The injustice of the month club…

Oh good. As expected, we just couldn’t let the truck protest have it’s time to shine in Canada. According to The Hill, there’s a plot afoot to bring traffic on the Washington beltway to a halt. 

As someone who spent a portion of his career commuting into and out of DC on a daily basis, let me just say fuck directly off with that asshattery. The only people you’ll be screwing with are the working schmucks who just want to get home and get on with their lives – exactly the kind of people I’d think you would want to support your little protest, no?

Of course they are, but deep thinking never seems to be among the traits displayed by people who plan this kind of goofy ass protest. Thinking in broader strategic terms is a game for grown adults rather than those whose notion of how to go about doing things was stunted around the time they were 17-year-old. Truly they’re almost always driven and supported by the kind of people I don’t even bother arguing with – or engaging with at all if I can avoid it. I just don’t have the patience anymore to suffer fools with anything less than complete disdain.

Look, I know I’ll never be mistaken for any kind of man of the people. That’s fine. It’s good that I’m not king, though, because given my preferences, I’d pull back and nuke this shit from orbit. But we live in world where even the village idiot is allowed to have a voice and we’re legally obligated to allow him or her to use it. So do what you want to the beltway and tens of thousands if commuters, I guess. I can only hope you turn every single one of them into opponents of whatever grave-injustice-of-the-month it is you think you’re trying to highlight. 

Getting groceries or: Maintaining the fleet in being…

In this era of the Great Plague home delivery of everything is a trend that seems to have taken wing. For a lot of products, I’m a big fan of home delivery – I’ve had a steady stream of books, dog food, and other household goods showing up on my doorstep since long before the plague swept everyone else indoors. 

I was asked this morning, why my love of home delivery didn’t include using something like Instacart to bring on groceries. The answer is more complicated than it really should be, of course. 

I’ve tried pick up grocery options in the past, but was never quite satisfied in the produce they selected or the substitutions made. It’s hard not to like the theoretical convenience of driving up, calling a number, and a cart of groceries showing up. Ultimately, I’ve mostly forgone the convenience of pick up or delivery because, not surprisingly, I’m fussy and like things to be “just so.”

That’s really just subtext, though. About two weeks before the plague caught fire in the public imagination, I made a grand stocking up trip – laying on enough of my favorites to last two or three months if conditions absolutely precluded making trips out. Now I’m mostly shopping every 7-10 days because I have a tortoise who likes fresh leafy greens and to replenish those items I’d drawn down from the stockpile – because holding it at its peak has a value all its own. 

Proper naval historians will throw things at me for this, but in some ways I think of my personal supplies as maintaining the value of a “fleet in being.” It’s a theory, widely popular among naval powers in World War I, that suggests the mere presence of a powerful fleet extends a strong influence on events simply by existing – making it unnecessary for the fleet to engage in a decisive battle. Keeping the bulk of my supplies intact (with proper rotation), gives me options should further unforeseen supply disruptions (a la toilet paper) happen as the plague runs its course.

So there, in a few hundred words, is way more than you wanted to know about why I’m still getting groceries and why I’m doing it myself. 

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

What annoys Jeff this week? Shit. I could write a book on that. There’s one thing, though, that stands out in my mind this week. It’s the mother of annoyances. The one that if it didn’t happen day in and day out with a steady drum beat, so many of the other, smaller annoyances wouldn’t exist at all.

I don’t know exactly if it’s human nature or just SOP in our little part of the world, but the propensity for people to ignore things right up until the movement when it needs to be finished drives me directly around the bend. It makes me into an absolute mental case.

When you’ve known for weeks (or months) something needs to happen, but only start looking at it a day before it’s needed – or even better – two days after it was supposed to be finished, what exactly am I supposed to think? Well, first, your time management skills blow, but that’s just the baseline. If you procrastinate everything until the last possible moment all you guarantee is that everything in your wheelhouse is a self inflicted crisis. There’s no planning, no strategic vision, and certainly no sense that some ideas require time and attention to mature into final products. If you do happen to scrape something together to meet a “surprise” requirement, it’s a giant flaming shit sandwich. As often as not it’s not even a sandwich – just the various component ingredients for making one.

At that point why bother? Just admit that you’re a enormous waste of resources who exists purely to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide and draw a salary. I’d at least appreciate the honesty of admitting that someone doesn’t give a good goddamn. Hell, it would be refreshing. I’d almost respect you for it.

As it is, at least I know why every day is an exercise in jumping though my own ass to get even the simplest of projects done – because expecting people to pay attention is our own personal bridge too far.

Powers of procrastination…

I don’t talk much about it because I’ve never considered it one of my finer qualities, but truth be known I have world class powers of procrastination. All those powers are currently being employed to distract me from pitching a wild, no way he’ll take it, ultra-lowball offer at the owner of one of the houses I looked at last night. Despite it’s rather quirky master bathroom and my natural aversion to home owner’s associations I’m having a bit of a flirtation with this place.

After getting word back through my agent this afternoon that the seller would “really like to get an offer and was willing to make considerable concessions,” I’ve been hard pressed to continue resisting the temptation. It’s a night of trying to remember that the place has been on the market for 2/3 of a year already and doesn’t seem likely to go anywhere in the next week, that even if it does something that’s just as charming will be along, and that even at it’s reduced price it’s a budget stretcher.

I’m procrastinating… with purpose. If I look around for another couple of weeks and this place is still sitting around, it seems to me that I’d be in a stronger negotiating position – especially since the only thing I stand to lose is something that was never mine anyway. For now, I’m just going to let it ride.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Paying cash. There’s a time and a place for cash. I carry it myself. However, the toll plaza at rush hour is neither the time nor the place. That’s the time and place where you should suck it up and order an E-ZPass so you can keep moving through the booth while the toll is automatically deducted from your account. I’m sure you have some very good reason like it being a privacy violation or you’re too lazy to use the internet, but no one has the time to wait around behind you while you try to scrape together $8 in loose change.

2. Strategy. Time was in this country when the chief executive said he had a strategy that meant he had a grand vision for the role the country should play in world affairs. Monroe, Lincoln, Truman, Reagan, and even Bush (43) were able to clearly articulate how they wanted to use American power. Apparently now the grand vision is to tiptoe around the hard issues, not try too hard, and for God’s sake avoid offending the international community in any way. It might be an approach, but it’s not what I’d call strategy.

3. Ray Rice and Mrs. Ray Rice. He’s a dirtbag and she’s dumb enough to not just stay with him, but publicly defend him too. News reported. Could we now please move on to paying attention to something that matters?