Gridlocked

I’ve been on a tear lately with respect to moronic drivers who either don’t know traffic laws, don’t care about them, are too egomaniacal to realize that the law applies to them, or are just too stupid. Lately, my money is on stupid.

Today’s rant is about those motorists who like to block intersections because they can’t wait the five or so minutes for the green light to come back around to them. No, they’re too impatient and/or too stupid and, apparently, don’t mind blocking a major, traffic light-controlled intersection and preventing other motorists from going on their merry little way.

Lately, I’ve had more than my share of stress at the hands of these morons. I have had to sit at a red light for multiple cycles simply because the intersection is blocked when I have the right-of-way. Further, when I arrive at or leave work, I have to wait to turn at a traffic signal; however, more often than not, I am neither able to enter nor exit the parking garage because of idiots blocking my way.

According to Nevada law (NRS 484B.450), “1. A person shall not stop, stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device, in any of the following places: … (c) Within an intersection ….

Now, that’s pretty damn clear, don’t you think?

I started taking photos of these motorists’ vehicles and forwarding them to a cop friend of mine. Karma is, indeed, a bitch,

Weekend at Ruthie’s

The right-versus-left chasm keeps growing. Ever since Donald Trump was duly elected president in 2016, democrats and their communist/socialist minions have been trying to remove him from office. Such efforts include attempting to eliminate the electoral college, launching a bogus Russian collusion “investigation,” levying false accusations against the executive administration, lying to Congress, exonerating known criminals (ahem cough Hillary cough), and, even more recently, consuming themselves with an impeachment process that will never reach fruition.

Instead of maintaining their oaths of office to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, in reality, they are doing whatever they can to undermine it. From free speech restrictions to unconstitutional efforts to remove citizens’ RIGHT to keep and bear arms, to trying to step on Americans’ rights in every direction toward the goal of making the United States of America an open-border socialist welfare third-world shit hole..

This will never happen.

Among one of the thorns in President Trump’s side is a U.S. Supreme Court with octogenarian justices who should have retired years ago but won’t even if it would be in his/her best interests. Case in point: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Ginsburg is the most extreme lefty on the court, and she, not unlike the throngs of corrupt democrats in our government, hates the president with every fiber of her frail being. Thus, she is attempting to do whatever it takes to stay on the bench and prevent President Trump’s third appointment to the high court.

Face it, the woman is 85 years old. She’s had treatment for cancer twice, fell and broke three ribs, and has recently been hospitalized for fever and chills. Any normal person would realize that maybe s/he isn’t qualified to continue working in his/her best capacity.

She recently said, and I’m paraphrasing, that she plans to do her job until she can’t anymore. Hey Ruthie, you can’t anymore. You’re missing days due to multiple health problems. And let’s not forget the fact that you fall asleep at the drop of a hat (Kavanaugh hearings, anyone?) I kept waiting to see someone hold a mirror under her nose to ensure that she was still breathing.

This country has already faced nearly four years of failed anti-American rhetoric and investigations that have cost we the taxpayers millions of dollars and caused a huge party rift that doesn’t show any signs of being remedied.

So, come on Ruthie, step down. It’s way past due.

Welcome to the Jungle

Have you ever noticed that people tend to walk the same way they drive? Here in Las Vegas, the land where nobody can drive worth a shit, I find myself the victim of tailgaters, those who drive without lights at night, texting drivers who almost cause accidents, speed demons who weave in and out of traffic only to get to the traffic signal before anyone else (was it worth it?!), ridiculously loud bass music emanating from a vehicle that makes my windows vibrate and my bladder, oh well, never mind about that, and folks who block intersections just so they don’t have to wait through a red light. It’s so frustrating and annoying.

Lately, however, I have increasingly noticed that people display the same lack of awareness whilst walking, especially in casinos. There are those who are texting while ambling around, oblivious to what or who is around them. Then there are those who stop suddenly while I am walking behind them. Others are speed-walking without any care of who or what they may run into. Some are talking on their phones loudly enough that one cannot help but eavesdrop. And, of course, smokers make this worse because not only do I have to navigate throngs of bodies but also have to keep an eye out for lit cigarettes; something else of which folks tend to be unaware. And why are people still smoking? It’s disgusting, unhealthy, and physically distressing for those of us with smoke sensitivities/allergies.

I tell ya, the more I’m around people, the less I want to be around people. Especially in close quarters.

Peace out.

Bah, Humbug

For anyone who knows me, the fact that I am not a holiday person shouldn’t surprise him/her, but, oddly, it does. I despise all holidays: Thanksgiving, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, and, especially, Christmas.

The whole commercialization of holidays turned me off to them years ago. I abhor and, frankly, dread going into a store in October and being inundated with Christmas music, decorations, etc. for the next two months. And, let’s not forget television commercials instructing viewers what to buy, where to buy, and for whom to buy.

If I want to give someone a gift, I don’t need advertisers telling me when and what. I also refuse to spend $7 for a greeting card.

It floors me how people get so wrapped up (pun intended) in all of the people on their Christmas list and who wants what and how much they are spending. I find it completely ridiculous that anyone would put themselves in debt to buy a bunch of overpriced crap for typically ungrateful people who are going to return whatever they get that isn’t exactly what they asked for.

There’s my two cents. I will now return you to your regularly scheduled holiday glee.

Punctuation 101: The Apostrophe

Apostrophe misuse is my biggest pet peeve, and yes, I am a nerd. I cringe every time I see signs or other printed material wherein an apostrophe is incorrectly used to make a word plural. I have taken it upon myself to notify, inform, teach, and correct (thanks to my handy dandy Sharpie pen I always carry) those who can’t seem to get it into their thick skulls that AN APOSTROPHE IS NOT USED TO MAKE A WORD PLURAL.

I am amazed and mortified how many people don’t have a basic grasp of grammar. It’s not that difficult. If you have one dog, and then add another, you have two dogs. Not dog’s. If Johnny has five apples and Susie has six apples, then how many apples do they have together? Eleven apples. Not apple’s. I am a die hard Vegas Golden Knights fan. Not Knight’s.

Simple, right? One would think so, but no.

Instead I am inundated on a daily basis with glaring apostrophe errors everywhere. Buy two bone’s and get one free. Granny Smith apple’s are on sale for $.99/pound. Buy two pound’s of broccoli and get one free.

It’s aggravating.

Apostrophes are used to denote possession as in the baby’s blanket, the dog’s collar, my neighbor’s noisy car, and my boyfriend’s sexy butt. These are examples of singular possession. One subject and something belonging to that subject.

There is also plural possession as in the cats’ litter box, my daughters’ bedroom, and my grandparents’ dentures. In these cases, the subject word is first pluralized (with an s and no apostrophe), and then the apostrophe comes at the end to denote possession.

In some cases, yes, the apostrophe does make a plural. These limited cases deal with numbers and letters. How many number 8’s do you have. Sally received three A’s and three B’s on her report card.

It really isn’t that difficult. Really.

The Tarnished Knights

OK, I admit that we hockey fans in Las Vegas couldn’t have even imagined that in the Golden Knights’ inaugural year they would make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Such success is unheard of in any professional league.

But they did, setting new records along the way. Led by the decorated veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury who won three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins (before they decided to let him go in the expansion draft), our guys could do no wrong. This rag-tag band of other teams’ castaways gelled immediately and became one of the best expansion teams in the history of sports.

Even last year, after a somewhat tumultuous start to the season, the Knights bounced back and made the post season again. The outcome was not as spectacular as the previous season; however, they did manage to get into the playoffs. Sadly, they were eliminated in the first round by the San Jose Sharks (who they beat in last year’s playoffs) despite leading the series 3-1 early on. The Knights would then go on to blow leads and lose the next three, ensuring their season ended right then and there.

Now, we are into year 3, and even after making some fantastic roster acquisitions (Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Cody Glass, Paul Stastny, Nick Holden, Valentin Zykov, and Nicholas Roy, to name a few), extending contracts of other valuable players like William Karlsson, and trading away other lesser-performing or overly expensive players, the Knights find themselves in 5th place in their division having lost the past five games in a row at the time of the writing of this article.

This begs the question, “Where are our Knights, and who are these imposters?” Frankly, it’s getting old listening to Head Coach Gerard Gallant and each player saying after every loss that “We played well but need to work on a few minor details.” I would hardly call too many penalties, poor puck control, and horrible defense “minor details.” If something isn’t working, then change it. Mix up the lines a bit, send some non-performers to the minors and call up others who may be hot at the moment. At this point, maintaining the status quo won’t give the players the kick in the butt they need to improve.

It’s time to win already.

Am I going to abandon them? Of course not, I am very faithful to my teams even in their perpetual mediocrity (ahem San Diego, er Los Angeles Chargers.) It would take a lot for me to abandon a team for whom I’ve been rooting and supporting for 30 years. It would take something truly horrible and catastrophic like, oh, I don’t know, a team’s crappy owner failing to extend the new stadium vote to county residents and not just city ones to enable the team to remain in the city in which it’s played for 50 years, or something like that.

But I digress.

My point is that I am Golden Knights fan. I support them wholeheartedly. I just wish the players and coaches would remember what winning felt like and endeavor to regain their former supremacy on the ice.

It’s that Little Stick on the Left

Oh good grief. People can be so clueless, inconsiderate, and lazy, and nowhere is this more evident than while driving. It is ridiculous how many motorists fail to comprehend simple traffic laws or, even worse, blatantly disregard them.

I’ve already discussed those who drive with their lights off at night, but that is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad drivers. Another huge problem is the failure to use a turn signal.

You see, not everyone is a mind reader and, therefore is unable to glean others’ intentions. Instead, most quasi-normal people (like me) only see offensive drivers who are either spatially unaware or blatantly rude cutting us off. Seriously, how difficult is it to click that turn signal to broadcast your intentions to others?

Relatedly, those motorists who fail to let someone in front of them is also an irritant. In cities where there is beaucoup traffic (like Las Vegas), those of us who do, in fact, use our turn signals regularly will signal and then wait for what seems like an eternity for someone to let us in front of him/her.

So, hey, rude motorists: Will letting a car get in front of you prevent your arrival or seriously impede your driving time to your destination? Is speeding up to close any mergeable area or tailgating the vehicle in front of you going to improve your commute? Are you that much of a miserable, discontent person who can’t, for just one second, put yourself in someone else’s position and think, “Gee, this driver needs to move over here and is being courteous enough to signal, so maybe I should let him/her in.” Sadly, more often than not, the answer to these questions is a resounding, “No.”

On a side note, signal before you turn or merge. Don’t use your turn signal as you are turning or merging. It defeats the purpose.

How Colin Kaepernick Ruined the NFL (for me, anyway)

I used to be a huge NFL fan. Seriously huge. I was the type of person who watched every single game every week courtesy of my DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket. I watched the eight-game game mix, red zone channel, pre- and postgame shows, you name it. I used to write NFL articles for a now-defunct sporting site, and, in addition to playing fantasy football, I also wrote fantasy analysis for a few sites.

With football playing such a huge role in my life, when Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel for the national anthem and presentation of flag to protest police brutality back in 2016, I was livid. Kaepernick said that he was kneeling for people who are oppressed.

First of all, what the hell does Kaepernick know about oppressed people? He is half-black and half-white and was adopted into a very well-off white family where, to be honest, he never had to go without anything.

Secondly, what does police brutality have to do with the national anthem and the flag? Granted, some people think the anthem is racist, but, frankly, what isn’t racist today?

Third, yes everyone has the right to peaceably assemble and protest issues against their beliefs. The First Amendment of the US Constitution provides for freedom of speech, but what most people fail to understand is that this protection is from government infringement (save for certain, specific exceptions.) You don’t have freedom of speech at work if you work for a private employer. Seriously, does you boss let you protest anything while on the clock on company property?

Because Kaepernick was employed by the National Football League (NFL), he didn’t have absolute First Amendment (or any First Amendment) freedom of speech while at work. Yes, these so-called celebrities do have a forum where they can reach thousands of people, but protesting anything that is inherently American (anthem, flag, etc.) is inappropriate in that situation.

And, of course, Kaepernick’s poor behavior rubbed of on other players, and “boss” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell failed to put his foot down and tell them to knock it off while on the clock. Isn’t it funny how none of these kneeling protestors bothered to get their message out anywhere during the offseason?

Fourth, what, exactly, does police brutality have to do with the American flag and national anthem? In fact, police shoot and kill white offenders far more than black or Hispanic ones, yet those with the loudest mouths don’t believe facts matter and don’t want anyone else to know the truth.

Anyway, back to my main point. Because of this blatant disrespect for the US and her flag, and the failure of Goodell to harness this crap before it overtook the league, left such a bad taste in my mouth and, consequently, I boycotted the NFL for a few years.

I have only recently started watching games again, but the passion, interest, and excitement is gone.

There’s No Business

Is it only me (I’m sure it’s not) who is sick to death of the complete and utter lack of originality in Hollywood today? I get it that celebs and filmmakers are obviously busy spouting their political opinions to the masses who don’t give a damn what they think and who just want to be entertained for a few hours, but it has gotten to the point where the art itself suffers.

Case in point, I just saw a commercial for the new Charlie’s Angels movie. Wait, what? Wasn’t there already a bad Charlie’s Angels movie released in 2000 with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore? Wasn’t that enough punishment? Obviously not as there is a newer version coming out later this year with the perpetually wooden Kristen Stewart and two other actresses of whom I’ve never heard.

Well, that got me thinking about the recent, and even not so recent, spate of prequels, sequels, and remakes over the past several years. Saw was great, Saw 7 was not. The Final Destination franchise has four sequels. Scream, Friday the 13th, and Halloween all have multiple sequels. And it’s not just horror movies (which happen to be my favorite, by the way.) Toy Story, The Lion King, The Godfather, Shrek, Star Wars, Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so many more in other genres are also subject to multiple sequels. And don’t even get me started on comic book superhero movies. Now, granted, not all of these sequels (or prequels) are terrible, but the majority are and simply serves to demonstrate that the only thing contemporary filmmakers are interested in today is taking a cash cow and milking it.

And the remakes. Remakes galore. Rob Zombie ruined Halloween and Halloween 2. Other remakes are also horrible such as The Last House on the Left, 12 Angry Men, Poltergeist, Ghostbusters, I Spit on Your Grave (which not only was remade poorly but also had some shit sequels), and many more. Look at Disney and the dozen live-action remakes from classic animated films or the ad nauseum American remakes of foreign films.

Is this necessary?

Doesn’t anybody have any original ideas anymore?

I guess not.

Lights, Cam…, er Lights, Lights, LIGHTS!

I swear, I have never seen so many cars at night driving down the road with their lights off. Granted, Las Vegas is quite illuminated after dark with neon lighting ad nauseum; however, this does not give you clueless and inattentive motorists the right to drive down a busy street without lights.

Now, as the good Samaritan I am who does a daily good deed and tries to flood the universe with good karma (to make up for this blog, apparently), I try to inform you, as nicely as possible, of course, that your lights are off. Whether I flash my high beams into your rear window, cut you off and turn my lights on and off, or try to get you to roll your window down at a stoplight, more often than not, you are beyond clueless.

Frankly, I don’t understand how you can get in your car at night and not notice your lights aren’t on. Seriously. Get off your damn phone and pay attention.