In the morning while I get up and eat my oatmeal and check the Internets, I’ve gotten accustomed to putting the teevee on on my computer. Once upon a time (prior to last November) I used to put the lo-cal news on but these days I find that horribly aggravating and not very good for my health (even though my BP seems to be good – kinda low most of the time, to be honest – doesn’t seem to be worth taking the risk of a blood vessel blowing out in my brain), so I tend to put on something easier on the mind. Usually one of the Science Channels, but occasionally I might watch one of the three flavors of Law and Order that are more or less on 24/7 (you can find all three in the AM as early as I get up). I think this will be ending in November when the price of PlayStation Vue goes up $10. It’s on the border of not being worth it to me at $35 a month – for $45, I don’t think so, and the promise of adding local channels isn’t worth it. But we’ll see – on the odd chance that SU Football doesn’t suck (again) this fall, I might keep it around for the sports.

Anyhow, the advantage here is that I can put on something mindless that I don’t really have to pay attention to (or in the case of the Science stuff, learn something), but that helps to drown out the voices in my head. The bad part is the fucking commercials – pretty much the same ones over and over again. Commercials and promos for other shows. I have no idea who this Kendra person is, or why anybody would give a shit about her or her mother who is apparently writing a “tell all” book about her. I don’t care about the trials and tribulations of the children of rap “stars” (that I’ve never heard of, because I’m old) who are “Growing Up Hip-Hop” (and, really, you think you’re gonna find your target audience for this by promoting it during the 5:00 AM showing of reruns of Law and Order: SVU?), and if I have to hear the British guy holler about the “spinnie turny cagey fiery thing” one more time, I think I’m gonna scream.

Then of course there are the auto insurance commercials, about accident forgiveness and how company X really “takes care of you” unlike the others. One woman says “you buy a new car and drive into a tree and now your insurance company wants to raise you rates. Maybe you should’ve done more research on your insurance company.” Yeah. Or maybe you shouldn’t have driven your car into a tree. Either way, if you think the business model for any of these companies is to give you free money from the goodness of their own hearts, then you’re nuts. It’s like “free” shipping – you’re paying for it, one way or another.

Then there’s the company that sends out a repair crew when your kid gets a flat tire in the middle of the night, because your kid doesn’t know a lug wrench from a pry bar. I hate to sound like grumpy old man, but, sorry, but if the kid doesn’t know how to change a tire, that’s on you. I don’t care if you’ve got AAA or even if you never actually have to do it, it’s something you need to know HOW to do, ‘cuz you just never know (which I’ve told the wife but, hey, why would she start listening to me now?). I mean, you really want to be waiting around for a tow truck in the middle of the night (when it’s about 20 below out) – or have to walk because you don’t have cell reception (which, admittedly, seems pretty unlikely these days – back in MY day, you’d have to walk to a pay phone or rely on the kindness of strangers).

I know my dad made sure my sister and I (and my brothers, too, I assume) knew how to change a tire – which in fact we had to do one time while out and about when I was maybe 8 years old and she was 17 or so. And I’ve changed more flats since then than I can count – even helping out a damsel (well, more of a dame than a damsel) in distress on my way home one time. I got filthy, but she did offer me $2, which I politely declined because I really wasn’t in it for the money.

There’s not a lot of wisdom us old-timers have left to impart upon these whippersnappers, but changing a tire ought to be one of them. I’ve often said that high school should include some basic survival skills – like basic auto repair, basic wiring, basic plumbing, that kind of stuff. If you’re lucky, you’ll never need it. But it’s nice to know what to do when a pipe bursts in your ceiling (hint – shut the water off, to the whole house if necessary. It at least stops the flood and gives you a chance to figure out what to do next).

Oh well, I guess I’ll get back to seeing how buttons are made.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.