October 6th, 2009

Arguing Man, Michelin-Man Woman, Grumpy Boy & Li'l Dino, and voting...

~Tuesday~  Taking a bus seat in the morning, a quick scan of the back spotted Arguing Man. To quote a by-now infamous shirt, "He didn't seem himself today; I noticed the improvement immediately." All that is to say, he wasn't arguing with anyone at the moment, which was bonus as he was sitting alone.

I am constantly amazed at how different people experience temperature. Today, comfortable in my shorts and t-shirt, I noticed the that woman whom I think of as the Michelin-Man Woman, as the fat just puffs her up—particularly on her calves, thighs, and arms—had on a sweater jacket and knit gloves. Gloves, I tell you! I broke out in a sweat just looking at her.

With that said, it was around 65° out, and more people than not had on some kind of sweater or light jacket. Things that make you go, "Hmmmm."

Grumpy Boy got on with a light, beige, fleece jacket on, and khaki shorts. Oh yeah, and with two inches of brown and white boxers showing.

The Li'l Dino Lady got on at her usual stop. I don't think I've officially named her before, but she works in the deli shop called Li'l Dino in the Atrium Food Court on campus.

At the stop in front of the McKimmon Center, there was a three-car crash, with the middle car suffering the most visual damage in terms of being "scrunched" both in the front and rear of the car. The third car, however, had smoke coming out from under its engine. The bus slowly inched its enormity around the smoking car, while I thought as my seat passed right by it, "Please just don't blow up or burst into flames until I've passed by."

That daddy got on again with the boys saying goodbye. (I'm going to have to name him soon.) I've not mentioned this before, but always with this family is (whom I presume is) the mother, who just stays seated on the bench that's at their stop. She's African-American (like the husband and the boys), and she wears what looks to me more like a chador than a burka. It's actually like this, only without the part that's over the mouth and the nose. She never smiles, nor does she wear t-shirts signaling that deep down she might be a hoot.

The man sitting directly in front of me had this huge growth on his neck. I think I've mentioned it before, but it would have been quite a while ago. Well, without getting into too much detail—because it was quite unpleasant to look at—he had two large Band-Aids® criss-crossed over the bump, with dark, dried blood just short of seeping through the top pad.



Obviously these are the three most popular reasons people give for trying to get out of a parking-related ticket in downtown Raleigh:

  1. Lack of knowledge of the city’s parking regulations

  2. Conflicts (or running late), going to (or returning from) appointments

  3. Inability to find a valid parking space

Love that last one. "I tried, officer, really I did! But since there were none to accommodate me, I just broke the law assuming that would be okay."

How do I know these are the most popular, one might ask? Because on the page where they give you a form to use to dispute your parking ticket, they clearly state that those three particular reasons are NOT valid. Subtext: So don't even try it.

Just in case you're thinking about parking illegally in downtown Raleigh, here are the things they're specifically looking for and the price you'll pay for ignoring them:

$20 Fines

$30 Fines 

  • Expired Meter
  • Exceeding Time Zone Limit
  • Parking Wrong Direction
  • Too Close to Corner
  • Across Parking Line
  • On Crosswalk
  • Storing/Abandon on Street
  • Over 12" from Curb
  • Taxi Zone
  • No Parking: Valet Zone
  • Driveway
  • Bus Zone
  • Traffic Lane
  • On Sidewalk
  • Blocking Intersection
  • No Parking Area
  • Truck Loading Zone
  • Truck Parking / Public Street
  • Parking Lot: No Valid Permit
  • City Facility Parking Violation
  • Commercial Loading Zone

$100 Fine: Handicapped Spot




We had our weekly staff meeting, whose agenda was chocked full, as usual. And as is our culture, we had food. Jude brought clementines (Oh my darlin'!), I brought two varieties of Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Milk Chocolate Caramel and Oatmeal Raisin, and Rhonda brought some high-fiber chewy bars, which actually weren't bad—even juxtaposed to the fat cookies!



I voted last night, and the place was dead. I was the only person there at the time I went, and I was voter #154 for our polling station. That was total, for the day, that's it.

My officemate and I had been discussing the drama that's been in the news about the school board candidates, and I'd been ruminating about who I was going to vote for that all afternoon. So, imagine my surprise when I looked at my ballot and saw candidates only for Mayor, City Council At-Large, and City Council District D.

After flipping the sheet over to see if there were more on the back, I said to the five ladies working in there, "Where are the school board candidates?"

"Oh the seat in our district doesn't expire for two more years. Come back then and vote for them."

On my way out, as I passed the line of people giving one last push for their candidates, I had a nice bipartisan exchange with them.

One of them said, "Thank you for voting today."

To which I replied to all of them, "Thank you for being so passionate about your candidates."

See, we can all just get along.



I met Joe at Red Lobster, where we had two meals for $6.00. I'd received a coupon for $4.00 of two adult entrees, which we applied toward our bill of $30.00. Joe had gift cards that covered the remaining $26.00 and I left the $6.00 tip. Sweet!

Our next stop was Panera Bread, but just before getting in our cars it occurred to me that we were going to pass that Lowe's where I bought my faucets, but forgot to buy my "pop-up drain," on the way to Panera, and Joe agreed to stop there so I could run in and grab a drain. He needed some batteries anyway.

Inside, Joe was absolutely astounded to learn that I hadn't opened the box my new faucet came in, because as he put it, "I think the drain is included with the faucet." Sure enough, we opened a box there and the drain comes with it. Do you see why I avoid home improvement stores like the plague?

We looked at the batteries, but they had packs of four and he really only wanted one, and they seemed kind of pricey to me (being suspect due to the recent coffee filter debacle), and he decided to hold off on them, as he didn't need one right then.

At Panera's we looked at Joe's ESOP holdings from when he worked at AllScripts, and I helped him calculate its current gain if he sold them today— with a little lesson about cost basis, long/short-term gains/losses, and dividend income reporting. :-)



We stopped by Flex, and I'm just not going to comment on it, except to say that it was Bag Lady Bingo night, hosted by the inimitable Eunyce Raye. As the saying goes, "If you can't say anything nice... come sit next to me."