The Tale Of The Confused Dude Going Further In The Ford Pickup Truck

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Here’s what made me laugh way too much the other day.

I was on a two-lane curvy township road, stopped in construction traffic in a single file lane with about 20 other vehicles, waiting, when…

This young dude in a huge new Ford F-150 pickup truck in front of me started revving his badass engine, bouncing his truck on its bloated large tires, impatient, as he waited for the opportunity to be allowed to drive on the one lane that the construction crew had us using.

But apparently Mr. Pickup Truck zoned out during the minutes he was forced to sit still so that when the flagger gave the go ahead to drive forward, Mr. Pickup Truck drove his vehicle on the wrong side of the road: the side of the road that the flagger was not pointing to.

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Continuing on with this story I will attempt to tell it in a non-mocking mature way.

Meanwhile, while we [the other drivers and I] watched, the flagger dropped the STOP/SLOW sign he was holding and started yelling “NO!”as he ran down the middle of the road around the curve after Mr. Pickup Truck.

Mr. Pickup Truck, however, was oblivious to what he’d done wrong and vroom-vroom-vroomed around the curve in the road where we could see that he had to stop, abruptly, behind a backhoe– that was now blocked by Mr. Pickup Truck’s F-150.

The man on the backhoe did not appear to be happy about this development, and seemed to have a few words to say to Mr. Pickup Truck.  I was too far away to hear the actual conversation, but from body language I’m going to surmise that the backhoe operator used words not suitable for a PG-13 blog such as this one.

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Not wanting to seem unkind here, but this was darned funny on both a slapstick level and on an existential level.

First of all, I got to see this young guy do something really dumb in which no one was hurt.  Plus, it was humorous for me to drive, in the proper lane, by Mr. Pickup Truck who looked astonished that he was trapped on the wrong side of the road, unable to move in any direction until the flagger took pity on him.

But this didn’t happen immediately because the flagger was a person who believed that stupid actions had consequences. Thus he allowed the rest of us alert drivers to go on our way before [presumably] letting Mr. Pickup Truck drive in reverse around the curve back to where Mr. Pickup Truck needed to be so that he could drive in the lane that was open.

At the same time, on a more meta level, I got giggling because Ford’s ad campaign is: “Go Further.”  Little did they know that their slogan needed to be tweaked;  that is, apparently Ford needs to clarify to their truck buyers that the drivers should go further in the correct lane. 🙄

In Which Ms. Bean Drives In Circles & Contemplates A Personal Slogan

About 100 years ago this car would have been my preferred set of wheels, especially if it came standard with a dog. Obviously. { photo via Library of Congress }

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OF LATE I’VE HAD MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN USUAL TO drive to and from the airport.  Considering where we live in Ohio, our closest international airport is in Kentucky, meaning that I have to drive on an interstate highway to cross over the Ohio River to get there.

It’s all about geography.

I can do this by EITHER driving on the outer belt through Ohio, across a bridge into Kentucky.

OR, if there is an accident in my way or construction delays, I can drive in the other direction on the outer belt through Ohio, then through Indiana, across a bridge into Kentucky.

The excitement?  It never ends.

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IT IS WHILE SASHAYING AROUND THE AFOREMENTIONED INTERSTATE OUTER BELT SYSTEM THAT I’ve come to notice, on huge bridge signs, that Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana have new-to-me state slogans*.

  • Ohio, formerly “THE HEART OF IT ALL” is now “SO MUCH TO DISCOVER”
  • Kentucky, formerly “WHERE EDUCATION PAYS” is now “UNBRIDLED SPIRIT”
  • Indiana, formerly “CROSSROADS OF AMERICA” is now “HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA”

Seeing these state slogans, writ large [literally and figuratively], got me thinking about branding, albeit in a narcissistic way.  That is, what might I use as my personal slogan?

If I had to have one.  Which to my knowledge I do not.  Yet.

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THUS WANTING TO BE PREPARED FOR ANY CONTINGENCY and bored out of my gourd while driving, I compiled the following list** of potential Ally Bean slogans.

Should you be of a mind to help me decide what my personal slogan should be, please indulge me and do the following two things:

  1. Indicate your preferred slogan for moi, by answering the simple poll question below.
  2. If you have a personal slogan, I’d love to know what it is.  Yours might be better than mine and it’s not too late for me to steal it from you I could be inspired by it.

Thank you in advance for your immediate input on this totally irrelevant, but blogworthy, issue that has come to plague me as I drive hither and yon around the interstate outer belt system.

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* I’ve no idea how often these slogans change. All I know is what my addled brain remembers, a faulty system at best– and these state slogans seem different from what I remember them being before.

** Oddly enough, most of these potential slogans are ones that I’ve used in various places online over the years. Or, ideas I wrote down intending to use as topics for blog posts.

Thus Far My August Has Not Been The Best

Here we go…

GOBSMACKED.  My car, parked legally on our street, was in an accident.  I found out about this when a neighbor, then a police officer, came to our front door to tell me that someone had rear-ended my vehicle.  Was it another car? A truck? A van or SUV? A person on a motorcycle?

No it was not.

It was a man on a bicycle who was going so fast that when he lost control he propelled himself through my back windshield, shattering it to bits.  And hurting himself so much that he had to be airlifted to a hospital across town.

[I have no further information on his condition at this time and my car is in the process of being repaired.]

DISAPPOINTED.  When Google Reader shut down a few years ago, I started using Feedly as my RSS reader.  I was thrilled with their straightforward, fresh and easy-to-use format.

In fact, as one of the early community members I told everyone I knew about this service because there was no fuss when reorganizing your feeds, no distractions when reading your chosen content.

Earlier this spring, I graciously consented to take a few in-house Feedly surveys, each of which had about a gazillion questions.  In my responses I praised what the company was doing, telling them that I appreciated how they were staying true to the idea that simplicity is best.

Well, Feedly didn’t listen to me.  And last week they changed their simple box-oriented organizational format to a cluttered mess of feeds, shown in lists overburdened with distracting data.  When I asked Feedly what the heck was going on, they told that the community wanted this.

Really? Hmmm. Not everyone.

[Therein I will leave this story, wiser to the truth in the old saying: if you aren’t paying for it, you’re the product.]

EXHAUSTED.  Our 3 to 4 week remodeling project, that started on June 5th, is now into week 10.  We’re still waiting for the rest of the decorative tile to arrive– and now we’re waiting for the second custom frame for the shower doors to arrive.

Why?  The first custom frame, measured correctly, was then created in the factory incorrectly.  This first frame, when installed in our bathroom, was too short for the doors.

So until a new frame arrives, sometime before Christmas one hopes, we have shower doors leaning against the wall in the bedroom, rather than serving, what I would believe to be, their intended purpose in the bathroom.

[This project has had more unanticipated screw-ups than even I could envision– and I’m pretty damned creative & fretful when planning anything.]

SADDENED.  It is with sorrow that I share with you, my gentle readers, that Fuzzy the Squirrel has passed away.  I’d been seeing less of him around the deck this summer, and when I did see him he was moving slowly, not even bothering to swipe a few tomatoes from my pot.

Last week while watering flower beds out back of the house, I found his almost lifeless body, under a bush near our lower level patio.  He glanced at me, then rolled his eyes upward, as he twitched his right front paw in the air.

Shortly thereafter he was gone from this world.  However, Fuzzy will be remembered forever in the pages of this blog.  May he RIP.

[All stories about Fuzzy the Squirrel are here.]

Mourning The Loss Of A Dream, As One Does

Dream big, they say.

Never give up, they tell us.

Winners do whatever it takes, they assure you.

But sometimes, just sometimes, common sense dictates that you have to give up because…

IT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

Unless there’s an extra $5,000.00 floating around in your life.

Or you’re emotionally unbalanced and prefer to live with something broken instead of fixed, I guess.

But for Zen-Den, a man with a dream, cursed with common sense, grounded in reality, it’s over.

Kaput.

Yes, Zen-Den’s dream of watching his vehicle’s odometer turn over 300,000 miles is not to be.

You see, after 16 years and 254,000 miles, Bullwinkle, Zen-Den’s trusted steed Lexus SUV, is on the critical list…

MOVING, BUT ON BORROWED TIME.

Not expected to make it through the winter due to exhaust system problems.

Living out his final days, hobbling to and from work, as Zen-Den is forced to start looking for his replacement.

Still a beloved part of the family, but not for long.

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My Neighborhood: Not Much Of A Story, But The News Is Good

The economy has perked up around here and with it, the real estate market.  House sales are beginning to happen faster.  That is, houses are on the market for weeks now, instead of for months & months.

Neighbors who are selling their homes are sprucing up what they have, meaning that our street has looked exceptionally nice this spring.  And with the subsequent home sales, we have new younger, active neighbors.

This is a good thing, huh?

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I’m seeing lots of these now.

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I realized the foregoing as I was driving, very slowly, the long way home through our subdivision.  It dawned on me that as well as being outside on the move, many of our new neighbors are driving new cars.  Perhaps I’m overly aware of this sort of thing because I drive a 12 y.o. car, but I was kind of amazed.

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I’m not seeing any of these.

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The cars that I noticed weren’t fancy and/or sporty.  They were Fords or Toyotas or Hyundais, usually trucks or mini-vans or SUVs, middle of the line, practical.  But they were bright + shiny + new.

So that’s what’s up around here.  Not too exciting from a blog story-telling point of view, but encouraging from a midwest homeowners point of view.  Of which I am one.

You gotta take the happy where you find it, eh?

In Which I Converse With A Stranger Whilst Thinking Of One Particular Emoticon

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WHILE WAITING AT HONDA in the customer service area for my car to be repaired, a stylish 60-something woman spotted me reading my book, sat down beside me and started chatting.

That’s what they all do the minute they see me. They start talking.

She told me more than I wanted to know about her: she was retired, single, living on a fixed income, buying her sheets at one department store but her towels at a different one, preferred olive oil from upscale cooking stores rather than the grocery, and watched [nameless] funny TV shows each night.

# # #

COME TO FIND OUT, this woman had brought her car into Honda Service, without an appointment, because the remote transmitter battery in her car’s key was failing.  The battery needed to be replaced.

To me, this seemed simple enough. To her, however, this was a big deal.  

What this woman did not seem to understand was that even when the battery part of her key went dead, she could still insert the key into the car lock and turn the key manually to open the car door.

# # #

NO, SHE THOUGHT THAT when the car key battery went dead she’d have to have the car towed from who knows where and replace the whole lock– which was going to cost hundreds of dollars.

So there I sat a victim of chit-chat overload, dumbfounded by what I’d heard. Somewhat baffled, almost wordless.  

I was about to explain to her how locks work when the service department called her name indicating that they had completed her repair.  So I said “good-bye” and was left to wonder why it is that the clueless people find me– even when I’m minding my own business, they. find. me.  O_o

Mister Ed Isn’t Available To Answer My Question, So I’ll Ask You

Yesterday afternoon I was driving home at about 25 mph through our subdivision when coming at me on the other side of the street were three people on three horses. Gorgeous horses. Big horses. Very calm.

Just walking along.  *clip-clop, clip-clop* 

Not knowing what to do when driving past horses on my suburban street, I slowed down to about 10 mph.  The people on the horses nodded, waved, but did not smile, as we passed each other.

Ever self-aware, I realized that I may have done something wrong.

So here is my question: when driving through city streets am I supposed to treat horses as cars and just drive on by;  OR am I supposed to slow down [stop?] when I see them?

Anyone got an answer?  I sure don’t.  This is all new to me.

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