Sunday, November 28, 2010

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it

Hola, peeps.

Took off about 4 AM on Black Friday. The crowds at the Super Target on Bloomingdale Ave were large and restless. It was a sea of people, who for some reason, needed a 32" TV at 4 AM. Luckily, I was driving past them on my way to Miami. Yep, another South Florida fishing trip in search of the not so elusive Peacock Bass.

Just past the Super Target we jumped on I-75 Southbound, setting a blistering 65 MPH pace all the way down to Naples. The road turned to the east and we turned with it, paying our two dollar and fifty cents toll to drive across a gatorless Alligator Alley, which means, I suppose, we paid a toll to drive through what would merely be an alley. Wait a sec. We were pulling a boat trailer. No extra axles for free on a toll road. I must ammend this to read that the road turned to the east and we turned with it, paying our five dollar toll to drive across a gatorless Alligator Alley, which means, I suppose, we paid a toll to drive through what would merely be an alley. FIVE DOLLARS & NO GATORS!! What a ripoff. (And $5 back, too.)

Turns out that the new lake DRE wanted to try was literally in the only neighborhood in Miami that I am completely familiar with. We were fishing at Airport Lake/Blue Lagoon which, coincidentally, was right beside the Airport. I work at airports! So I am fishing in the back yard of the hotels I stay at when I'm there for work. Had I known they had the peacock basses in the water there, I'd have brought along a rod on previous trips. I will next time for sure. I have been sitting around the pool, shirtless, enjoying a cigar when I could have been sitting out on the rocks, shirtless, fishing and enjoying a cigar.

From the lake, a bunch of canals went thisaway and that. So once you get to fishing, you can just meander all over the place. Normally we fish out in the woods, so it was cool to look up and see a plane looking like it was going to land on you, or to be cruising from neighborhood to neighborhood while fishing. It was a lot like the boat rides through Bangkok's canals, except we didn't have to pay and we never encountered a floating market. But we did come face to face with a surprising number of the wild urban iguanas. Miami is a lot of things, many just a bit surreal and not all of them pleasant, but it is never dull.

At one point I noted that we were in a boat, fishing beside a railroad track that ran between the runways and a freeway. Although, it was not a freeway since it charged a toll, a distinction I just snapped off as I typed that. So I will leave the quote I made unmolested. By the way, I just thought about the signs we have at all of our retention ponds in the Tampa Bay area that say do not feed or molest the alligators. I always think that the warning to not molest the alligators should be removed so as to not to upset the Darwinian balance of the universe.

I am on a learning kick. I hope. I tell people all the time, but while they hear, they never listen. I am surrounded by people who reach a level, any level even a bad one, and get comfortable. But I tell them, once you get here, look to see how you get there, then learn what you need to reach it. And if your employer will pay for it or subsidize it, all the better. Then I'm done. I mean, you can lead a dope to water, but you can't make them think. But me, I'm going to at least try.

So, I got the company to purchase Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America). Except they didn't. They had me research it. Twice. They had me write up a proposal that included cost, coverage, and licensing information. Twice. They told me we were going to do it. Twice. Then I was ultimatly informed that Spanish For Dummies was only $29 and that's the way they'd decided to go with it. I imagine that at some point, while we are down in Latin America trying to grow our business opportunities, one airport manager is going to turn to another and say something like, "Their Spanish makes them sound kinda like dummies".

So anyway, I just bought my own Rosetta Stone. And it was not cheap. But being bilingual is better than not being bilingual. I am going to attempt to put it on my taxes as an uncompensated business expense, because it is. I expect to be training operators down in Colombia and Costa Rica and who knows where else. I want to know at least a little Spanish. In real life I can get through an order at Pollo Tropical with out it.

But wait, there's more. I also put in an external training request for a full course in Linux. I especially have difficulty moving around in our software and configuration menus because you have to type the command lines and that kind of stuff does not come naturally to me. I will, in effect, be learning a second foreign language. But the products are requiring more and more fiddling around with the command lines and I don't want to be the old guy that got stuck in one spot and couldn't keep up as technology changed. And I know I am close to becoming that guy because I am not particularly interested in smart phones and don't see why I'd want to watch video on them. So, I am at the cusp of becoming a crusty, ill-tempered, old curmudgeon anyway in real life, no need to be one at work also.

My fall of self-improvement, if you will.

I watched The Bad Lieutenant. The reviews were good. The movie was bad. Although, Harvey Keitel is always a trip to watch. Just like Dennis Hopper was. But I digress. Anyway, do I learn not to pick these off beat movies to watch? You know, since I am frequently disappointed in them. Not on your life. Life's too short for Disney Flicks and Iron Man III. I have The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans queued up in Netflix. It has Nicolas Cage, not Harvey Keitel, but Nicolas has a full on crazy side that could be interesting. Plus, for you ladies, Val Kilmer is in it. You know, The Ice Man.

Review from Esquire Magazine:
Cage's performance as the rogue cop hunting a murderer while battling his inner demons is absurd, an endless muscle cramp devoid of depth, nuance, or credibility. And Herzog, who has made a handful of truly brilliant films — check out Aguirre, the Wrath of God, an ice ax par excellence — is content in his dotage to toss poo against the wall and film whatever sticks. In BL: POCNO, this boils down to random footage of gators and iguanas and a break-dancing corpse.

Hey, say what you will about the not so glowing review of the flick, who among us is not willing to see it just for the break dancing corpse? Yeah, I know.

Well, I have lingered more than is normally comfortable, so I say goodbye.

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves, out
Ramblin' Ed


Blogger The Appalachianist said...

I didn't get to finish, but, I was here.

7:56 AM  

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