Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Ahoy, Matie!

Good lunch--I was rather miffed that there were no parking spaces along 20th Street, so I had to park in the back lot. Not that big of a deal except you have to go in through the back door and it's almost like walking throught the kitchen. I don't know, but if you're like me, you really don't want to see what they do to your food.

Anyway, for some reason it was a slow day and there were plenty of tables. Jeff already had one and had a big plastic tumbler of sweet tea. I sat down and the nice waitress girl asked if I wanted something, so I asked for a Diet Coke. She came back and plopped a big plastic tumbler down in front of me, half full. In her other hand, she held a 12 ounce can of Diet Coke. For some reason, I really expected a full glass. And from a fizzy hose somewhere. Oh well.

Jeff ordered the girly vegetable plate while I, as part of my plan to thumb my nose at both the Grim Reaper and PETA as well as support the American beef and pork industries, ordered the bacon cheeseburger. It's one of those old-timey, hand-squished patties that's about the size of a billiard ball in the center. Pretty good, I suppose.

Topics of conversation included new babies; lack of sleep therefrom; getting the Big Snip (or the Lil' Snip, as the case may be); mini-vannin'; house painting; his brother retiring from the Air Force (flying F-15s out of Japan) and going to work for FedEx (which doesn't have very many F-15s); stupid people; pleasant chunky waitresses; and buying a car online. He got a very good deal on his Sienna, after being told by the local Toyota dealers here in town that he would pay list price or not get one, and that he would take whatever color they had on the lot, and then he would have to get down on his knees and shout, "Thank-you, short-sleeved car selling guy, I'll have another!" while being paddled with a custom-embroidered $200 floor mat.

Jeff, being a former fraternity boy, was certainly used to such demeaning treatment back when he was in the hands of his Greco-collegiate brothers, but by purchasing online, from a dealer a few miles further out in the hinterlands, he got to get the exact color he and the Missus wanted, with the exact equipment, and saved about 1300 bucks. And the process was painless. Which, or course, is why he's worried. Nothing should be so simple and painless, you know.

After I finished my BSE on a bun, we paid and went out to do the ol' tire-kicking routine. Some kinda nice things his Toyota has that our Honda doesn't are a built-in DVD/child pacification-neutralization system, and rear headrests that don't have to be taken off the seat to fold it down. It does have a shifter with recognizable detents for each gear, which after the sloppines in our Honda shifter would be nice--HOWEVER, the shifter is stuck there in the middle of the dashboard, which is just freakish. (Unless it's in an Alfa, and then it's just Italian.)

Swapped magazines--he surprised me by giving me FIVE this time, and I won't quibble about the fact that I had already read two of them. I gave him his ten-pound stack of dead tree, and off we went.

On the way back downtown, it was easier to see Vulcan on his new perch with the new elevator tower. It's not going to be much longer before the park is open again, which will be nice. He's pretty and shiny now, which is good, but still a bit disconcerting to see.

Before he was all spiffed up and restored, he had been painted in a flat, iron oxide red color. This, in addition to the large streaks of rust, was not really very pretty, but it did make the old fellow look like he was made out of iron. The new paint is a high-gloss gray, which is great for weather resistance, but he looks a little too much like a fiberglass Muffler Man. In any event, it's still good to have him back.

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