Vance Gilbert

November Bits & Pieces

From the "I'm Just Saying" Files:

I just saw a commercial for an uber-violent World Of Warcraft video game where Chuck Norris not only stars in the game, but looks into the camera at commercial's end and says "I approve of this game".

Isn't this the same outspokenly Christian, philanthropic guy, and advocator of the use of Bible curriculum in the public schools? Am I the only one that sees the disconnect between his Christian beliefs and his promotion of a game that is all about hurting and maiming? I'm just saying...

No Leaves Left Behind:

As I ran this morning with the dogs, (yes, even with this bod - I run…though I look kinda like a toilet paper tube with stick figure arms and legs in shorts...) I saw leaf blowers and their operators, bags of leaves to be taken somewhere else to be dumped, and ultra leaf-free lawns. I know these folks, in a few months time, will mulch their yards with the oddest stuff, like bright red cedar shavings with nary a cedar in sight, or black chocolate bean hull stuff that makes your dog sick. Then they'll feed their lawns all kinds of toxic shit to get it lush. I want to holler into their front doors that that they threw out the best mulch and compost ever in those bags of leaves. Set the mower to mulch or throw on a mulch blade - $40 bucks and 10 minutes and far less expensive than Wilbur's Yard Service - and run that stuff over with the mower. I guess not. People are wrapped up in that old concept of the year round "green lawn". Careful how we use that word "green".

Sammiches on Friday:

Does grape jelly suffice for cranberry sauce when there is none of the latter available and there is a turkey sandwich to be made? And if there is cranberry sauce, is it a sin to used grape jelly because the cranberry sauce available is the kind with actual cranberries in it, and that just taste wrong on a sandwich. Am I in the minority if I add stuffing to my sandwich? I admit, it is making a bread sandwich out of bread...kinda brings the sandwich back to its roots. Am I in the real minority if I add gravy to the sandwich, even if the gravy has gelatinized just a little? Is that so wrong?

Happy Thanksgiving, or, as my native American family/friends would probably say (as I say to meself 1/4 - 1/2 of the time as per my blood heritage) "May this day of mourning be short". I just can't this year...I want a turkey sandwich soooo badly...

Black Friday:

Is there another name we could give this, like "Friday Of Color", or "Day of African American Shopping"? I'm feeling just a little offended. Maybe.


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updated: 6 years ago

The United Event Aftermath

The ACLU tracked down the police report from the MA State Police. Note that this isn't an arrest, there's no warrant for me having fled to Poland, there is no police record, and I'm not on any no-fly list. It is, however, as I suspected - some passenger was panicked by my 1940's historic Polish aircraft reading material, overheard and saw me ask the flight attendant to allow me to keep my fanny pack at my feet, and demanded something be done.

The report also said I "became resistant when she (flight attendant) asked him to place his carryon bag in the overhead compartment". What actually happened is that the flight attendant grabbed the bag and was putting it in the overhead when I said "Ma'am, it's my wallet and I'd rather keep that at my feet..."

Ah, ...what do you expect? Somebody, more than one person for that matter, added two plus two and got twenty-two. It's so sad really. I think the poor woman that reported my suspicious reading and such may have left what was a full (so it was said) flight, because she left her book and her water bottle in the seat pocket in front of her. Gosh knows what was in that water bottle, left all alone by itself. Maybe that should have been investigated...

And the "sketches of airplane cockpits" thing - really, is seat 12B at take-off really the time or place to do some last minute studying before rushing the cockpit with my security-cleared fanny pack loaded with iPhone, wallet, and checkbook...what was I going to do, demand the pilot and co-pilot to advise me what to order from Amazon? Hammacher Schlemmer them to death?

Here's what one pilot (not the pilot from my flight, but one of several who reached out after hearing my story) had to say about the whole mess:

"Not surprising considering the level of customer service that 'we' offer. That flight, was in fact not a United or Continental flight. It was an outsourced flight on a much lower quality airline (not sure which one), as neither UAL or Continental operates EMB 170 aircraft. Most likely, it was Republic, but that matters not as UAL/CO prefers to outsource to the lowest denominator. If there is any way to pass my apologies to Mr. Gilbert please do. It should absolutely not be this way. Unfortunately, the only way this changes is by influencing UAL's business model by eliminating outsourcing to low cost (read low service/experience) carriers."

I flew home from a recent Nashville - Alabama - Atlanta trip ( Nashville was great, BTW, but no, Garth hasn't called…) on Delta with what seemed to be a really warm, people oriented, professional flight crew, and I overheard this flight attendant to passenger exchange behind me:

"Sir, is that your carry-on?" Would you mind very much if I place it in the overhead? Thank you so very much..."

That's how it's done.

On Herman Cain, Redux -

Well, so much for what I wrote last time. It used to be that there was no shame in being Democrat or Republican. There used to be real choice. When did it all become such a sad reality show? When one party seems whorish, the other seems silly, and they, and we, are more divided now than ever. Dems are getting the rap of being the Party that can't do nothin', while the Republican debates paint that party to be a self-cleaning oven.

I am now officially a Whig.

On the Neighbor -

They moved.

Them that inspired the eponymous song of Up On Rockfield, and literally a third of Old White Men's material, them that couldn't stop mowing substantial parts of my lawn, them that sealcoated the road as if it was their driveway, them that dumped their vermiculite-filled pots of old dirt in our front yard, because our "yard" was "the woods and we didn't own it - all just dirt and sticks anyway", them that I finally asked the police to speak to after they mowed and mowed a border around our locally celebrated, frequently photographed, news published, planned, planted meadow because it bordered their driveway (aka our road - see above), blamed our dogs, hated our trees, despised that we hung our laundry out to dry.


They moved.

They took their desire for warmth, lovely 2 year old son, their openly admitted OCD diagnosed, inoperable brain tumored, endless monied, myopically classist, manifest destiny driven, agoraphobic, pregnant again selves back to the other coast.

You'd think we'd be jubilant. Not really. We're like post abuse victims here. And, knowing that first-hand, I don't toss that term around lightly. It's like a tyrant has died or gone. Celebration has been mute - guarded at best.

To risk megalomaniacally quoting my own shid:

I can't unset the setting sun.
And their ain't gonna be no winner
When this war is won.
But these dogs'll put a hurtin'
On a stranger come
That ever lay a hand on the Brakeman's son.

The new neighbor's Atlas Vanline trucks just left 24 hours ago. We met across the fence, and she seems delightful, wondering if we'd be around at some point to help her get acquainted.

We also have a landscaper friend coming with large rocks to delineate one of the property borders.

Her light was out very early after the trucks left, and I imagine her utterly exhausted. My partner is making a Hubbard squash soup to take over with a small loaf of bread as we speak. Later today we'll go open armed, arm in arm, up to her door, knock, and hope for the best. It'd be great if she likes dogs.

updated: 6 years ago