5 Things I Learned: July 2016

I’m a little late this month, because…

“That’s him, officer! The one on the right!”

1. Whoever designs Samsung dryers is a sadistic monster: A couple of weeks ago my wife discovered that our dryer was spinning but not drying. Well, that’s not good, I thought, but it’s probably just a bad heating element.

No problem, I’ve replaced a dryer heating element before. Let me just check YouTube for a video that tells you how to… OH MY LORD, DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE WHOLE DRYER APART TO GET TO THE ELEMENT?!?!

Yes, you do, in fact, have to take the entire dryer apart to get to the heating element, located, as it is, in the most inaccessible bottom corner of the machine, right underneath the Ark of the Covenant. About ten minutes into that instruction video, I decided that the odds of me taking the thing apart and getting it back together correctly were about the same as the odds of me performing successful spinal surgery on myself on a rubber raft in the middle of a hurricane. “Welp,” I said, “looks like we’re gonna have to buy a dryer.”

After looking at the prices of new dryers, though, I started to think, “You know, it’s already not working, so it’s not like I’m going to make it any worse.” So, I found the replacement part and gave it the ol’ college try, and what do you know, I actually fixed it. It was way harder than replacing that part should have to be, but at the end of it I feel like I made $500! No thanks to you, Samsung.

2. I’m in a period of my life where vacation days are harder than regular days: More specifically, a period where I live with two little people whom I have to take with me everywhere I go, and who need regularly scheduled naps every day, and who aren’t particularly good at using the potty in public places yet. Not to say that vacations with the family aren’t fun; they are. But they’re also kind of grueling in a way that makes a body glad to get back to regularly scheduled life after a while.

We spent a week at the beach, and we had a great time, and I wanted to hug my house when we got back.

3. They don’t make good movies anymore: This is something I keep re-learning every time I go to the movies, but it keeps being true. I went to see the new Star Trek movie, and it was ok; worth the price of admission on $5 Tuesday ($2 drinks and popcorn y’all! You can’t afford not to go!). But it’s pretty obvious they weren’t trying to make a good movie. They had a checklist of items they think are supposed to go in a blockbuster summer movie, and they were just trying to check as many of them as they could in two hours, including “dangerous motorcycle stunts.” In a Star Trek movie.

4. It only takes one idea to get a movie made: Don’t be fooled: the movie business is not that complicated. I’m pretty sure that Star Trek: Beyond happened because someone said, “You know what would be cool? If the Enterprise was in some kind of space battle… with the Beastie Boys song Sabotage playing in the background!” And then a studio executive said, “Make a whole movie around that scene! Here’s $100 million.”

5. We are utterly, utterly screwed: I’m still trying to stay away from politics because it’s just too depressing. But we had the major party conventions last month, so it was hard to avoid. And when you see it big as life in front of your face for two straight weeks like that, man, it’s just as terrible as you think.

I’m not one of those “The system is broken!” kind of people. The system we have is great; one of the best ever devised by the minds of men. It’s just that the people who run the system are awful.

However, it’s hard not to think that something is amiss when, out of a nation of 300 million, the only two people who have a legitimate chance to win the presidency are so completely contemptible.

Let’s say that we combined both candidates into one person, named Dilary Clump. It is hard for me to think of any American whom I wouldn’t vote for over Dilary. Mitt Romney? Sure. John Kasich? Definitely. Either of the guys from the Sonic Drive-In commercials? No question. Recently released presidential assassin wannabee John Hinckley Jr.? At least it would put him somewhere where the Secret Service could keep an eye on him.

But none of those people are on the ballot, so Dilary is going to be president. Over the next hundred days or so, I’ll try to keep my mind off of it by researching fun third parties (Why, hello there, Constitution Party! Nice to meet you!) and hoping for some absurd new development that will turn this mess around. Which, in an absurd year, might not be all that absurd.

No, nothing’s going to happen. We’re screwed.

1 thought on “5 Things I Learned: July 2016”

  1. Re item #1: Years ago we had a Kenmore front loading washer that had to have the drum replaced after less than a year. The repairman had to take the entire thing completely apart. The cost of the part and the repair came to about $100 more than we had paid for the washer, yet Sears insisted on the repair rather than a replacement. Almost as if they were a government beurocracy, now that I think about it.

    I am totally with you on the political front. I am ill over the whole rotten business. I plan to write in Ted Cruz.


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