Friday, April 30, 2010

Electron Boy and The Make-A-Wish Foundation

Thursday was a very special day for a young boy with liver cancer. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and hundreds of volunteers including police officers, a few guys off of Deadliest Catch, the Seattle Sounders FC, and Spider Man, Erik Martin got to live out his wish of being a superhero.

About the only thing I have to say about it is that it really made my day. It's a great story. You can read it here at the Seattle Times. There are links to a photo gallery and Electron Boy's Facebook page there as well. The photo gallery is pretty nice.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Would you like to see some boobs with your coffee?

I don't know how prevalent they are in the rest of the country, but we have a few drive-through espresso stands here in Bremerton with baristas that brew coffee while wearing only pasties and thongs. It is a fairly hot topic in the Kitsap Sun. The stories and Letters to the Editors never fail to draw a lot of comments. There are several stands of this sort around the area.

A lot of people say it is immoral and that the stands are a blight on our fair city. I don't know about that. I remember some of my past girlfriends that would be nice enough to bring me coffee in the morning, frequently in some state of undress. It never bothered me. Granted, that is a different context than a little drive-through coffee stand/peep show, but who am I to pass judgment on what other people think is acceptable? Personally, I have no desire to get my coffee from any of these stands. I am more concerned about how sanitary it is for a nearly-nude food worker to be preparing coffee or about the safety aspects of unclothed people working with steam and scalding hot beverages than I am about the moral aspects.

Some people have complained about the women working in these stands being in full view of passing motorists and their passengers on the nearby road, which is quite busy. The bus that I take to and from work passes right by a few of these places. The stands are visible from the road, however, I think you would have to be looking pretty hard to get a glimpse of naked flesh while passing by. They are not exactly in-your-face. They have tinted windows that are opened when the customers pull up, but I have yet to see any naked girls. Maybe I need to look harder, but I am just not all that interested.

One commenter on one of the Kitsap Sun articles said that she felt "ambushed" when she drove up to one of the stands with her kids in the car. The stand is named something like "Fantasy Espresso" and there is a sign on the side of the stand showing a silhouette of a woman. I think this poor woman should have been paying a little more attention. Maybe she could have connected the dots and avoided the ambush. Heaven forbid that someone needs to explain to their children that women have breasts and that men like to look at them. I wonder how they deal with questions about erectile dysfunction after their children see commercials on television.

I remember when my first boat pulled into Fort Lauderdale. Some of us had heard about a topless donut shop and we decided we needed to check it out. It was like any other donut shop with news on the television behind the counter and various customers reading newspapers and chatting over their donuts and coffee. The only difference is that the female waitresses were topless. That part of it was kind of surreal. It was a mildly interesting experience, but not that thrilling. The donuts were okay and the coffee was pretty good. I don't know whether or not it is still in business, but I doubt I would go back if it is still open.

In the meantime, I guess these new businesses will be a controversial subject whenever they come up. I guess I am in the camp of "Who Cares?" If you don't like these places, don't go. If you want to spend your hard-earned four dollars and throw a buck or two in the tip jar to get a good cup of coffee and a quick look at a scantily clad woman, that's fine with me. It's not going to hurt the economy. Hopefully none of the outraged citizens will take the matter into their own hands and burn the place to the ground like this coffee shop in Maine that had topless girls serving coffee.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Tea Party

I read about the nutty guy in Texas that flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin. I read his last note or suicide note or whatever it is that you want to call it. I can actually agree with some of the sentiments expressed in there, but I think advocating violence against the IRS and then actually carrying out a suicide attack on the IRS is pretty nuts.

I also read several comments that readers had submitted. I don't find much funny about this situation, but a lot of the comments make me laugh. Right-wing nutjobs and Left-wing nutjobs are both trying to claim that the suicide pilot is a liberal (from the right-wing nutjobs) and a conservative (from the left-wing nutjobs). Having read the note, I had to agree with the comment that basically said the guy was nuts and his political beliefs are all over the map. It was a pretty rambling note.

I did read a political piece of news about a gathering of the Tea Party in Clarkston, WA. Apparently, one of their speakers want to kill one of our United States Senators. She said:
"How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove?," asked one speaker from the podium. "What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd. He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray."
Pretty classy group of people that gather at Tea Parties. I kind of thought that some of them were well meaning people, in spite of the somewhat racist signs and thoughtless comments that I have seen and heard attributed to them.

She was at least sincere enough to allow her comment to be recorded on video and preserved for posterity. You can watch it here if you want. The video clip is cut a little short after the comment so it is difficult to judge the reaction of the crowd, but if she feels that she is among people that think that murdering an elected official is an appropriate comment or a funny joke, that tells me what kind of people that she thinks are in the party.

Maybe I will go to an anti-Tea Party gathering when they have a Tea Party around here. After seeing this video, I have absolutely no respect for them.

Screw 'em!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Round and Round I Go

I was visiting my parents a few weeks ago and I decided to drive back to Bremerton using a route that I normally do not use. From my parents house, I drove to Olympia using what we call "The Back Way In" to Olympia. This is a road that goes through some very rural areas before coming into Tumwater on the way into Olympia.

I was approaching Tumwater when I saw signs indicating there was construction ahead. January isn't exactly the peak of construction activity in this area, but they were doing something to the road. As I got closer, I saw that they had put in a new roundabout.

I hate roundabouts.

Roundabouts are one European import that definitely should have stayed in Europe. To tell you the truth, I don't know for sure that they originated in Europe. I just associate them with Europe because of the Griswold's adventures in England during National Lampoon's European Vacation. Now that I think about it, comedy movies may not be the best source of information about other countries and continents, but I have to work with what I have.

Anyway, there is another roundabout that I occasionally use and I am not very good at it. I have probably been through it about a dozen times. I would estimate that I have successfully navigated this roundabout three or four times on the first try out my dozen attempts. Most of the time when I go through it, I end up in the wrong lane and am forced to exit before I want to. I should probably have it figured out by now, but that darn roundabout outwits me nearly every time. After driving through and coming out heading in the wrong direction, I have to drive about a half mile until I can turn onto another street and get myself turned around so that I can reenter the roundabout and come out at the correct exit. I could probably stop and turn around a little earlier, but I am worried that someone will see me and realize that I got messed up by the roundabout. Since I am a man, that would be an unacceptable outcome, almost like admitting that I was lost.

Bottom line, I hate roundabouts. Now they just put in another roundabout on a road that I sometimes travel. I came out of the roundabout, miraculously heading in the correct direction and drive for a few hundred yards when I come up on another new roundabout.

Two new roundabouts??? Are you kidding me? What could be worse than two new roundabouts?

I left that roundabout and continued driving for a few hundred more yards when I found out what could be worse than two new roundabouts.

Can you guess what that might be?

If you guessed a third roundabout, you would be correct.

I hear that roundabouts are safer than intersections controlled by traffic lights. That may be true, but I would take a left-turn lane and a nice clear green arrow to tell me when I can turn over a roundabout every day of the week and twice on Sunday.