March 30, 2006

No Deposit. No Return.

This is what I get for marrying a man from out of state. New York has a container deposit law on selected beverage containers. If it’s a beer or soda can or bottle, we pay five cents a piece on top of the selling price and then we are suppose to take them back to the store to get a refund. There’s a rule that applies; a store does not have to accept a can or bottle if it doesn’t sell that specific type of beverage. So even if Hannaford sells Pepsi products, they don’t have to accept 24 ounce cans if they only sell 16 ounce cans.

The other rule that Earl doesn’t quite get is that this only applies to beer and soda. It doesn’t apply to any other beverage. Water bottles, wine bottles and bottles of the nasty Sunny Delight are not returnable, they are to go into the recycling bin.

I don’t agree with the container law. It was a good idea back in 1984 before all the recycling programs of today, but with all the sorting, spindling and mutilating you have to do of garbage before it goes out to the curb, it seems silly to return these select bottles and cans when they could just be recycled.

I tend to get OCD about things like this. I have a separate bin for returnables. I’m considering putting up signs that say “beer and soda cans and bottles only”. I think Earl takes great delight in putting non returnable stuff in the returnable bin.

“Sweetheart, water bottles are recyclable, not returnable.”

“We don’t have returnable bottles in Pennsylvania.”

“I understand that, but you’ve lived in New York since 1995 and you’re a very intelligent man, I would think that you’ve grasped this concept by now.”

(big sigh), “New York”, he responds with a tsk tsk tsk motion of his head.

He then throws a milk bottle into the returnables to make his point.

Driving Enthusiam.

I was recently polled in a road geek forum on how we would describe our passion for roads. Just what was it about roads that piqued our curiosity and interest so much. I answered the poll with a short statement. “I’m a driving ethusiast.”

I love to drive. I love exploring the highways and byways from the seat of my merry Oldsmobile. I find little more relaxing or intriguing than the rush I get behind the wheel of a car. Some people see artistry in the Louvre, I see artistry in overhead expressway signage.

Because I’m a driving enthusiast, I need to feel proud of the vehicle I’m driving. A decade and a half ago, I drove a candy-apple red 1994 Hyundai Excel. Was it the fastest car on the road? Hardly. Was it reliable? When the winds were favorable. Was I proud of it? Yes. It was the first car I had bought new, it was eye-catching and it served it’s purpose well. At least until the transmission died on it.

Fast forward to 2006. I now drive a black 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Is it the fastest car on the road? Occasionally. Is it reliable? Yes. Am I proud of it? Of course I am! I love my RSX for several reasons. I’ve always wanted a black sports car, I’ve always wanted my vehicle to make a statement and I’ve always wanted to be able to zip in and out of lanes with ease (safely, of course). Because of my pride, I often wash the car two or three times a week. And forget about driving it in the winter. And it’s only been within the past week that I’ve eaten in the car (or allowed someone else the honor) and I’m thinking of abandoning that practice because it’s entirely too risky. The car does not look good with special sauce on the seat.

As a driver I can be rather aggressive. As a passenger, I can be a pain in the ass. Sometimes I pity Earl because I can be a tad bit critical as a passenger. For example, he and I have different approaches on how to drive a stick. I always say that my way is the “right way” because my first Hyundai (an ’86 Excel) had a stick and I owned it for over 254,000 miles and it had the original clutch in it the day it was towed off the charity I donated it to. He says his way is the right way because he taught himself in a Camaro back in 1979 and his method has worked longer than mine. I then counter that I learned to drive stick in a tractor, followed by a dump truck and then finally a Ford F-150 pickup truck (for skill polish) and all he’s driven are cars. By the time we’re done discussing shifting methods, we’ve passed our destination.

And don’t get me started on turn signaling. (I use them, he only does when someone is looking.)

So as I sit at my cubicle today, looking out at the sunny skies and daydreaming about the upcoming weekend, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I’m planning a road trip for this weekend.

Where shall we escape to this weekend?


You may have noticed that I’m sprucing up the graphics on the site. I just took a gander at the site here at work and see that Windows is rendering the new graphics way too dark. I guess it’s a Windows vs. Mac sort of thing. I’ll be working on it more tonight, please be patient.