Old-time Gas Pumps Close to the End of Their Lives

Those of us who live in the big city (as if Charlotte is a big city) may not be aware of this problem, but it seems that there is a problem with some gas pumps in the world. Not the ones with electronic digital displays, but those that have the old dial-type digital displays. As an aside, does anyone remember the original digital clocks? I had one of those that had the old-style digital numbers, like the ones in Back to the Future (I think it was Back to the Future). I guess you would call them mechanical digital or something. But I digress.

It seems that these dial-style pumps are running into a problem. They can only handle gas that costs $3.99 per gallon or less. It’s a limitation of the dials. Sure, it’s possible to replace the dials, but it’s a pretty expensive proposition. At the same time, the pumps can only count up to $99.99 per sale.

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DaVinci Last Supper Music Sample

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the possibility that Leondardo DaVinci may have hidden notes in The Last Supper.

Whether this is true or not will certainly be a matter of debate – or something you dismiss. But it’s certainly an interesting theory. I think that most people will admit that Leonardo was a genius, or has certainly had enough work attributed to him to be considered a genius at any rate!

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Bury My Memory at the Mall (Please Spare Me)

It seems like every day I pass by some new sign – I mean an actual sign – that tells me about something that happened somewhere. The memorial bridge to Bob, a t-shirt that extolls the virtue of the thug who died in a hail of bullets, someone’s name on the back of a mini truck or even the clean stretch of city street that is done in honor of what’s-her-face. Are you kidding me?

While I might be able to get behind a fallen soldier who gets their name slapped on a freeway or bridge overpass (and that’s a bit of a stretch), there has to be a point when it’s just a bit too much, right? When does it all end? I get that you want to express your grief, and I am probably the least likely to care. It’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s just that I think these things should be shared among those who knew the person the best, not necessarily shared with the world.

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How Much Pre-empting is Too Much?

While we sit through shows with commercials advertising hundreds of stations (or those of us without DVRs do, at any rate), and even basic cable has dozens of channels, and as broadband and cell phone penetration reaches something of a saturation point, when is pre-empting going to be retired?

I get that there can be a radio emergency of some kind. For the first time ever, I heard the emergency broadcasting service used recently. That was one radio station, and it lasted for perhaps 30 seconds to announce weather activity. I can live with that. But television? Not so much.

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Are USAirways In-Flight Movies Worth $10 Million?

According to what I’ve read, the reports are saying that domestic flights from USAirways are undergoing a bit of a makeover – they are having hardware removed so that they will no longer be able to show in-flight movies.

This makeover will allegedly save $10 million per year in fuel and “other costs”. Now I get that there is a certain amount of money to be saved by taking out the box that plays the movie. But $10 million is a lot. Plus, don’t they need it to play the safety film on the flight?

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Steve Smith Suspended (Again)

The star receiver for the Carolina Panthers who is perpetually carrying a chip on his shoulder, Steve Smith, is in hot water again. This time for his fight with cornerback Ken Lucas.

No one really knows what exactly happened, but there is not exactly any love lost between the two, especially since they go up against one another regularly during practice. We just know that the war of words is now a war of fists. Or fist, at any rate – Smiths.

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All the Slow-Turners are in the South

Maybe I’m just getting old. If I am, I hope that it doesn’t involve the need to signal that I’m going to turn a mile down the road – and then come to a complete stop before starting up again to actually make the turn.

I’ll admit that it’s been a while since I’ve lived anywhere other than the South (approaching twenty years now), and when I did it was – gasp – California. But the people in North and South Carolina are really bad at turning.

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Windjammer Dumped Us in Costa Rica

For just about as long as I can remember, I have wanted to take a Windjammer cruise, which was odd because I really don’t care for cruises in general, and I’m not even a huge fan of sailing. I think the thing that I dislike about cruises – that they are on these big, impersonal boats – was what I liked about the Windjammer.

You are on smaller, more interesting boats, you get to have a more personal experience with whatever country (or countries) you are in, it just makes for more of an adventure. And now that I put it that way, I guess really can’t argue with it. So if you’re after adventure, you may want to go Windjammer. But if you’re interested in a cruise with Windjammer, you might want to stay away.

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A Disney Rewards Card (With Free Bambi DVD)!

I don’t get a lot of junk mail. I have the warning message on my credit report, I’ve used as many pre-screenings as possible, and I’ll opt out as often as I can. I’ve even tried to get out of the Valassis list (they are the ones who put the newspaper-like ads in your mailbox). I’m stll working on that one. Though they say that it will take 6-8 weeks to get off their list, and it will last for five years, I’ve yet to get out.

Anyway, because of all this, I get very little junk mail, and even fewer of those pre-approved credit offers. So I was a little surprised when I received a Disney Rewards card (Visa, I think). It might have been from when we went to Disney a few years ago – as long as you’ve done business with them, they can send you something, and they might consider staying in their hotel “doing business”. But what really gets me is that if you sign up for it, you get a free Bambi DVD!

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What's Up With the Department of Motor Vehicles?

The laughingstock of nearly every state, the DMV is the place where just about everything goes to die. Your morning is wasted. Don’t even think about a lunch hour. Try and go in the afternoon and you’ll be lucky to get home before the evening news.

Reports in North Carolina have recently said that our DMV lines could be expected to double in the Charlotte area – from 45 minutes to as long as 90 – because of increased federal requirements. This makes no sense. While most things are faster in the computer age, this relic of antiquity languishes.

It is true that you can at least renew your vehicle tags online, and that’s a good thing. But if you need to get a new tag or tag a test, beware of the great black hole.

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