was an uneasiness for leaving an ecosystem I’ve used for most of my life. What if I want to install some random program? Is the google print cloud that big of a nightmare?

I wasn’t sure how I felt about getting a little light laptop to do all my work. For that reason I looked around at a lot of other laptops. To be honest a lot of Windows laptops would get me in the range that I would start spending more and more money. Why not throw on an extra $500 and get a better graphics card? Why not spend over $1000 and future proof this thing? Of course a good chunk of that money seemed to always go towards touchscreens and the ability to have a tent. Which were areas I wasn’t interested in. On top of it all, they just kept getting larger and heavier. I started losing the point. Lost sight of what got me started.

When this all started, I wanted an inexpensive laptop and if it were red, so much the better. In the weeks before buying I did a lot of research on the various builds. I settled on the Asus C300. I showed my wife and she hit the buy button for me. And that was that. This is my inaugural post on this bad boy. One of many. I have a crap load of tabs open and music streaming and it is running just as well as my desktop. Am I pleased? Yes.