Monday, March 26, 2007

Same Bat Channel, Same Bat Time

Lately the U.S. stock market has been......well, up and down. Or maybe we'll call it emotional. I see the headlines everyday, and they're really starting to lean towards a sentiment that is not new. They say things like:
  • The Housing market has not hit bottom.
  • Corporate earnings will most likely decline.
  • Clipstone Street is way ahead of the curve.
  • Consumer spending is important to the health of the US economy.
  • The US spends too much, both on a national and a personal level.
But people have been saying this for a while now. And I'm not referring to the usual Bear suspects. This is just common sense, no?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

My local Taco Bell always has a resident pan-handler. More consistent than the Rex-All security guard, and more often than not sitting on the curb by the front door with a good buddy, the local TB PH'ers always seem to be somewhere between the opening kick-off and the two minute warning of their buzz: ridin' high and lovin' life. Oh, and always a freshly lit cigarette in hand.

PH'er: spare some change?
Me: for what?
PH'er: {usually confused by my question} I need some change?

Then depending on the vibe I get from the PH'er, I drop one of two lines:

a.) No thanks, I'm good.
b.) Now what in the world do you need money for?

Either response seems to throw them all off. Mind you, I'm not kidding around as much as it may seem with these answers.

a.) means that I've decided they don't actually need the money, so, "no, my conscience can handle not giving you any money."
b.) is just straight up obvious, but they're playing the odds, so honesty doesn't really pay in that game.

Today though, the curb was occupied by a just past slightly dirty looking woman in her early 40's. And she didn't look like she was in any of the fun cars on the party train. On the other hand, she didn't look like she was doing too bad (v. skid row, where actually no one really seems to realize how bad they're doing), probably just strung out and in need of some good care, but she didn't have a buddy, or any cigarettes, or any hint of smile on her face.

Her: Got any change?
Me: Sorry, I don't have any change.
Her: {without even missing a beat} Buy me something?

As she said this I was sticking my hands into my pockets and realized I had two quarters in there. So now I'm a liar. Real cool.

So I turned back and said: "What do you want?"
To which she replied even faster than last time, "Steak burrito. No sour cream."

Next I'm in line thinking, "Steak burrito??" I'm not even eating steak! But I got it for her anyway, and like I do regardless of gender, social status, race, creed, and all that other crap I forgot to order it without sour cream. And in this small miscalculation I found some demented form of'll get your Steak burrito, but you're gonna get it with sour cream, lady.

Of course I drove off feeling like a real a'hole, thinking that maybe she was lactose intolerant or something, that it wasn't just merely her preference.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


This is the urinal at Taco Hut (combo Taco Bell/Pizza Hut) in Kettleman City. Is it a mistake or do shorter folks rule the roost?