Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First-world pet peeves

I got trouble, right here in River City.

To wit: The worthless ephemera that bedevils my days and distracts me from being a useful citizen of the world.

Let me bore you with details:

Vanity, thy name is obvious: If you're going to the trouble and expense of getting a vanity license plate, why get one that says:
It's for a Brown Audi SQ5 sport utility vehicle. I can tell because the vehicle right in front of me at the stoplight is brown, and the chrome raised letters on the tailgate — not a foot from the license plate — reads SQ5.

Really, that's how you want to fritter money and paperwork?

(I changed the color and car model to protect the real Captain Obvious; but If you happen own a Brown Audi SQ5 with this license plate, what's the matter with you?)

Almost as bad: Whoever gets a plate that reads, for example, 
MY C250
Thanks, "My." Also, you could have just gotten a regular plate for the same effect.

If you're gonna do this, do it right. Roaming the Interwebs right now is a picture of a white Nissan Cube with Utah plates that spell out the chemical signature of a sugar (glucose) molecule C6H12O6.

My aunt's husband did it right, too, way back when vanity plates were a novelty. His made the legendary Herb Caen's San Francisco Chronicle column, as I understand it, for 2TH FERY (he was an orthodontist) and 7ISENUF (for his new blended family).

Everything else is a wasteful gesture.


Paper trail: Last Easter, while Nancy was away taking care of her parents, I was a bachelor in need of six items at Safeway®™.
(Yes, I've stored away a blog item for more than a year.)
For that, the cashier gave me a receipt and assorted coupons amounting to 19 inches of paper (right).

They fluttered like heraldic banners behind me until I stopped at an empty checkout stand to fold them, four times, into my wallet.

It's bedtime literature. Now I know
  • my cashier's name
  • that I needed three more points for a free sandwich, which I never eventually got — mostly because I don't read my receipts
  • that I can take an online survey (in which I might have asked why Safeway©™why it needs 19 inches of paper to document six grocery items)
  • that the gasoline discount program requires a great deal of explanation
How much might Safeway®™ save by not telling me these things?

The receipt does nothing more now than fill a file drawer of other multiply folded pieces of paper, deferring their cyclical journey to the recycling bin until the taxman saith I can.


Johnny Football loves you: I hate ESPN™© because ESPN®™ hates baseball.

The sports network seems to do it all it can to avoid covering baseball. I'd bet a fair bit of money that if you turned to SportCenter™® right at this moment, somebody will be talking about quarterback Johnny Manziel and his chances in the upcoming National Football League draft. ESPN©™ loves Johnny Manziel, can't stop talking about him, because it if does, it might have to talk about baseball.

Baseball season has begun, so like sucking on a toothache I flip to ESPN™® just in case it has changed its policy on covering baseball. Nope. Johnny Manziel®™. National Basketball Association playoffs. Johnny Manziel©™. National Hockey League playoffs. NFL draft.

This is the ESPN coverage breakdown:
  • Football — NFL, college and draft blather — 87 percent
  • Basketball — NBA, college and the umpteenth edition of who's the best: Michael Jordan®™, LeBron James©™ or Kobe Bryant®©? (And isn't Kevin Durant™ worthy of consideration?) — 7 percent
  • Lacrosse and auto racing — 2 percent
  • Tiger Woods®™ — 2 percent
  • Hockey — 1 percent
  • New York Yankees®©, Boston Red Sox™® and Los Angeles Dodgers©® — 0.8 percent
  • The rest of baseball, including how the San Francisco Giants®™ are never gonna win the World Series™® — 0.2 percent
I'm biased, of course. I understand, too, that two U.S. sports are in hot playoff races. I understand, three, that baseball is long and boring, not driven by personalities the way football and basketball are. But even in the long summer, when baseball plays alone on the sports horizon, ESPN will see what Johnny Manziel® is up to, and find an excuse to get a bunch of ex-coaches in suits and ties to run around a miniaturized football field on set and re-enact plays from a 2013 wild-card game.

[On the other hand, I like an ESPN®™ show, Highly Questionable, that I stumbled on last week. It's just two sports commentators, Dan Le Batard and Bomani Jones — and Dan's dad, Gonzalo, a big fan of sports and a bigger fan of his son (he leads into commercials with, "Coming up next on my son's TV show …") — sitting at a tiny chrome-and-Formica™© kitchen table answering video-clip-aided current events questions, some of them about sports.

[The hosts like each other. It's like having coffee with three people who know way more about sports than me, but don't make me feel bad about it.]


OK, got that out of my system. Until next time.


Now to important matters: Happy birthday to Jeanette Shearer and Willie Mays.


  1. i wanna know what a $.05 crv refrg ntx is?

    1. yer s'posed to save this for bedtime reading! maybe i paid for the store to keep my oj cool?

    2. Ah the gasoline discount program: If you get 100 pts in a month, you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas at a station (like Shell or Chevron) that typically charges 40 cents more a gallon than Arco or Thrifty. 200 pts gets you 20 cents off.

    3. Also note it is a one time discount for the month.

    4. hey! leave us unwashed masses our illusions of economic advantage! ;)