22 September 2008

To stive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

As we being today's driving lesson, good people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am reminded of the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Let's focus on the poem "Ulysses," specifically the last sentence which ends in: "...and not to yield." Take these words to heart, dear students, for they are truly words to drive by.

Let's discuss the concept of the Interstate (or Turnpike, whatever the case may be) on-ramp, keeping Tennyson's poem in mind. The on-ramp is used to enter the flow of traffic on a highway. As highway speeds are, by and large, faster than most road speeds, the on-ramp allows a driver the space necessary to accelerate his/her vehicle so that it is traveling at the same rate of speed as the traffic on the highway. This makes it much easier to merge with the flow of traffic, since drivers on the highway do not have to slow down to allow you to enter the traffic stream.


Forgive me, students, for my momentary lapse in decorum. Let's go back to the Tennyson poem, shall we? " ...and not to yield." It is my fervent hope that I can send you out into the Commonwealth's driving environment having learned this one little lesson: just as the good Lord Tennyson stated, on-ramps are for accelerating, not for stopping or yielding. Stopping at the end of an on-ramp is not only dangerous for you and those behind you, but it's just plain wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And should I find you doing this again, you will be punished severely.

Our next lesson will focus on emergency pull-off locations. They are for emergencies only. Not for stretching your legs, walking the dog, or throwing out a soda can.

Class dismissed.

16 September 2008

Do Want (Hardware Store Edition)

I needed grease last night. When I told Dr. Nate this he naturally assumed that I'd spent my work day getting drunk at home by myself and needed a greasy meal to remedy the resulting hangover.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, darling.

But I really needed actual grease to fix the ball bearings in a tension thingy on my Nordictrack. So we went to the closest hardware store.

And I found something I must have but cannot justify owning: A gallon tin of WD-40.

I didn't realize you could buy WD-40 by the gallon. I want to be the type of person who finds it necessary to buy WD-40 a gallon at a time for actual usage rather than what I'd do with it now which is use it as decoration in the apartment.

Okay, maybe I take that back. I'd like to hang out on the weekends with someone who buys WD-40 by the gallon. I think whatever someone is doing that requires that much WD-40 is probably a lot more manual labor than I'm used to.

Even so, I've got a great corner of a bookcase where that gallon tin would look just smashing.

04 September 2008

RICO Shrubbery

There is a nursery not far from where we live. We drive by it every time we go to the "good" grocery store (as opposed to the somewhat-ghetto-but-perfectly-fine-for-some-stuff grocery store across the street) or head to Lansdale, Pennsylvania's version of Champaign's north Prospect area.

This nursery never appears to be open. Well, there was the one time I drove by at 4:45pm and it was open, but then closed when I drove by again about one hour later. Not open most mornings. Or most afternoons, for that matter. The sign outside of the place hasn't changed (Plant summer flowers! 2 zinnias for $5) since we visited here in mid-July. Who knows how long that sign has been up. 1978?

But, lo and behold the place was actually open last Saturday when we were driving by! So, of course, we stopped. They do have lots of pretty plants around the place though they never seem rotate inventory or sell anything.

We walked into the building and found a group of Italians standing around the front counter chatting in Italian. We were the only other people there. The inventory inside was sparse, there were no prices on anything, 1/2 of the lights weren't on, most of the non-plant things - like pots and little lawn ornaments and whatnot - were covered in cobwebs and dust...

Mafia cover, obviously. Buy one perennial, get one ounce of cocaine absolutely free! "I need to buy some mulch" is probably code for putting a hit on someone.

So we left lest we end up being turned into compost. Literally.

03 September 2008

Sarah Palin

Well, at least she's not mormon.