Wanderings – Food, fashion, and repairing things

I am easily distracted most times, but the early days of spring often cause my mind to wander even more. Warmer temperatures and the melting snow make it difficult to focus on the important things.

Many of my distractions comes from personal trials and tribulations, like my never-ending issues with the designed obsolescence of consumer products and vehicles. Others are the oddities or little things in life that pique my interest.

For example, why did my kitchen dishwasher break exactly one month after the warranty expired? And why is it not clear which overpriced repair part you need to replace? Is it the board or the pump? Do I need both? What’s that clicking noise?

How is it we have the technology to have reusable space rockets but can’t build a car that won’t break in the winter because you drove it? And why are those auto parts made 10 years ago more expensive now? Those parts were made when the van was made, and have sat on a shelf for 10 years. Is it a storage charge for holding on to the parts until your van wears out?

Ever notice that you discover the one part you need for a home renovation project 10 minutes after the store closes? I plan ahead, but it doesn’t work with some projects. My skills are mediocre at best and my knowledge base is limited. I don’t know all what parts I will need until it’s too late. There is a direct correlation between the importance of the piece you need to buy, and the distance outside of town which you must travel.

Food in general is one of those things that I wonder about – specifically the relationship between people and food.

I went to the store the other day to get my lunch. The store employee made a point of saying they were going to find the biggest pieces of chicken for my order. Why? It’s probably because I am overweight (shockingly not a secret).

I run into this more often than I’d like, where others think because I am larger than average (define average) I must need more food. Thanks, but I have my own reserves in tow, normal portions work all the same.

Hot dog buns are sold primarily in packages of eight, but hot dogs in packages of 10. Why? Years ago hot dogs were in packs of 12. The math worked out better than now. It seems to me there is a communication problem – or at least a counting problem – between the bread people and the meat people. It shouldn’t be difficult to sort out, it’s not politics.

Fashion is another thing I wonder about. For years (decades?) I have eschewed modern fashion sense. Labels? No thanks. Polo/golf shirts, not on your life. Being a kid of the 80s, Magnum PI inspired Hawaiian shirts are my go to. Same goes for my bucket hat to protect what little hair is left on the top of my head.

I don’t intentionally try to dress like a stereotypical American tourist with camera in hand, but it works out that way more times than not. In a way, this style of dress is my own form of camouflage.

It’s amazing how a person can blend in wearing a bucket-hat and a Hawaiian shirt. Go to a political celebration wearing this outfit, and no one sees you. It’s amazing the information you learn by blending in in plain sight. Same can be said at the local hockey rink – I know more than I ever wanted to.

As you can clearly read, this column is appropriately named. Thankfully spring is here and my wanderings will move outdoors into the better weather. Hope my van still works.