Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bassett Furniture

Your furniture store failed.

You hired people to stand at busy street corners and hold dramatic signs announcing your going out of business sale.

You drive your gas-guzzling SUV with a giant, gaudy sign on top up and down the street here, all day, week after week.

It's too bad that your business fell on hard times. I feel bad for you, I really do. I can't vouch for the quality of your product but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that your American-made (I think) furniture itself wasn't the problem. You were just another victim of the times. The same goes for all your neighbors: Circuit City, Tweeter, Bennigan's, Office Depot, and plenty of other franchises on this street that have closed their doors over the past year. None of those are companies that I have any special feelings toward or will ever find myself missing. However, I have come to respect the (relative) dignity they showed in their final days. What we have here, in the case of Bassett Furniture in Batavia, Illinois, is something completely different.

Is the recession over? I'll leave it to the economists to decide that but from the looks of driving on Randall Road every day, you'd think we were entering the next Great Depression. Sure, everyone hopes that we're entering a period of recovery and growth (er, almost everyone). I'm sure everyone agrees that this is going to necessitate a growth in consumer confidence/optimism/"willingness to take risks"/etc. and that the saying "perception is reality" is the sort of thing that applies here. Putting a big vinyl banner up on your building's facade announcing your "GOING OUT OF BUSINESS" sale is one thing. Disseminating this message throughout the community, taking it to the streets and assigning people the demeaning tasks of holding your day-glo signs by the side of the road in the rain, well... this isn't exactly good for the mental health of our greater retail corridor.

The worst is over, or so I hope. But the longer Bassett draws this out their campaign of psychic terrorism on their neighbors, the more their own feelings of desperation and failure will start to catch on with everyone else like a virus. Is this a new form of pollution, sewing the seeds of economic angst and panic, or is it a mild form of shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater?

I know this is a lot of fussing over nothing but I'm just so sick of these people every day and their carpet bomb-style advertising infecting my daily commute. You would be too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Belle and Sebastian - Fuck This Shit

Belle and Sebastian - "Fuck This Shit"

October 21, 2003 – Purchased used Ford Escort ZX2, 47,547 miles
vehicle price, license, documentation and tax: $7650.79

April 4, 2004 - ??,??? miles
new driver's side window

August 14, 2006 – 78,911
New transmission (reconditioned)
Torque converter
(12 months, 12,000 mile warranty)

June 2, 2008 – 105,128
Thermostat / thermostat housing
Gasket, coolant
Spark plugs, ignition coil
Plug wires
Timing belt, serpentine belt
Hood release cable
Water pump
(12 months, 12,000 mile warranty)

September 23, 2008 – 108,003
New transmission

October 7, 2008 – 108,583
Brake pads and rotors
Wiring assembly repaired

January 13, 2009 – 112,175
Battery cable end

April 28, 2009 – 116,146
Turn signal bulbs, license plate bulb
Left headlight

September 1, 2009 – 121,295
Right headlight

September 23, 2009 – 122,102
Thermostat / thermostat housing
Gasket, coolant

October 8, 2009 - 122,688 miles
Tests determine internal engine failure
General labor fees

October 21, 2003 - October 8, 2009
75,141 miles driven
(average 12,523 per year)

Not counting tires (6-8?), oil changes, coolant flushings, batteries (3?), total charge: $9,156.41 ($1,526.07 per year or $127.17 per month)

Final overall cost: $16,807.20

Friday, October 9, 2009

casual littering

A small survey of the shit people throw from their cars into the parking lot here at my apartment building. This only covers the east parking lot, none of the north or western areas or the yard out front.

1. Beer bottles

2. Energy drinks

3. Cigarette boxes

4. Condom wrappers

5. Plastic clips

on the rise: batteries, fast food cups, lighters, assorted 20 oz. drinks