From an email

I got this from a cousin this morning and liked it so much I decided to share it, guess my old fartiness is showing! (Sorry about the weird formatting, but I’m feeling too lazy to remove the >s.


> At the cash register of the store, the young cashier
> suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping
> bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
> The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this
> green thing back in my earlier days.”
> The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your
> generation did not care enough to save our environment for future
> generations. You didn’t have the green thing.”
> She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing
> in its day.
> Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and
> beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to
> be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same
> bottles over and over. So they really were recycling. We refilled
> writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the
> razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
> because the blade got dull.
> But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
> We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in
> every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery store and
> didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two
> blocks.
> But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
> Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t
> have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy
> gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really
> did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down
> clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
> But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing
> back in our day.
> Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV
> in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a
> handkerchief, not a screen the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
> In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have
> electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile
> item to send in the post, we used wrapped up old newspapers to cushion
> it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire
> up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push
> mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t
> need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on
> electricity.
> But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.
> We drank water from a tap when we were thirsty instead of
> demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted
> that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be trucked
> in or flown thousands of air miles. We actually cooked food that
> didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even
> wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.
> But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
> Back then, city people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode
> their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into
> a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an
> entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need
> a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000
> miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
> But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful
> we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back
> then?
> Please forward this on to another selfish old person who
> needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.
> Remember:
> Don’t make old people mad. We don’t like being old in the
> first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

I’m Back!!!

Our loyal Greenie

Our loyal Greenie Beanie

Hi all! I’m back. Sorry for the long absence, but sometimes life just gets in the way of a good blog post. There are things that happen that just aren’t blog material, and other things that you just can’t write about. Between that and being generally taken up by the daily grind of life, I just haven’t been very good lately. I’m also trying to be a bit more present on FB, and I can’t do that, blog AND actually get any work done. I do  plan, however, to start trying to do more here.  (I think I’ve said that before, no?)

At any rate, we had to take Beanie in for her some new parts that had finally arrived. We needed a new door handle, something to do with suspension (no idea what and probably wouldn’t know what it was in English either!) a new water pump and new tires. We decided to go early and eat lunch at the Chinese all you can eat buffet (good deal for them with me, as I eat less than a full plate of food!) and then to pick up some books from our friend Philippe, who receives all the Black Coat Press and Riviere Blanche books. It’s a lot cheaper for them to go to Pamiers than to Chalabre, as weird as that sounds. Maybe because he’s closer to Toulouse.

On the way to Pamiers, we felt a jolt and heard a noise as if we’d run over something, but neither of us had actually seen anything on the road. We got to the restaurant and a man ran after us in the parking lot to tell us we had a flat. I definitely hadn’t felt a flat while I was driving, but damn if it wasn’t flat as a pancake. Maybe we’d run over a nail that fell out when I stopped? At any rate, we were about half-a-mile from the Toyota dealership, but about two miles from Philippe’s, so we had to tell him to put the books in a box outside for later  pick up, then I drove very slowly to the dealership. I know you’re not supposed to do that, but I didn’t have much of a choice.
We were an hour early for our appointment and they weren’t open, so we walked around the shopping center until it was time to go back.
It turns out that the tire I punctured was one of the ones that was being replaced anyway, so at least I didn’t have to wind up buying four tires instead of two!
It took them four hours to do everything that needed doing, but to be fair, this is the first major work we’ve had to do on Beanie in over 10 years of having her.
After reaching the stage of ultimate boredom, JM started looking around the showroom and noticed that a new Yaris was actually under 10,000€ and decided to just talk to a sales person.
What a different experience from buying a car in the States! They are so low pressure. The nice young lady explained that, since we wanted an automatic, that wasn’t a deal we could get. But she worked up a price on that and also on the Verso-S, which is a little bigger (more dog friendly). Even with the automatic, the prices still came out to well below 20,000€, which seemed within the range of what we would be willing to spend on a new car.
Then, when I was asking about a test drive, she went to check something. It turned out they had just taken a return on a 6-month old Verso-S with an automatic. A couple was divorcing and the husband wanted to go down to a Yaris instead. It was the top of the line Verso-S, with all the bells and whistles and has about 9,000 miles on it. It’s white (not my favorite color), but she gave us a price that was less than for a new Verso-S with no options but the automatic.
She gave me the keys and told me to drive it; strangely, she thought it was odd that I wanted her to come with me! No, no, just drive it, she said.
It’s got some kind of variable transmission, so it doesn’t actually change gears the way I’m used to with an automatic. I could get used to it, I suppose.
Then, this is the amazing part. We said we needed to think about it and she said, “Of course!” Can you imagine an American car salesperson letting you out the door without a deal? Just wouldn’t happen. We told her we’d call back this morning.
But, after getting my newly fixed up Beanie, I realized I really love her. She just purrs when she drives. I didn’t love that other car. I think even for a good deal that  you should feel that you’re getting something better than what you have, and I just didn’t really feel that. Yes, it’s got all the modern gewgaws, but it’s not enough. I don’t want to empty our savings account and then feel regret.  So, no new car for now. I told JM that even though I’m a loyal Toyota fan, I wanted to be sure that a Toyota was what I wanted before we make the jump to a new vehicle. So, Beanie remains safely with us.
To top off the day; while we were sitting there I felt my throat going weird. I seem to have caught a cold and I have no idea where or when I came across someone who was sick. I haven’t had a cold in two years, so I’m bummed out.
Ciao for now.