The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Spring cleaning: Musings with a smile

Spring is starting, the sun is shining, and the skiing is top-notch. I'm too happy to complain at length about anything in particular, so here are five random little thoughts I've recently had:

1. Why are St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo the only major holidays celebrating specific ethnic groups or nationalities in the United States? Since everyone likes these holidays so much, why don't we give recognition to every homeland, from Greenland to New Guinea, and devote a day of drinking and lewdness to each one?

Some of these holidays would be more fun than others, maybe. St. Patrick's Day is great and all, but if March 17 belonged to the French rather than the Irish (a terrifying thought to many, I know), we'd all be eating duck confit and crème brûlée and washing it down with champagne, instead of submitting to a plate of corned beef and cabbage and a glass of green Miller Light. Think about that for a second.

2. You know what the best part of spring skiing is for season pass holders? You don't have to feel guilty about sleeping in on ski days. Unless a blizzard touched down overnight, everyone knows that the best skiing comes after one o'clock, when the snow's had plenty of time to get soft and mushy under the sun, and the moguls are in prime condition. From late March until the end of the season, all those vigorous, early-rising, admirable folks who always beat me to the mountain don't have nearly as much reason to be smug, and that's awesome.

3. Why are Rush Limbaugh's former sponsors making a big self-righteous show of leaving him behind now that he's made some disgusting comments about Sandra Fluke? Can they really pretend that they didn't know Rush Limbaugh was an awful human being before this controversy? By not sneaking off quietly, all they're doing is reminding people (who probably wouldn't otherwise remember) that, until just now, they've actually supported this sexist, racist blowhard.

4. Somehow, until recently, it didn't occur to me that Pokémon was basically the same thing as dog-fighting. For those over the age of 30, here's how Pokémon (the word is a contraction of "Pocket Monsters") works: a Trainer encounters a Pokémon in the wild and attempts to capture it with his Poké Ball; the Pokémon tries to elude the Poké Ball, but if it can't, then it becomes the property of the Trainer and must obey all his commands. The Trainer then forces the Pokémon to fight other Pokémon for his own amusement, and if the Trainer's Pokémon wins the fight, he wins a cash prize from the Trainer on the losing side.

So tell me: why is Ash not reviled by animal-rights activists? He influenced a whole generation of children with this behavior. Realizing all this has made me gladder than ever that I was always a "DBZ" man.

2. You guys notice that the little blue bar on Gmail's loading screen has suddenly been stylized and repositioned? Now it has stripes, like a barber pole turned on its side. Somehow upgrades like this irritate me - like, if that's all you're going to do for me, don't even bother, man. A new loading screen, seriously? It's like when a relative buys you a Christmas present, but it's so tiny and lame that it in some sense it would have been less insulting had they just bought you nothing at all. It's annoying just to think about how much someone got paid for this job.

The most important question: how much has the average loading time increased for Gmail users due to the fancier loading bar? If it's more than one-billionth of a second, it's too much.

Ok, so I do have some complaints, but mostly they're just observations that foster slight irritaitons. I'm off to the slopes with a smile!

Tagged: Gen Y