Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fickle Sports Fan

If I'm not actually playing a sport, I rarely get overly involved in the emotional turmoil that comes from pulling for a particular team Of course teams from home cities and colleges are my first choices for the bit of emotion I do devote to fan activities.

I like football, and always have. It must be the neighborhood games when I was a kid. Most of the guys were bigger and older but I could run through and around them with a football. It is one of the best feelings I recall from elementary school. Life got complicated after that. It was one place in which time did not exist.

So, now that I am in San Diego, it is required that I be a Chargers fan. And I am, to a point. I see no way they'll get to any playoffs, but I don't keep up enough to know the ins and outs. The good thing is that I keep a few teams on deck so I can have a favorite when San Diego punks out. And they are punking out.

My favorites are not teams my die hard Chargers fan friends like at all. They actually have disdain for a couple of my secret favs. Like Denver and New England. Long story on the New England thing, but a nice one which stems from a cool event in my life.

I'm a Miami fan, of course. I was more of one back in the day when Shula was coach and Larry Czonka was playing. I like Green Bay, so I won't mind when they win it all.

People really get tribal when it comes to sports teams, and sometimes people get beaten, shot or stabbed at games. We used to think that was just the stuff of Europe and South America at soccer games. Maybe it is a measure of our true level of advancement as a species, I don't know. That sounds kind of bizarre and pretentious, but could be true.

If everyone was like me, people would not get killed or in fights at games, but the whole sports industry would be broke and probably fall apart. The people now employed in that industry would end up doing jobs that Americans won't do--whatever that means. And I would miss out on the enjoyment of watching a game now and then and switching my allegiance depending upon who's winning or I just happen to like.

Good thing everyone is not like me.

The Reluctant Love of Machines

Fortunately, I am not the only one who gets attached to a car, a bike, a computer or some other inanimate object. I say "fortunately" because irrational emotion loves company. Then again, maybe it is rational.

Now that I think of it, this kind of emotion could be why it grieves me to see people ignoring the brilliance, hard work and persistence it takes for someone to bring a good idea to fruition. Without such people, we'd be fanning ourselves to cool off on hot days, and we'd be walking in something less than well made footwear. Certainly we wouldn't be driving machines which can go 100 miles per hour or more, and which have been so refined that semi-imbeciles can operate them--maybe not well, but well enough to get a license, or fake it.

People who are responsible for making these things happen ought to be rich. Richer that 99% percent of the population. Richer than 99.99%. Why not? It is a very dangerous thing when talk of disdain for such people, regardless how the money was earned, becomes some kind of self righteous key to peer acceptance.

Disdain for dishonest people and people, like elected officials, who abuse power to enrich themselves, usually at taxpayer expense, makes sense. If you look at the basic tax code, and how much of the tax pie is paid by the wealthiest one percent, it ought to be evident that this talk of "their fair share" not being shouldered is not all that accurate a statement.

Those who use government to control markets, market share of an industry, to reap subsidies for bogus enterprises which pay the top dogs big bucks to fail, to bail out their company, etc, are crooks--pure and simple. I don't care if it is legal. That is the problem; government officials should not have the power to so blatantly peddle corruption. It's OK. Tons of people can't see that point, or flatly disagree. They think regulation works, but who is regulating the regulators?

You start blaming the richest one in one hundred and you certainly begin to persecute some very good people who simply do not deserve your anger. Chances are, some of those people did something which in one way or another saved your life, enabled you to travel and see things you'd never have seen, made a difference that you probably take for granted. They don't demand that you use what they created in a particular way, so I see no reason to demand that they use the wealth it earned them as I see fit.

Uh oh. Sidetracked. The real story is that I finally broke down and got new brakes and timing belt done here, as well as changed out transmission fluid and a few things; needed items which I would have a hard time doing myself up here in the dusty place where I park by my front door. My first choice was Sewall Subaru in Dallas, but I just couldn't put the brakes off longer. I could tell by feel and sound that I was getting close to the point at which no pad is left and you tear up drums and rotors.

New brakes are almost as much fun as new tires. As trashed as the interior of this car is from dirt, grease and whatnot, it may have been concerned that I didn't love it. I think it has been reassured and will be happy for another several thousand miles.

When you get that much work done they arrange for a rental car. I ended up with a 2012 Nissan Versa with only 3000 miles or so. It was nice and did the job.

What struck me, when I got back in my car is how few times in my life that I owned a car which was better than the car I rented. My car seems tighter, tracks better at highway speed, and is all round more solid. Not to mention better visibility and better performance uphill. Even though it is frightening how much some maintenance items cost, I felt quite fortunate as I drove home. And I am now ready for a road trip.

I suppose 103000 is not bad for a set of brakes. I'm certain this is the first brake job for this car. To think it only had about 30K when I bought it. Well, it has been a little over two years.

I guess I will have to examine the finances and see how thin it will cut things to take this Christmas trip. I'm pretty sure I can swing the fuel bill, but lodging may have to go by the wayside. I've got a plan so it won't be too uncomfortable.

No reason the car should actually run better, but it seems like it does. It really feels great. It told me it is ready, as soon as I replace that one fog light that went out.

While being shuttled over to pick up a car with a few other people, I discovered that they all love their Subarus and all were in for normal maintenance, not breakdowns. They also gave the service facility good reviews since they had been there before.

I wonder when that one lady was there. She was about forty thousand miles past time for a timing belt and was in to finally do that. Maybe she'd been in for all the other regular service things. I doubt it. Maybe just one or two of those fluid things or brakes or something. And what a surprise, I think only one of the people was possibly a lesbian.

I'm telling you, this car is crossing over. I'm not the only non gay person to own one.

I hope that doesn't mean I am losing my uniqueness.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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