A cobbled together semi-rant

Bowling, Fantasy Football, Injuries, Las Vegas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Wave, My-Sugar-Na, Religion, Television, US Cellular Arena, Vacation, West Allis, Xtreme Soccer League

1)  When you are driving on the freeway in the snow and the rest of the traffic is going 45 MPH, then YOU should go 45 MPH or else get off the freeway.  If you are afraid to maintain freeway speeds in the snow, park the car in the garage and take the bus.  Along those lines, JS Online had a poll question that asked what annoys people most after a snowfall, fast drivers or slow drivers.  It was a dumb question, it should have asked "which drivers are more dangerous in the snow, fast drivers or slow drivers?"  Slow drivers are far more dangerous because everyone is trying to go around them causing cars to slide while switching lanes, and causing the pokey drivers to panic and drive even slower.  I was behind a car with an easy to memorize vanity plate.  I won't call out her car here, but if I ever get stuck behind her and find that she is soley causing a traffic disaster on I-894 southbound between the Zoo and the Hale again, I will identify her.

2)  Companies (and the one I work for is one of them) have this nice touchy-feeley line in the employee manual that says that it is important to strike a balance between work and family, and that we give you X-number of vacation days (based on tenure).  Then around Thanksgiving, they send the ominous "Use 'em or lose 'em" memo.  If they were so concerned about my balance, they wouldn't have had a problem with me carrying three days into next year... but I digress.  I had three vacation days to burn in December and took the three Mondays off.  Other than shovel snow and make dinner, I did nothing constructive on those days.  Great for balence, eh?

3)  Fantasy Football stinks.  And not just because I finished 7-7 (for the third year in a row) and missed the playoffs and prize money.  Bill Simmons said it the best (read the Chicago Bears comments), but to summarize, it is basically a $120 lottery.  In August you lose yourself in football websites at the expense of family to "prepare" for the draft, in September you dump the $120 entry fee (and if you are truly a sucker like me, you pay $26 for a website that does the week-to-week homework for you).  You spend countless hours caring about an otherwise meaningless Bengals/Browns game because your 3rd best running back is playing (because your best running back got injured the prior week and may not play, but by the time you choose that Browns RB, your first RB is not only healty but scores three TDs).  Despite Chef Tomas' help, my season basically ended 7 minutes into the first game on the first Sunday as my QB Tom Brady got injured.  I picked #3 in the draft and took Brady, and he got me 3 points for the entire season.  By the way, next year's draft is the first Wednesday in September at Riviera Lanes.  If you are interested....

4)  Back to the snow (because, well, it snows every third day, so it should be part of every third rant); My driveway is very long and in back fans out to a three-car garage.  In minor snowfalls, it isn't a big deal to shovel/snowblow.  But in major storms or when the snow is wet and heavy, our snowblower gets cranky (and I get crankier because that driveway seems to get longer).  I had a bright idea to call a couple of plowing services, but I couldn't believe what they quoted.  What happened to guys with plowing attachments on their pick-up trucks doing driveways for $20?

5)  The Christmas music on XM has disappointed me this year.  Last year, the "Holiday Traditions" station (XM channel 36) played the more traditional music and had quite a few instrumentals.  This year, it seems like there is far less variety, and apparently the after the merger with Sirius, the definition of "Tradition" has changed.  They didn't go a far as programming the warbling Kelly Clarkson or Celine Dionne, but I personally banned the station after hearing three times at work yesterday (in my best Casey Kasem voice) The new Number One Hated Christmas Song, The Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling".  This morning, I dug out my three Mannheim Steamroller CDs, The Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Boogie-Woogie Christmas" and Harry Connick's "Harry for the Holidays" and took them to work.  All I am missing is my Neil Diamond Christmas cassette tape.

6)  I will be going to Chicago (well, Hoffman Estates) to watch the Milwaukee Wave play the Chicago Storm this Saturday.  I will also watch the rematch from the US Cellular Arena on New Year's Eve.  I plan on comparing the venues, presentation, talent, etc., and talk about the new XSL.  If I get around to it, I will also comment on the rival NISL.

7)  I have a theory on how TV weather forecasters predict snowfall amounts.  First, be the first to predict any snow.  Then let your competitors quote an expected amount (say, 2" - 4").  Then another competitor tops it (3" - 6").  By this time, the storm has gotten closer and the original predictor not only tops it (5" - 10"), but also pin points it to neighborhoods.  The bottom line is that the fish will go to the TV station with the most ominous forecast, so the forecasters need to have the biggest hook.  As long as I am beating up on TV weatherdorks, didja ever notice that when TV stations interrupt their programming for an update from the weather office, the guy has his tie loosened, his top button undone, the coat off and the sleeves rolled up.  20 minutes later when the local news starts, he is fully dressed.  MARKETING, PEOPLE.  That rolled-up-sleeve look is to make you think he is working hard... and everybody falls for it.  They aren't making the weather, they are looking at the radar and reading the National Weather Service alerts.  I am not saying that the weather guys aren't trained and are or aren't worth their money.  I am saying that during rough weather, they are not working so hard that they have to get practically undressed.  They do it so you think they are working that hard.

8)  Which public agency will be the first to cancel an activity or meeting tonight because it is supposed to snow starting between 9:00 and midnight?  Never mind.  I just checked and the Greendale Park and Rec department cancelled an activity for tonight.  It isn't even supposed to START snowing until bedtime!  Arrggghhh!  

9)  Las Vegas got their largest December snowfall in history (4+ inches in some spots) yesterday in the storm that is headed our way.  I can't wait to call a former supplier in Las Vegas and complain to him about sending his weather to us!

10)  Wrap up... My-Sugar-Na said she wanted to guest blog, still waiting... Mitten told me this morning as I was driving him to his school bus stop that it looked like people were already driving slower because snow was expected later today.  And when I looked around, he was right... Gasoline, steel and copper prices are crashing, why am I not seeing price decreases from my suppliers?...  My elbow is feeling much better and my bowling scores are showing it.  I am looking forward to tournament season starting in January... Nice... Not that I am promoting this, but just passing along that the Lingerie Football League has placed a team in Chicago for the 2009 season... Our company is catering lunch tomorrow.  Should be lots of leftovers as I can't imagine good attendance tomorrow... Don't say Happy Holidays.  At least man-up and say which holiday that you want to be happy.  Merry Christmas, Solemn Ramadan, Kwazy Kwanzaa, whatever.  But this is still a country founded by Christians, don't be afraid to say Merry Christmas; you'll be right far more often then you'd be wrong...  If you enjoy my blog, don't be afraid to tell him that I deserve a Christmas Bonus.

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