Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Place: Happy Joe's
Lunch: Lunch buffet, Pepsi

Smiling Counter Girl asks if I have a "buffet card".

I reply "I don't even know what that is."

She doesn't offer to explain.

When I went up for my second plate of food, there wasn't a slice of pizza in sight. Five empty pizza pans. And the two decent hot foods in the warmer bins were empty too.


Back in my teenage years, I had a massive collection of LP's that were neatly alphabetized. Eventually, this became a massive collection of CD's (once approaching 1,000 titles) that were neatly alphabetized.

In the past decade, the dwindling CD collection has turned into several random clusters strewn about the house. There's a few on the desk, a few in the CD software storage, a few downstairs, a few in the pantry, a few in the closet...and no, they aren't alphabetized. Or organized in any fashion.

So I got a big CD storage shelf. Holds 500-plus CD's. Figured I'd put it in the closet and have all my CD's alphabetized and stored together again.

Naturally, it's one of those Sauder units you have to assemble. I swore I'd never buy such a cheap thing again, but after a year of rest from furniture assembly and figuring this thing couldn't take but about eight screws tops to assemble, I'd give it a go.

Yeah. Total disaster.

It's together, sure, but the cheap cardboard back is crooked and puffy. No matter how many times I tried to align the thing. And two of the feet broke while I was trying to put them in. So I don't have feet on the thing.

Then there's those little rubbers you put over the steel shelf support cylinder thingies. Chester ran off with at least a couple of those.

But it'll work.

Oh...And it doesn't fit in the closet, so I had to create room for it.

So I start getting piles of CD's together to organize. This has been far more interesting. I'm finding stuff I had completely forgotten about (which is odd, since I'm sure I loaded all this stuff to iTunes), and occasionally, stuff I didn't realize I had multiple copies of. Don't you hate it when you buy something and go home to discover you already have it? Anyway, it's been like the movie "High Fidelity". You find something, you associate it with something in your past, you start thinking about the past...I hate that.

I was thinking I probably had about 200 CD's. I'm starting to believe the number is higher. But it'll take a few days to finish figuring out. At which point I'll probably look at certain artists and go "I just need a couple of titles to finish their catalog. I should get those."

At the same time, I have a pile of stuff I'm wondering why I ever owned at all. That pile is going to Half Price Books, where they'll offer me something ridiculous like 50 cents per item, then turn around and sell them for $5.

In completely unrelated news, the two big local TV news stations aren't broadasting in HD yet, but at least they're filling the 16:9 screen. The CBS station went SD widescreen on Monday, and the NBC station should be there by the weekend.

So now your whole screen will be filled with a fuzzy image.

Hopefully this means they can overlay weather graphics on HD programming so we don't have to watch crappy 4:3 images on the HD stations when severe weather is happening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Take Off, Eh!

Place: Pizza Ranch
Lunch: The "Mile Long Buffet" (pizza, chicken, pizza, chicken), original Mr. Pibb (put it in your head)

Today is this Pizza Ranch's one-year anniversary...a fact I am only aware of because I moved here a year ago and I tie the two events together.

Nobody here seems to have any awareness of their birthday, though. No birthday promos, no notice, nobody cares...I'm pretty sure nobody really wants to be here at all today.

You know what really bugs me? When people don't know who Bob and Doug MacKenzie are.

I really don't have anything else to say about it. It just annoys me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Place: Ruby Tuesday
Lunch: Sonora Chicken Pasta, garden bar, Coke

SUGGESTED SLOGAN ALTERATION: Ruby Tuesday. Simple, overpriced American dining

I was sad to hear that German coachbuilder Karmann has filed for insolvency.

The name probably doesn't ring a bell to you, but it might if I point out the Karmann-Ghia, the snazzy little coupe of the 1960's...the signature icon of the brand. Ghia designed the body on the VW Beetle platform, and Karmann built them for VW, actually hand-forming some of the sheet metal. Still one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. You could buy one new for around $2500 back in the day.

But Karmann has done far more over its century of existence. Karmann built niche models for nearly a dozen brands over the years. VW's old Beetle and Golf convertibles, a couple of Audi's, BMW's, Fords...even an AMC model. It's last contract is the Mercedes CLK.

The company has some convertible top plants outside of Germany that will continue.

I've owned two Karmann-built VW's over the '84 Scirocco and a '90 Corrado. I loved that Scirocco. The Corrado was the worst car I ever owned. A financial drain like no other. It's probably easier to list what DIDN'T go wrong in that thing. Still, it was a head turner, and I was asked a lot of questions about it by people who'd never seen nor heard of them before.

Thanks for the cars, Karmann. You will be missed.