Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Test Anxiety

If you own a car in the Denver metro area you know that every other year you have to get an emmissions test done before you can renew your car registration. This has been going on for years and I believe the reason, so they say, is to improve the air quality in Denver which can get rather bad. Well, the process of getting this test done is a really terrible experience for a couple of reasons.

First, there is the possibility your car won't pass the test. When you drive a car that's more than 1o years old, like I have for most of my adult life, there is always that possibility. And if you don't pass you have to take the car to a mechanic to get whatever needs fixing in order for it to pass. I've been lucky, I've always passed. But even with a fairly new car, 2008, I still have that anxiety that it won't pass.

Second, the actually process is time consuming and downright dirty. The actual test takes about 15-20 minutes. That's not long, you say. Aha, but what you don't realize is that there is ALWAYS a line of cars waiting. It usually takes at least 45-60 minutes from start to finish.

You start the waiting in your running car until you can make it far enough in line for a worker to take over. Then you wait in a long rectangular box of a room that is aboslutely filthy, with years of dirt on the floor and the plastic chairs which are the only thing to sit on. There's usually and overflowing trash can and a television in a cage that is turned up to high volume but you still can't here because of the noise from all the cars. You do get a dirty window to look through so you can watch of the slow process of the workers checking your emmissions.

Hasn't the air quality improved enough to stop this testing? If not, maybe the program doesn't work!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cheers to the Classic Christmas Specials

Like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Santa Claus is Coming to Town or, my favorite, The Year Without a Santa Claus. That's my favorite because it was the one with Mother Nature and her two sons Heat Miser and Cold Miser. Remember... "whatever I touch, starts to melt in my clutch" or "whatever I touch starts to freeze in my clutch." Or in Santa Clause is Coming to Town when Kris Kringle sings to Winter Warlock "put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking cross the floor." Those were the good ole' days of stop motion animation in the 70s. Memorable characters and catchy tunes.

A couple of nights ago I caught part of the cartoon Christmas special Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer based on the song of the same name. The song was released in 1984 and the cartoon in 2000. In watching this show there was one thing I found rather disturbing, all the people had only four fingers on each hand (technically three fingers and a thumb). So were the animators just to lazy to make the hands "real life"? And, of course, they had to change to the story in the cartoon because in the song Grandma gets run over by a reindeer and DIES!

Bring back the stop motion animation!