Christmas music: Bah! Humbug!

There are twelve days of Christmas… and none of them are in November.  *sigh*  But nevertheless, it’s that time of year, again. It’s… Christmas time!!! <He said in a chirpy and perky tone of voice.> Yes, that’s me, Mr Perky. Cute and cuddly til the end. So let Mr Perky say this about that…

Bah! Humbug! Humbug to all of you!

Today marks the official, and only marginally acceptable, start of the Christmas season, and with that comes the Christmas music. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like watching little kids get excited about it, and I like the photo gear presents I buy for myself, but the music… ugh! I don’t know what is worse, the peppy tunes, the inspirational new-age stuff, or the insipid traditional crap that no emotionally stable person has ever liked.  Just shoot me now.

Who writes this garbage? Better yet, who listens to it? Some people do, obviously, but I seriously wonder about them. Then there’s the people who listen to it all… day… long… for days… weeks… on end. No, just no, Bad little elf! That’s wrong. The Geneva Convention outlawed this decades ago. You can’t subject people around you to this… this  flat, uninteresting, lackluster, dull, drab, boring, dry, humdrum, ho-hum, monochrome, plodding tedious, pedestrian, trite, tired, hackneyed, stale, lame, wishy-washy, colorless, anemic, lifeless music.  Seriously, it’s inhumane. I’d rather take a calculus test than this. At least the calculus test will end soon. It’s so bad, that given the choice, prisoners in Guantanamo chose waterboarding over non-stop Christmas music.

December 26th never looked so good.

But even I have a soft side, so it’s confession time: In every steaming pile of dog dung in December, there’s a little shiny nugget. I do have a Christmas CD. I am the proud owner of Twisted Sister’s A Twisted Christmas. Not bad.  In fact, so good, they never felt the need to record and release another studio album.  Quit while you’re ahead, baby!

Rant: The “Dumb Run”

A few weeks ago I pontificated about running and jogging and the questionable mental capacity of the people who do this stuff BY CHOICE! That was a fun piece to write, and I enjoyed putting it together and especially choosing the photos, and there was some tongue-in-cheekiness to it. Some. Today, however, comes a rant involving not running per se but runners. Dumb runners.

Scenario: 6:15 am. It’s dark out, sunrise is still about a half hour away, though you can see some light juuuuuust starting to come over the horizon. Driving down a semi-rural road, no sidewalks, no street lights, lots of houses, but spaced apart and in a heavily wooded area. Aaaaaand, the runner.

Dressed in pretty much all black. Black shoes, black sweat pants, black hoodie pulled over his face because it’s also cold out. Running across the street. I could barely see the silhouette of the guy, literally. I dub thee “the dumb run”.

There’s another guy who runs this same route and time, but at least that guy wears a bright yellow safety vest with lots of reflective markings. Personally, I still think that’s kind of dumb as well, but not nearly as much as this other guy who seems to be impersonating a Sasquatch that doesn’t want to be seen.

See this image I included? That’s what this guy looks like to drivers. Clearly discernible… not! I think I’m pretty sure I speak for other drivers when I say that I don’t want to be part of his Darwin Award epitaph.

Price Dickering: Strategies and Games

I don’t sell vehicles very often, but when I do many people employ a tactic that just pisses me off and puts me in the wrong frame of mind (regarding that person) right from the start. I will state a price, and at the very beginning, sometimes before they’ve even seen the vehicle, they will ask some variation of, “What’s the lowest price you’ll take?”


Excuse me, but you want me to give up everything, all leverage, right off the bat? Seriously? No. Either play the game, or go away. The game is negotiation back and forth. And the game goes like is: I set a price –> if you think my price is too high, make an offer of a lower price –> if that lower price is acceptable to me (I usually do have a bottom dollar in mind, but that’s not the point here) I will take it, if it’s not I will either counter with another price, or I will simply reject it. And back on forth until we either agree on a price, or we agree to not deal at all.

This has happened several times in my life.  Maybe they’re hoping I’m selling because I’m desperate and they can get a proverbial ‘steal’ of a deal. Maybe they’re hoping I’m weak and so non-confrontational that I’ll cave without a fight. Maybe they’re just fishing for that ‘steal’ from their recliner and don’t want to go out if this isn’t it. Could be any reason. In most things I am not a very good negotiator, but this tactic in particular sets me off and my attitude hardens immediately. My eyes narrow to slits, and I get this “Don’t eff with me!” look and determination. Now, you are the enemy, and while I will still sell you my vehicle, I am also willing to sit on it for awhile and sell it to someone else if you’re not willing to show me some base level of respect and properly negotiate.

In my experience I find that it is older men that do this. I have never encountered a woman that does, and I do not recall ever encountering a younger man doing this. Always older men, my generation and above. Maybe it’s a generational thing. <shrug>

This morning I get a bite to a Craigslist ad for a vehicle I am selling. The guy has two questions, condition and what the lowest I’ll take. Ok, I described condition in the ad, but I repeated it. Then price. I told him I don’t do the lowest price thing. If he’s interested he needs to make a counter offer, and so on as described above. I may never hear back from him. I’m ok either way.

Part 2, the other annoyance (I always seem to have a part 2, don’t I?)…

Another game I will not tolerate: Don’t show up to purchase something, say a vehicle that I have a listed price of $3000, and say, “Will you take $2200? That’s all I have on me.”

That’s all you have on you. 😐 Right. Ahem. Ok. I very clearly listed a price, and you knowingly and purposely showed up with less. (Allegedly, but we’ll go with the words at face value, I’m not going to ask to search your pockets.) At this point, I despise you. You’re not simply an annoying cheap SOB like the guy above asking for a bottom dollar, you’re outright dishonest in your approach. If you do that to me, I will give you two options… I will give you directions to an appropriate bank/ATM so you can get more money, or I will give you directions off my property.

Part 3, But wait, there’s more!

And don’t get me started with the schmucks who want to pay via Paypal or cashier’s check (and sometimes overpay and want you to refund the difference in cash) and have their ‘agent’ or shipper pick it up. Scam alert! (Hmmm, sounds like another curmudgeonly blog post for later.)

The bite mentioned above did email back as I was writing this. He thinks I’m honest and will pay me what I ask… via PayPal and he will send a shipper to pick up the vehicle. *facepalm* Now I’m playing with him a bit. I responded that my ad clearly says cash only, and that I will not hold it, but if his shipper shows up with cash, I will sell it to him. If someone else flashes me the cash first, tough luck.

I won’t hold my breath.

Bandwagon Jumpers & Other Non-Thinkers

Grab your seat, you’re going to read about a curmudgeon complaining about… other curmudgeons. Or, maybe they’re just whiners. Yes, that’s it. What I am about to share is just whiners whining, in my humble and modest opinion, wannabe curmudgeons. Amateur curmudgeons.

This is about people in my town and the city government. Now, don’t get me wrong, the city is going too far into debt, in my still humble and modest opinion, and there are some things that need addressing, and the city manager does seem to have a grandiose Napoleon complex, but really they do do good things, too, and overall it is a nice place to live.

That being said, here’s the scenario: I belong to a Facebook group called “The <town name> Activist”. Ok, sounds good, right. Well, it was created by a couple people who basically complain about every single thing the city does. Rarely will most of them give the city any credit for anything, and a few are so bad that they never do. One is endorsing a particular city council candidate right now and I am seriously considering voting for the opponent just because of that guy’s endorsement, but I digress. Anyway, that’s bad enough, but tolerable. Then you have the bandwagon jumpers, the people who have come along and must feel some insecure deep-seated need to be part of the ‘cool kids’ group and bash everything, as well. These are really the annoying ones. I’ll give a couple examples…

Example #1:

Our city is looking at building a new library, with questionable and controversial funding, but that’s not what this post is about. The city released an architect’s rendering of the proposed library a few months ago. One person posted asking about the lack of handicapped accessible parking spaces and where those would be. They called it a poorly thought-out design that was lacking in sufficient detail and information. The project was doomed to failure if this is the best they can come up with, yada yada yada.

I responded and explained how architect renderings are solely for marketing purposes, to sell a product. The product here being the library and selling it to the public. Not only do they not show things like handicapped access, they also don’t show existing power poles that will remain, street signs, poorly patched streets that will still be poorly patched when this project is done, traffic signals, utilities and unsightly garbage locations, and so on and so on. It’s going to be as pretty as can be.

They responded back with, “Oh, I know all that.”


Really? Then why did you raise these “concerns” if you know they aren’t legit? Or, were you just wanting to stir the pot?

Example #2:

Just yesterday a person starts a thread showing the water department’s disconnect notice that was posted on their door for non-payment. They were mocking this as they are on a private well and septic, and they have auto-deduction for payment every month  (garbage, other taxes, etc.), ergo they weren’t late or behind. Essentially they were ridiculing the city for being stupid… and scores of people joined in. Bandwagoners, all.

Ken pipes up… shocking, I know… and I ask if they bothered to call the water department and ask what’s going on. Get some clarification. There had already been about two dozen posts and no one bothered to ask this seemingly obvious question. Everyone derided the city for being dumb and some suggested ways the person could embarrass the city. Maybe it’s just a simple mistake. <shrug>

The thread starter responds and says, “I called this morning and it was an error on their part.”

So, yes, it was a simple mistake and all was good. Yet, they felt the need to start stirring the pot with no confirmation to back up their claims of city incompetence. That’s bad enough, but what makes it worse is that many other people joined in, all without reasonable information, just taking some person’s word. And we wonder why misinformation is so rampant. People like… need?… to feel superior. People like their drama.

Bottom Line:

This is turning into something of a moral lecture, methinks, but I can’t help it. People need to slow down. Collect credible information. Strive to be fair. Don’t knee-jerk always for one side only. Use brain cells and rational thought before speaking. Is that too much to ask?