This disaster brought to you by the Mayor

I’m sitting at my desk killing zombies on my computer when my iPhone starts making loud, urgent noises.

Yipes, it’s an emergency text message.

Um, high surf advisory.
Brought to me by…the Mayor.

Pull up a seat and let me tell you about a nationwide service called NIXIE.US

Nixie01It provides emergency text notices to cellphones in the area where you live.

People can sign up for free and get important notices from police, fire, and other official-type people like the weather service.

Good idea?
You bet.

Except when politicians get involved and that’s making me grumpy.

You can go to the city’s Department of Emergency Management to sign up.

The idea of Nixie is to pass on to people information that could be important to the safety of them or their family.

Things like high surf warnings, flooding, hurricanes, stuff like that.

This actually comes from the Weather Service but it’s taken, reformatted to be shorter and then sent out through this service under the banner of the old Civil Defense, now called Emergency Management.

So why am I all grumped out over it?

NixieBecause the Mayor has attached his name to these texts.

Right at the middle of the text is says “@MayorKirkHNL”.

Okay, he’s the head of the city but this is a political, get-my-name-out-there plug.

As someone who spent thirty years with the old Civil Defense, seven as the Chair of the Civil Defense Commission and almost fifteen years with the City – most as a cabinet member – I can tell you Kirk Caldwell is not sitting there pecking this stuff out himself for your pleasure.

I think somewhere, someone said, “Hey, get the Mayor’s name in there so he gets some credit.”
For all I know maybe he was the one to order it.

Nixie02A quick check of Nixie texts in other jurisdictions doesn’t show any politician’s name.

Apparently only in Hawaii.
I guess we’re special…or more egotistical.

One line of available – and maybe important – information is cut out so Caldwell can get his name mentioned.

Sorry to get into politics but this should make you grumpy too.

You’re out of time

CupidIt’s Valentine’s Day.

If you’re a husband or boyfriend, you better have geared up with flowers or a dinner reservation.

At the very least.

It’s changed over the years.

It used to be both the lady and the guy swapped a mushy card and that was it.

I remember when I was a little kid and the teacher used to have everybody make “secret admirer” cards.

The cute guys got them all and us ugly kids got left out.

One teacher who did that, I found out much later, had been married 3 times.

No wonder.

Anyway, it then somehow became a major booster to the economy and you better be spending a lot of money on your honey or her feeling’s will be hurt and some TV reporter will interview lots of store owners complaining.

Trust me – you don’t want that.

I have a long list of wonderful and goofy gift ideas.

They won’t work.

Food, diamonds, flowers, food and candy is about it.

Women can be very traditional about this stuff.

Don’t even think of giving her a new pan unless you want to be wearing in on your head.

If the wife is reading this, which she rarely does, something electric, expensive and heavy is fine for me.

Heart PajamasIf you guys need something different for the little woman – try this.

I would suggest adding a quart of something 100 proof at the same time.

Consider it an investment in peace and happiness.

Happy Valentines Day.

Now go get a card.
At least.

An argument for being deaf

A couple of nights ago the wife was in one of those moods.
She just wanted to chat away.

I was in one of those moods.
What was on TV was interesting.

You can see what’s coming.
Have the medics stand by.

With all the languages in the world and all the words available, there is no way to say, “Stifle yourself, please.”

…and survive.

Husbands are expected to listen, look interested and nod at the appropriate time.

A skill many of us learn quickly if we want wedded bliss to continue for more than the first week.

Yack yack yack02Here’s the way of the world – women by nature like to share things.

They can talk with their girlfriends for hours picking over their day and dissecting the smallest details of stuff men will never understand.

Then they try to do the same thing with their husbands.

Usually in the middle of a football game or a show about taking apart a car engine.

Sometimes if we’re really lucky the subject is some juicy gossip we really want to hear.

But almost always it’s something we could care less about and is in another universe.

Saying, “That’s way too much information” doesn’t work and just gets her grumpy.

I’d gladly listen to the wife if she could boil down a 30 minute conversation to three sentences.

Never happen.
Women aren’t made that way.

I’ve seen this urge to chat happen in the middle of my trying to get out the door in the morning, headed for the bathroom on an important mission or while struggling to carry something heavy to the garage.

Timing is everything – something women do not understand.

Obviously, since I’ve made it to my advanced age, I must have learned how to survive this.

Here’s three secrets:

Yack yack yackOne, pretend you’re dead.
Unfortunately that leads to other craziness, so it’s not recommended except under the most dire circumstances.

Two: you’re old and old people are hard of hearing from too much rock-and-roll.
Pretend you don’t hear.

Of course that opens up a whole avenue of her bugging you to get a hearing aid.

We don’t really want to go there because old guys don’t want to look old and a hearing aid does that.

If that doesn’t work – there’s number three – tell her she told you that yesterday, with a smile.

The smile is important.
Forget the smile and you’re dead.

At her age she won’t remember if she really did and move on.

If you’re lucky you ducked another bullet.

If not, you’re now grumpy.