Thursday, October 18, 2007

Drivers in Suburban and Expeditions

If you drive a big SUV like a Suburban or a Expedition, this does NOT automatically mean you have the right of way. I realize you are bigger than me and would crush my little Honda Hybrid if you hit me, but because you drive a bigger vehicle does not give you the right to drive like a moron. Secondly, there are these things on your steering wheel called TURN SIGNALS, please locate them right now and start to use them. I can not stand you drifting into my lane with no signal at all and you expect me to realize that you wanted to move over. Do I look like a mind reader? Third, if you miss your turn or about to pass your exit, do not take the right of way away from me just so you can try to make it in almost taking my front end off my car. You need to take the next exit and take the whip around. Fourth, if you can not park your big monster, gas guzzling SUV, you do not need to be driving one.

Lunch at Jack In the Box

I am rolling into work late today today and figured I would stop and get some lunch. I wanted Chik-Fil-La but the line was wrapped around the building. I decided to stop at the Jack in the Box around the corner from my work. I roll up to the window and this guy takes my order. I ordered the sirlon burger combo meal. When I get to the window, this lady who takes my money is a Hispanic lady with a thick accent. It reminded me of George Lopez's story about Mexicans working at Jack in the box. "You wanna Yumbo Yak? You wanna french fries?" The kid responds, "No sir, my friends are fine." It was all I could do not to start laughing while this lady took my money.

I admire anyone that is working at all, even if it is at a fast food place. Of course, fast food restaurants seem to hire anyone that can barely speak english. I have gotten rotten service at the Burger King and the Taco Bell in Kyle and Buda, TX. When you roll to the drive through, the person working at the drive thru will usually go, "Yeah? Anytime you are ready." Geesh, what kind of greeting is that? This woman at the Jack in the box was very friendly and professional. It just amazes me that a fast food restaurant would put someone who has a thick accent or has problems communicating because they are hard to understand to work at the drive thru.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My great aunt from Monroe, LA

My great aunt finally moved in with my parents. She has been talking about doing that for years. I never thought she would move. She was living in my grandmother's house in Monroe, LA where my dad grew up. The whole neighborhood has gone downhill for years. My dad had mentioned the house was in dire need of repair. He ended up selling the land for like $5000 with the house and then paid $1100 to get it knocked down. My great aunt is in her 80s. My dad lived with her while she was in college. She is a sweet lady.

During her move, she told my parents she was bringing her 3 dogs with her. She never had children, so the dogs are like her kids. She had a couple who was coming to San Antonio anyway bring her. She was only able to get 2 dogs in the car with her because the other one was too scared to get in the car. A few days later, I find out that my dad, who has medical problems as is, is driving her to Monroe, LA which is a 9 hour drive, getting the dog and driving back.

I called my father to check on him and he was fine. When they got to Monroe, they were trying to get the 3rd dog and the dog bit my dad. They eventually got the dog in the car and they drove back to San Antonio. My dad ended up going to the hospital because of the dog bite.

My mother is biting her to tongue with regards to my great aunt and her dogs. She was like, "I can't say anything about those dogs. Those are her kids." I responded, "Mom, its YOUR house. You should have laid down the law and said that you can only bring 1 dog or 2 dogs tops." My mom was telling me she is worried about my Dad because with his medical problems she is worried that he is going to have another heart attack from trying to get the house ready for my great aunt and having to go back and forth to Monroe.

What is even more ironic, my great aunt has a room with a bed in it. The first night she was at my parents house, she slept on the porch to make sure the dogs were ok. My mom came home that day and found she had cleaned the porch completely. My dad then went out and bought her one of those Aero Beds so she can sleep on the porch and be with those dogs. On one hand, I think it is good that my great aunt cames to live with my parents. My parents are pack rats. This is forcing them to purge much of their clutter. I have even offered to come in and do painting and lay new tile to help them improve their house. My great aunt is also going to pay them money every month since she is going to be living there which will help with the added grocery expense. On the other hand, my dad has a lot of medical problems already. He does not need to add to them with street from my great aunt's move and her 3 dogs.

I already do call my parents once a week to check in on them. I will definitely have to start calling them more frequently and make sure my father takes care of himself.

Updates from my middle brother

I have started to make a habit of calling my middle brother at least once a week. He and I had never been real close. He is the one that thinks since he is the middle child, everything should be handed to him. My mother bought the land that his trailer is sitting on. He told my mother that he would pay her back. My mother saw about $200 from him and nothing more. I laugh because my mother complains, "We do not have any money." I usually tell her, "Yeah you do, John's trailer is sitting on top of it." His wife is my age and were in the same graduating class. I knew of her, but did know her personally. She always has this "sour puss" look on her face at family get togethers and sits there with her arms crossed like she is upset about something. She hardly ever speaks to me. She has a short leash on my brother. Every time I see his kids, I try to visit with them. Recently, his wife has started getting a little better in the "being social" department.

My brother got his bachelors degree about a year and a half ago. He was working for a Radiological Office but got fired from that job. He worked at a hotel for like the third or forth time just to bring some money in. My son's mom got a job at Home Depot supply in New Braunfels. I had made mention that he should apply. He did and got hired on. He works in the credit department in a big call center. During the summer, he was trying to get a teaching job and was offered a few jobs outside of the San Antonio area. Of course, his wife would not let him relocate his family outside the San Antonio area. She is too close to her own family. My brother has the dreams of being a coach, which I think is a great dream to strive for. In his mind, he wants a coaching job his first year teaching. My suggestion to him is to get his foot in the door of a school district and then worry about getting a coaching job. He has taken the Exit test a few times. It is never mentioned how many times he has taken it. The last time I had asked him about it, he told me it was going to a review session in San Marcos for that test. He is like my mother that never does well on tests. The other big problem is that he does not have teacher's certification. He has had schools tell him they will not even look at his resume without that.

He tells me in an email that he wants to quit his Home Depot job and go substitute at East Central. I asked him if he would make what he was making at Home Depot subbing and he tells me he would have to get a part time job at a hotel to make up the difference. I try to explain to him that would cut into his family time and he needs to be working during the day so he can be home with his kids. I told him to just hang loose with his Home Depot gig until another teaching job opens up. I also tell him he needs to start looking at other school districts. I will say he has been trying to get his foot in the door. I think he needs to step up his search in trying to get a teaching job and stop thinking he is going to be a coach his first year out as a teacher.

I think God wants me to be the older, wiser brother to help direct my brothers, to help point them in the direction they need to be. I am happy to help my brother out in any way I can. I just would hate to see him make choices to where his family would never see him because he is always working to makes ends meet.

Hot Dogs at Exxon?

I am at Exxon the other day getting a drink. I usually will grab something healthy like a granola bar to eat in addition to my drink. The big joke I normally use when my son can not decide what he wants to eat is, "I'll buy you hot dogs at Exxon. They are 2 for a $1." There was this well dressed lady in the Exxon and she was making chili cheese hot dogs. She sat in front of that chili and cheese dispenser for about 10 minutes making sure she got all the extra cheese and chili should could put on the thing. You would have thought it was her last meal.

I have eaten hot dogs at Exxon. They are not bad. It is a quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner while you are on the road or going from one place to another and need to put something in your stomach. It just amazes me how people just to try to get everything they can from that $.99 hot dog. The condiments are free, but do not just sit there for over 10 minutes to make sure you get a ton of cheese and chili that comes from a dispenser that squirts out by pressing a button. It is not nice, fat , juicy steak. It is a hot dog that is 2 for $.99, get it, put your chili and cheese and go. That is why they call it, "Grab and go" not "Grab and engorge yourself".

iPhone lawsuit seeks over $1 billion in damages

Lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T seeking $1.2 billion in damages because the iPhone is locked to AT&T’s wireless network. The suit also notes that Apple will not allow unauthorized applications on the iPhone.

First of all, give me a freaking break. You knew that iPhone would only work on AT&T and they are in a partnership for a few years. Eventually, it will not be locked to only AT&T. If you knew this ahead of time, why sue? Should I go into Burger King and sue because they do not sell McGriddles? Should I sue Honda because my car will not run on BioDiesel when I knew I was buying a hybrid to begin with?

Secondly, this is a new product. Apple will eventually open up the door to developers to develop all kinds of apps on the iPhone, which will make the iPhone a even more valuable tool. There is already VoIP and Messaging on it via the Safari browser. These people just need to give it some time and eventually you will have a iPhone not locked down to the AT&T network and all kinds of apps being developed for the iPhone.

Our legal system is already locked up with silly lawsuits. Instead of whining about AT&T and trying to sue, why not do something useful with your time? What about building a house for Habitat for Humanity? Why not volunteer at a hospital? Why not go after auto manufacturers and the government to start making better fuel efficent cars? We have the technology to do so. We need to cut down on our emissions before we do more damage to the world that we have already done. Life is too short to be locking up our legal system with preposterous lawsuits like these. These people need to redirect their energies to do good in the world instead of wasting time and money.