Feb 17

I received a parking ticket while in Denver a few weeks back. I went to this DISH Network deal, because the place I work at is going to start selling DISH. So, it wasn’t for fun. Hell, it wasn’t even that enjoyable. The whole thing was kind of over my head, and no one was overly friendly, and the whole thing kind of sucked. This is going to come as a complete shock, but I’m not real fond of being around people. I know, I know, I seem like such a people person. Yeah, I’m afraid that too many years of dealing with bitchy, self-absorbed people and their stinking problems that I cannot fix have led me to see the worst in people. I don’t give anyone a fair shake anymore. I just start looking for the aspects of their personalities that are going to piss me off right from the start. Life is easier this way, and believe you me, everyone can piss you off if you just give them half a chance.

So, anyway, after this DISH thing, I go out to my car and there’s a flipping parking ticket in my door. ‘What the hell?’ I think to myself… actually, I believe I may have yelled it out loud. I grab the ticket and try to figure out what it is for.

Ticket

Okay, so from my rear tire to my rear bumper is in the driveway of the place I went to the DISH thing at. By the way, their driveway is like a football field wide. I had no idea I was violating any sort of ordinance, so once I get home to Nebraska, I call the number on the ticket to dispute it. It is pretty obvious that the chick who answers the phone does not like dealing with people calling to dispute tickets all day. I explain the situation to her, that I’m from out of town, that I was hardly in the HUGE driveway, that there are no markings or signs stating where you can or cannot park, etc.

“Denver statute states that you can not park within five feet of a driveway,” she obviously reads from some sort of card.

“How am I supposed to know what Denver statutes are?” I ask. I’m not being snotty or rude or anything, just asking a question.

“Well, sir,” she practically seethes, “you will have to file a protest by mail.”

“Then why is this phone number on the citation I received,” I ask.  I’m starting to feel not so polite.

“Or you can schedule a time in front of the magistrate.”  She completely ignores my question.

I hang up.

So, I send the following letter, with documentation, to the Bureau of Idiots Who  Penalize Visitors to the City and County of Denver… or whatever:

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Yes, I’m anal and even included a Goggle Earth image of the driveway… just to prove my point about how long that stinking driveway was.

I mail my dispute, confident that they will let the whole situation serve as a warning and let it rest at that.  I figure the next time I go to Denver, I will know better and I will be able to follow the ordinance.  I start to have flashbacks to my dispute of my property tax increase with the idiots who call themselves commissioners for Scotts Bluff County, but I figure I can’t lose every time I battle the powers that be, right?  Right?

A couple of weeks go by, and I get the following response from the Bureau of Idiots Who  Penalize Visitors to the City and County of Denver:

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Seriously… a form letter? I go off. No wonder my blood pressure is out of control and I’m on the verge of a heart attack. Every one I deal with has their head up their hiney and is out to get me.

“Screw it,” I yell. “I’ll just not pay it. What are they gonna do, send meter maid Lefebre up to Nebraska to arrest me?”

My wife tells me to calm down.

“I don’t care if they issue a warrant for my arrest in Denver.  They’ll never catch me… and if they do, they’ll never take me alive!”

My wife tells me I’m overreacting.

“I’m not overreacting!  Stupid meter maid Lefebre is obviously just a Colorado Buffaloes fan, saw my Nebraska plates,  and is taking it out on me that the Huskers kick the snot out of the Buffs almost every time they play… and I don’t even care about the stupid rivalry!”

My wife tells me I need to watch my blood pressure.  She tells me that the ticket is going to be paid and I don’t need something stupid like this going on my record.

“Fine,” I yell.  It’s kind of funny how I let everything piss me off and I end up yelling at my wife because of it.  She doesn’t think it’s really funny, but you know what I mean.  “But I’m going to let them know how I feel about it.”

The wife rolls her eyes and smiles… which see seems to do a lot when I’m all torked off.

So, I type up the following and include it with the payment to the Bureau of Idiots Who  Penalize Visitors to the City and County of Denver:

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I mailed it yesterday. They will probably receive it the first of next week, and I bet no one even takes the time to read it… but I don’t care. I feel better for having written it, and the next time I go to Denver, I’m going to violate as many parking ordinances as I can… even though I don’t have a freaking clue as to what any of them are. I bet I’ll be able to do it without even trying… and I bet meter maid Lefebre will be waiting for me…

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Dec 06

This past Friday, I had the honor and the privilege of attending Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s Pre-legislative breakfast at the wonderful Gering Civic Center… or something.  I was excited that my boss asked me to go, ’cause I figured I could get some good crap for my blog there, and I did.

Dave Heineman is the Republican governor of Nebraska (because Nebraska is ruled by Republicans who vote for Republicans no matter what that Republican really stands for).  I am registered as a Republican, but I consider myself more of a So-Stinking-Fed-Up-With-Politics-That-My-Head-Is-Ready-To-Explode-ian” (wish that party existed).  Governor Dave has made all kinds of promises to the people (i.e. voters) of western Nebraska and has followed through on so few of them, that I figured this little morning affair would be entertaining.  I wasn’t overly disappointed… well, except for the food.

It cost $15 for a member of the Scottsbluff/Gering Chamber of Commerce members to attend this event (more if not a member).  The food was provided by The Meat Shoppe.  The Meat Shoppe provides all food to all events held at the Gering Civic Center… it’s like part of some contract or something.  Many people hold things like wedding receptions and anniversary parties in this location… and if you want food, The Meat Shoppe has to provide it.  Needless to say, food from The Meat Shoppe usually isn’t overly spectacular, and Governor Heineman’s event was no exception.  Bland scrambled eggs, generic waffles, very greasy sausage patties, and even greasier hash browns were the only food available, and not a bottle of ketchup nor Tabasco were anywhere to be seen.

I recently attended a soiree (see how fancy I’m getting… “affair”… “soiree”… living the high life here in Craphole, Nebraska) for Miss Nebraska that was at the Gering Civic Center.  Of course, the food was provided by The Meat Shoppe.  Dinner consisted of semi-barbecued crap (chicken and beef), a potato casserole… or something like that (very elegant?!?), coleslaw (best thing they served), and a basket of rolls on each table.  Well, our table had 10 people (which almost every table held), and there were 10 rolls in each basket.  I like rolls.  I usually have 2 or 3 rolls with any meal I eat.  One of the rolls from our basket was dropped on the floor, so there was one person at our table who was roll-less.  When one of the table-picker-uppers came by (’cause there are no wait-people with The Meat Shoppe… just people who keep asking you if you are done yet), I asked if, perhaps, we could get some more rolls, because one had dropped to the floor.  I wanted more, and I know that others did as well… plus there was the one dude who didn’t even get one.  The table-picker-upper said, “I’ll check,” and she disappeared.  She came back about 5 minutes later and asked, rather snottily, “So, who is it that needs a roll?”  Well, no one (including myself) had the balls to say “ME” (including the dude who didn’t get one because one fell to the floor),  so the table-picker-upper kind of looked at me like I was a problem-child because I had made the request, and she stormed off… and we were roll-less for the rest of the evening.  Seriously, how flipping expensive can those stinking rolls be that you can’t bring out another stinking basket?

My oldest son isn’t a huge barbecue fan, but we talked him into attending this event because we thought it would be… informative or something.  The poor kid is starving and was really looking forward to another roll, from which we were banned.  The wife looks at the boy and says, “Hold onto your fork and spoon for dessert.”  At least he has dessert to look forward to, right?  Well, about 5 minutes after refusing to bring us another basket of rolls, the wench from The Meat Shoppe says to the boy, “Are you done with that,” pointing to his plate?  He nods.  And then she adds, “Go ahead and give me your silverware, too, ’cause there ain’t any dessert or anything.”  The boy didn’t weep openly or anything, but I could tell he wanted to.  “We’ll pick up something from McDonald’s on our way home,” I reassured him… but we didn’t.  Stupid Meat Shoppe.  No customer service (at least if you are not the one paying the final bill) and crappy food.  I’m sure they were offering a discounted rate or something, because the whole night was a fundraiser for Miss Nebraska to go to the Miss USA thingie in Las Vegas, so I have a feeling that The Meat Shoppe was pitching in (at least they better have been), but come on… if you’re gonna give… GIVE a little dessert.  The Meat Shoppe: something to avoid in the Craphandle of Nebraska!

Well… I guess I kind of got sidetracked there, didn’t I?  The Meat Shoppe, as you can probably tell, isn’t my favorite and is well deserving of the  three-paragraph tirade I afforded it… but it’s my blog, so if you don’t like it, leave.  Or stay, because I get back to Governor Heineman here shortly.

Back to Governor Heineman (see, I told you it would be shortly :) ).  After the crowd at the Gering Civic Center had forced down the greasy goop that was passed-off as breakfast, Governor Dave got up and gave a little “state of the state” address.  I’m going to be doing some quotes from the Governor, and I just want to be all upfront with the fact that the quotes aren’t really “quotes” but more of a paraphrasing/making-stuff-up kind of thing…  you know, just trying to give you my biased “gist” of what Dave was trying to say.  It’s not like I was taking notes or anything, and this was days ago.  After all, I write a little blog… it’s not like I’m a journalist or anything.  His speech was all kitty cats and butterflies.

“Nebraska has a 4% unemployment rate… one of the best in the nation.”

“Nebraska has, in a few short years, moved from 45th best to 29th best in attractiveness of taxes charged to businesses… making us a lot more attractive to businesses than we used to be.”

“Everything I do is AWESOME and, even though I am much shorter in person than I’m sure you would suspect, I am the best governor this state has ever had… blah blah blah blah…”

… you get the picture.

So, after the little pep talk about how great things are for the state of Nebraska since good old Dave has been governor, he asks the audience if there are any questions.  About a bazillion hands flew up.  And Dave took each and every question from every person who wanted to ask a question.  You notice that I stated he “took” every question, because, to be 100% honest, I don’t think he actually answered any of the questions posed to him.

voter: “Mr. Governor, the Heartland Expressway is a priority to the people in the panhandle.  Once completed, it will link Rapid City to Denver with our community being right in the middle of all of that trade and traffic.  When campaigning before the election, you said you would make completion of this project a priority, but there seems to be little if any progress.  What are you doing about the Heartland Expressway?”

Governor Dave:  “The Heartland Expressway is a priority of mine.  I am committed to seeing it come to fruition.  Next question?”

another voter: “Yeah, uh, Governor, we are seeing an exodus of people leaving our rural communities.  Many of these people are young people who leave to attend college and never come back.  The more urban portions of the state are seeing growth while our rural communities are drying up and blowing away.  More quality business and quality jobs in our rural communities could help retain our most precious resource: our people.  What, if anything, are you doing to help slow or stop this population migration?”

Governor Dave:  “Hell, I wouldn’t want to live out here in the sticks, why would our youth be any different?  Ya’ll are a bunch of nincompoops for wanting to live out in this desolate wasteland in the first place”… wait a second… that isn’t what Governor Dave said… that’s what I was thinking… sorry :)

Governor Dave:  “My responsibility as governor is to see to it that the state doesn’t lose population, which it’s not.  The fact that the urban areas are seeing growth and rural areas are seeing decline means that urban areas are doing something right… and you’re not.  Next question?”

Yet another voter from western Nebraska:  “Yes, Governor, wind energy is going to play a major part of our country’s energy supply in the near future.  Wind farms are booming in Colorado and Wyoming, and wind is one of the few things western Nebraska has an abundance of.  Why are we not seeing wind energy development in our area?  Like with ethanol production, are tax incentives being offered to get wind energy off the ground in Nebraska?”

Governor Dave:  “Wind energy is good, but, you know, the wind always blows when you don’t want it to, and it doesn’t blow when you need it to.  Hahaha!  Wind energy has a future in western Nebraska.  Next question?”

…and on and on and on…

… seriously…

The only thing I learned from my attendance at the Pre-legislative breakfast with Governor Dave Heineman is this: I could be governor!

I think that wind energy is good!

I can tell people who voted for me that their problems aren’t my responsibility!

I can say that the Heartland Expressway is a priority of mine !

Man, at times I doubt I have any real worth to society.  Little did I realize… I apparently have every skill necessary to be governor of the great state of Nebraska!

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Aug 13

The family and I just got back from a much-needed vacation in Colorado.  There were so many wonderful things to do and to see.  We saw all kinds of animals at the Denver Zoo, we got to pet stingrays at the Downtown Aquarium, we ate what apparently is the best salt-water taffy in the world in Estes Park (I’m not a big fan), and although my favorite Italian restaurant of all time (Valente’s in Wheatridge) has disappointingly closed, we had a final farewell-to-Colorado meal at Cinzetti’s… which rocked (for Italian).  And with all of these wonderful memories, my mind is clouded with one stinking thing: Man Toes!

You know… Man Toes; guys out in public wearing any number of freakishly designed shoes that allow other people in the near proximity to see their toes.  No person should have to see a man’s toes while out in public… unless said person is at the beach, the pool, or in a public shower.  The toes of a man are a thing to be hidden in socks and shoes and shadows and not to be seen by other human beings.  Sadly, Coloradans do not agree with my philosophy.  In Colorado, the Man Toes were out like bees on lilacs in the spring… except Man Toes don’t make sweet, sweet honey and they don’t smell like lilacs… they stink!

I grew up in Montana, and I currently live in Nebraska.  In the places I have called home, men, for the most part, keep there toes where they belong: covered in tight-fitting shoes all day, festering and sweltering with heat into abominations of stinkiness that are only released either right before a cleansing shower or right before being tucked under the covers of a good night sleep.  The toes of a man are not a thing meant to roam the daylight freely.  The toes of a man are like vampires… hideously deformed creatures of the night that can suck the life out of other humans with a mere glance.  I kid you not; Man Toes suck!

I have a little bit of an aversion to feet.  Feet stink… period.  But, being a guy, I have little problem with a female of relative normalcy wearing sandals or flip-flops while her dainty little toes with painted nails dance about in the daylight.  Normal female toes are,  I hate to admit it, cute.  If one single person out there in my reading audience can show me a picture of one single male toe that belongs to a male over the age of 10 years-old that even somewhat resembles cute… I’ll give you a free one-year subscription to my blog.  Yeah, ok, my blog is free anyways, but when I hit the big-time and can start charging you for the priviledge of reading my drivel… you’ll get a year free.

The average male toe is, to say the least, hideous.  Large strands of hair stand out between grossly deformed knuckles.  Often, the yellow nails growing off the ends of the toes are severely neglected.  I have actually seen instances where the toenail is longer than the toe.  Of course, there are countless instances where the toes themselves are monstrously long.  Seriously, have you ever seen these dudes with the freakishly-long toes?  You expect that, at any moment, these dudes will spring from the sidewalk and thrust their legs up towards the heavens, grasping the nearest tree branch with their elongated toes.  They will then swing above you from the branches, spitting and urinating and defecating and doing all of that nasty stuff that monkeys and other nasty beasts with freakishly-long toes do!  Ohhh… I shudder whenever I see these toes.    Another common Man Toe that is visible on a trip to Colorado is the Preppy Toe.  You know this toe: the soft foot skin, the delicate outline of white tipping the beautifully manicured nail, the trimmed hair resting peacefully between the still-freakishly deformed knuckles… this is a toe to be respected.  This is a toe that the toe’s owner has actually paid another human being to maintain.  Can you imagine being in such a low post in life that you would spend your days with a grotesque man-foot between your hands as you fruitlessly attempted to turn those orangutan-like appendages into something that can be displayed  before the common humanity on a daily basis?  Oh, you poor souls; the tips will never make amends for the damage assaulted upon your psyches.

Ok, so back to stinking Colorado.  All throughout our peaceful vacation, I’m assaulted by Man Toes.  In Estes Park, it’s Man toe after Man Toe, Berkinstocks be DAMNED!  In Denver, flip-flop after flip-flop revealed the inhumanity of the Man Toe.  Finally, I can take no more.  We are finally going to head for home back to Nebraska where men hide their toes the way God intended (in fact, after Eve talked Adam into taking a bite of the forbidden fruit, wasn’t the first thing that Adam did after discovering his nakedness was he throw on a pair of Converse Chuckie T’s?)  Ohhh… but wait!  We have our final lunch before leaving Denver… and it a lunch not to be forgotten.

So we sit down at Cinzetti’s and I got Man Toe on the mind.  But, I’m thinking to myself, ‘we’re in a restaurant… what kind of guy is gonna expose Man Toe to other diners during a meal?’  Apparently, lots of them!  On my right, I got preppy-boy-freak-long-toe in his $125 Birks with his chica with equally long toes and their chowing on the freaking antipasta!  On the left, I got Mr. 65+ on a business lunch with two young whipper-snappers who are trying to sell him the farm while he’s sporting flip-flops and grimy-nails filled with black-sock crud and other unmentionable black things that apparently he’s not willing to pay some high school drop-out to clean out every 3000 miles…  I want to scream!  Thank God for the stomach of iron that He has given me as I proceed to fill my gut with the most unbelievable pizza and eggplant parmigiana that my tongue has ever tasted.  If those infidels had ruined my lunch (… seriously, I’ve cleaned puke off of myself from my son’s gag-reflex during a meal and not missed a bite of Tuna Helper… these geeks and their Man Toes ain’t stopping me from scarfing World-Class pizza…), I would have complained to management… or something.

You know how they have those signs as you enter a restaurant: “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service!” ?     These signs were created because most people don’t want to see a dude’s back hair or Man Toes!  Seroiusly, if women were walking into Taco Johns with no shoes and no shirts… do you really believe that, even for a second, business wouldn’t be through the stinking roof?  Guys would be standing at the counter ordering six-pack-and-a-pound after six-pack-and-a-pound until the police showed up… which means they’d be standing there FOREVER… ’cause no one would call the police because topless, shoeless women are invading Taco Johns!  Those signs are directed specifically at males.  Men are sucky, unattractive beasts, and many a weak-gutted person would not be able to ingest a meal with certain man-parts available for public viewing (I, for one, am blessed not to be included in this weak-gutted group).  If the sign says “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service”, take a look at your feet.  If any part of your foot is exposed… and you are a male… you should not enter the premises!  I couldn’t give a crap how comfortable those ugly flip-flops you picked up at Sports Authority are… NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR MAN TOES!

Man… isn’t a vacation supposed to be relaxing?

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