Category Archives: Rant

The Allergies Attack with a Vengence!

Man, last Friday, I was out with some friends, feeling great and then Saturday I woke up feeling like crap. It felt like a minor cold, and, to be honest, that is what I’d hoped it was. I knew allergies were flaring up for other people, but I’d been lucky up til now, not having even a symptom of allergies. But, this year, wham! I have them pretty bad. All thanks to the little guys hidden in the picture. I’d much rather be sick since being sick is a shorter burden. I’ve had allergy symptoms for a week now and they aren’t getting any better yet.

It is weird how these allergies work. I would think they’d be strongest the first time you encounter the pollen and get progressively weaker as you build up a tolerance. But, I’ve been here in Santa Fe for 7 years and never had any problem until now. I hope now I start building some kind of tolerance.

There must be people who never get allergies because otherwise I don’t see how a place like Santa Fe would ever get settled. Maybe it is the 7-year delay that makes it happen. I also wonder if the Native Americans who were here originally got allergies. If so, why did they stay here? I guess most of the year it is worth it, but this week it sure doesn’t feel like it.

I don’t recall anyone I knew when I was a kid in Idaho having problems with seasonal allergies like this. It must be the dryness here that causes them to be stronger in New Mexico. That’s my only guess.

Well, I’ll keep going, hoping it rains soon to wash the air of pollen. But, man, do these allergies suck!

Sick of Hypocrysy!

Today, news comes out that Gingrich was having an affair at the same time that he was going after Clinton for Clinton’s own indiscretions. Of course, he claims that it was different for him, because he didn’t lie about it to a judge. Though, he certainly went after Clinton for more than just lying, being the upstanding family-values guy he is.

People aren’t perfect. We all make mistakes. Often, we can’t even live up to the standards we set for ourselves, much less those of other people. And that is part of being human. But what really pisses me off is all of the damn hypocrysy! People preaching one way and acting another.

Gingrich is only the latest in what seems to be a rash of such confessions: there is the preacher guy in Colorado, constantly railing against homosexuals while he himself has dealings with a gay prostitute. There is the Congressman in Florida, one of the most ardent anti-pedophiles in Congress while texting sexually inappropriate messages to underage boys. Now Gingrich comes out with news that he was unfaithful while persecuting Clinton for the same. And Bush, who campaigned for the Presidency on a platform of cleaning up the White House, has one of the chief people in his administration convicted of lying.

Maybe it is a complex we, as Americans, have. We tell Iran they can’t have nuclear anything while we are building new nukes. We complain about Europe subsidizing their farmers while we do the same. We blame China for human rights abuses while we don’t exactly have a blemish-free record in that area.

I’m tired of all of the preaching to do one thing while the preacher does the opposite. “Do as I say, not as I do” seems to be a common attitude amongst people today. And the worst ones are the ones that seem to preach the most. The crusaders are the ones that should be crusaded against.

I don’t mind people making mistakes. Gingrich cheating on his wives affects him and his wives. It doesn’t really matter to me. But what does is when he is claiming some moral high ground over others when he is no better. Gingrich claims that he wasn’t as bad as Clinton because he didn’t lie. In my opinion, he wasn’t as bad, he was much worse. He attacked someone else for doing the same thing he did.  He was a hypocrit.

Why not conservation?

In his State of the Union speech, Bush said he wanted us all to cut our gas consumption by 20% by the year 2010.  He proposed more fuel efficient cars and more ethanol as the means to get there.

I don’t understand why conservation wasn’t part of it.  If only 1 in every 5 people who commute to work carpooled, then that right there is a big part of the 20%.  When I drive to work, and I am waiting for a turn to drop off one of the guys in my carpool, maybe 20 to 30 cars drive past me on their way to work.  I’d be damn surprised if one of those cars has more than one person in them, and most are huge SUV type things.  I understand that in many places, people are coming from many different outlying suburbs to get to work.  But here, at least, most of these people are neighbors, coming from very close by developments.  It would add at most 10 minutes for them to pick up someone.

Or, people could plan their week better and make one less trip to the grocery store.  I mean, it wouldn’t be that hard to conserve gas.  It might not add up to 20%, but it would get us damn close.

Ethanol has a lot of problems.  It is not very environmentally friendly.  Beyond the green house gases that burning it causes, the mere fact that it requires fertilization means that the nitrogen cycle gets impacted to a very large degree.  That has a lot of consequences for the environment.

The only real long term solution to solve these problems (environmental concerns and dependence on foreign fuel supplies), it seems to me, is to start just using less of the damn stuff.  Stop putting so much pollutant in the air.  And one real way to start doing that is to conserve.  To carpool.  To plan our days better.  That will help a hell of a lot more than ethanol.

Summer Wind?

Lisa and I visited our parents over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is amazing how fast the Boise area is changing. Just driving from Boise through Caldwell via Highway 20/26 to Homedale, there are subdivisions after subdivisions. They are starting to crop up around Homedale itself, which is about the only growth the area has seen since I was born.

While driving between Boise and Homedale over and over, I decided to take one of the back roads, Ustick, which actually goes all the way between the two places (a straight shot of over 40 miles, probably, though there are stop lights). There is a new subdivision going up on Ustick just outside of Homedale, one of the many in the area. There is nothing special about that. But, as with all of these new subdivisions, this one has it’s own name and the name they gave this one is Summer Wind.

What kind of name is Summer Wind? It is so generic. So bland. What, is that the only place in the area that gets a Summer Wind? Can’t they think of anything better? And aren’t there probably a million Summer Winds out there? I know that there is an elementary school in Meridian that has the same name.

Why can’t they use some of the local history to name these places? I’m sure that the land they are building this subdivision on has some history to it. It belong to some farmer/rancher and before that probably some Native American tribes lived in the area. Why not call it something like McNally’s Bluff or the Basque Outpost or something of the sort? I mean, I’d rather live in a place called Dead Horse Point than Summer Wind.

It looks like I’m not the only one annoyed with these names. I just found this site — random subdivision name generator — which shows how banal some of these names can be. I just generated 5 names and got Cedar Point, Country Forest, Elm Island, Maple Landing and Spruce Colonial Brook. Sound pretty typical to me.

I recently heard a story on NPR on how our words for geography are starting to fade, that words that were once common place to describe locations are being lost as we start to use more generic words. And words that once meant something, like glade, dale, etc, don’t mean much anymore as they are used so often in these subdivision names. These words are used in names of subdivisions without regard to what they really mean, just how they sound.

I’m sure that this is all marketing, as most things seem to be these days. But, it also makes things so damn bland. I mean, there are already lots of cool names in the area that could be used as inspiration for new names, names such as Horseshoe Bend, Bengoechea Place, Telegraph Hill, Deadhorse Crossing, Bernard’s Bedground and Wagon Box Basin. I’m sure that the land of Summer Wind had one or more names associated with it before it became a subdivision. Why not honor that history and use those names? Names that will likely be lost forever within another generation.

Mass Produced Eggnog

‘Tis the season for celebrating humankind’s goodness towards one another, at least if you are Christian (though, I imagine, other religions, if they can get past the glitz, can also appreciate the sentiment behind the Christmas story). It is also the season for holiday traditions, both good and bad, one of which is eggnog. Mmmm, eggnog.

It seems that these days everyone is bashing mass produced, commercial eggnog. I don’t understand it myself. I actually really like the stuff that comes in a carton. I know it’s not traditional, probably with more sugar and less booze than the home-made variety. People think you are a freak if you really like the commercialized version. But, I have to admit, I love the stuff. It just tastes so damn good! I can drink a whole cartoon in 15 minutes, if given the opportunity.

And it’s not just eggnog. I’m the same with pecan pie. When I was a kid, they had these little personal-sized pecan pies at the grocery store that came in a little tin pie plate. Those were so good. I like home-made pecan pies too, but it’s the store pies that really hit the spot for me. But, again, they seem to get a bad rap for some reason I don’t understand.

Maybe it’s just what I grew up with so there is some nostalgia buried in there. Or maybe my palate is just too unsophisticated. But, I really like the mass-produced versions of these treats.