Humbug On The Christmas Music

When I was growing up, Dad’s one-ton flatbed truck only got two radio stations: talk and country. Driving as an adult, my car only gets talk because today’s country is mostly crap since KEEN-AM went off the air in 1992 and I never came to enjoy current pop music that much. I normally listen to KGO (810 AM) for talk since I grew up on that. They were playing this awful Christmas music all day, which is surprising because most people regard as KGO as being a liberal bastion (i.e., they have no outspoken conservative personality burning up the mike). If anything, KGO is very mainstream. But why were they playing all this conservative Christmas music? The biggest fear that most listeners have about the programming is that KGO’s independence may eventually be undermined by their corporate parent, Citadel Broadcasting. Perhaps the corporate office did impose this conservative Christmas music programming, which is something I would expect to find on FOX Radio (910 AM).

What was playing on FOX Radio on Christmas Day? Paid programming on how to better your finances through expensive seminars and improve your health through unregulated vitamins.

I kept going back to the Christmas music.

I tend not to listen to FOX if I can help it. The radio signal doesn’t carry well outside of the south bay area, and their conservative programming can be quite outrageous. One Saturday night I was coming back from the movies, a political show was playing back clips from black protesters who rioted because of the Oscar Grant court decision. One memorable clip was: “WE’RE GOING TO KILL ALL THE WHITE PEOPLE! BURN OAKLAND TO THE GROUND AND CALL IT BLACKLAND!” Needless to say, this is why white senior citizens voted for Republican candidates in the recent mid-term election. They’re afraid of black people. Worst, there’s a blackman in the White House. God almighty, what is wrong with this great country?

(Never mind that it was professional anarchists who came to Oakland to cause trouble. Can’t let a little factoid interfere with sensational news programming and scoring political points on FOX News.)

I did bring my fully charged iPod Touch but I forget to bring the portable speaker. Since I had a first generation Touch, I couldn’t play my 1980s music collection through the radio via the bluetooth speaker for my cellphone. I was stuck with whatever was playing on the radio. Unless I’m taking a very short trip, I could never drive in silence. That’s worse than listening to the same type of Christmas music for five hours while driving. This is probably payback for wrapping up my Christmas shopping two weeks early to avoid the nastiness of listening to Christmas music at the mall.

Bah, humbug!


The Water Repair Of Our Discontent

A 24-hour notice went up on all the apartment doors this past Saturday night informing us that the water would be shut off for repairs on Monday from 8:30AM to 6:30PM. The timing was terrible. I had planned on doing laundry the next day. Although the laundry rooms were always busy on the weekends, everyone and their mother was doing laundry before the water main was shut off. I wasn’t able to do laundry that day but I still had some clean clothes left.

Monday came and went without the water ever being shut off. The plumbers never showed up and the hole in the back parking lot wasn’t filled in. When I checked out laundry rooms that evening, everyone and their mother was doing laundry again.

Tuesday came and went as I did some Christmas shopping before everyone and their mother could make Christmas shopping insane. (Having gone shopping with Filipino friends who dropped $5,000 USD on presents for their families at a very crowded Valley Fair Mall on Christmas Eve in 1999, I know how insane Christmas shopping can be that I don’t want to relive it.) I really didn’t have time to do laundry during the day. Since another 24-hour notice went up on the apartment doors, everyone and their mother was doing laundry again that evening.

The plumbers did show up on Wednesday and the water was eventually turned back on before 8:00PM. Another day of running errands and Christmas shopping. I was also looking for a Windows 7 certification book to improve my chances of getting a new job. I’ve been out of work for 20 months. Only recently had my financial situation improved enough that I could afford to get a certification book this month and take the exam next month. Silicon Valley companies are starting to migrate their computers from Windows XP to Windows 7 after having skipped Windows Vista in the last upgrade cycle. I’m hoping to ride the migration wave for the next few years. I went to Borders at Oakridge Mall but they didn’t have any certification books. This is the second time this month I had to go to the smaller Borders store at Santana Row to find the book I needed. The cashier’s eyes popped out when she rung up the book—retail price $70 USD—and applied the 50% off coupon that reduced the price to $35. I never buy an expensive technical book unless I really need to and have a 50% off coupon. Everyone and their mother was in the laundry rooms again. I had ran out of clean clothes the day before and planned to do laundry the next morning.

The water was turned off again on Thursday. A new notice was posted on the door that water would be turned off for most of the day. The clothes I’ve been wearing for two days was starting to make me itch and I wasn’t a happy camper. I could’ve gone to the laundromat to get my clothes washed but I didn’t feel like loading up the car and waiting several hours inside my car. I did a final round of Christmas shopping and some grocery shopping. I turned on the kitchen faucet when I got home, waited for the water to come gushing out, and rushed down to the laundry room when it did at 8:00PM. I was shocked to find that someone had pre-loadedtwo of the washing machines with soap and dirty laundry. I guess I wasn’t the only desperate person in the building who didn’t have a mother to help out with the laundry. I got two loads done that night. The next morning I was going to finish the other two loads.

Guess what? It’s Friday and the water is off. A new notice was on the door. I’m still itching even though I’m wearing clean clothes since I forgot to take a shower last night. I could have gone to the gym and taken a shower there. But because of my awesome manliness would make all the other guys at the gym feel insecure, I chose to grin and bear being without water for another day. The water did came back on at 2:45PM when I was almost done writing this blog post. As for tomorrow, who knows if the water or will be on or off. The only thing I know for certain is that everyone and their mother will be doing laundry again.