Thursday, November 8, 2012

Red and yellow, kill a fellow

Angela and I were talking about all of the old sayings, and how silly some of them are.  In some instances, we hear them and know how ridiculous they are.
"Sneeze in threes and you may be pregnant."
Other sayings we've heard so many time in our lives that we don't really know if they are true or not.
"Chocolate causes acne;"
"Pull one gray hair, three will grow in its place;"
"You lose most of your body heat through your head;"
"Sugar causes kids to be hyper."

If they aren't literally true, oftentimes you can pull a helpful metaphor from it.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" 
This does not mean apple on the breath will deter a doctor like garlic to Dracula.  But eating well will certainly cause less health issues in the long term.

One that holds true and literally and metaphorically is
"Red and yellow, kill a fellow."
Literally, it refers to comparing the skin patterns of coral snakes to king snakes in order to tell which is poisonous.  When the red and yellow rings touch, you know you are dealing with a poisonous coral snake.

Metaphorically, I believe it's also quite true.  Below are a few examples of how you can recognize many common, every day situations that if you could get too close could cause a slow poisoning of your person.  Many businesses choose colors based on "color psychology."  Based on these principles, an organization often chooses red since it is quickly noticed and related to excitement and yellow because it can often be associated with feeling happy.  Some also see these two colors as a way of encouraging a "quicker stay."  Here are a few examples.  The list is not conclusive of the "poisonous snakes" out there, but it's helpful to have a starting point.
Drastic action should be taken to protect the poor and desperate in our communities. Some Texas cities are doing too little too late I fear.
Here's a satirical website pointing out the evils of Predatory Lending.

Ahhh, comfort food. And salads? Maybe they are changing their image.
To paraphrase a professor of mine: "How do you define 'bueno'?"
Would you prefer extra corn syrup or more deep fried? At least there is an alternative to the meal I grew up on.
Welcome to the biggest, baddest snake around. Everyone knows, but we keep going back.
I'll probably catch some flack from friends and my mom who swear the vegetable plate is a healthy option.  It could be if you stick to the lighter options.
Even from a distance, it looks menacing, doesn't it?
While you may not have seen this one coming, a brief viewing of "The Office" reminds us that these guys are causing smaller, local companies to close down.  But I guess any big box store could be put in this category.
Anybody need a mortgage through possibly unethical behavior?
The light and the way to get your car going.  An opportunity to get the poison airborne.  Oh, Big Oil.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any to add?  Am I off-base?  I'd love to hear your thoughts about my claim that these are big "snakes."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goodbye, first car. Thanks for the good times.

Last week I said goodbye to my first car -- my 2002 manly VW Jetta TDI.  It wasn't planned, but it turned out to be a blessing.

Angela and I were in Wichita Falls for the Spook'n'Spoke bicycle ride the day before.  Sunday morning we packed up the car to join our friends at church in Dallas.  It was the second night in a row with freezing temperatures.  Angela's parents said goodbye quickly before going back inside to the warmth of the house.  Since the Jetta has always had a difficult time starting on cold mornings, I knew we would be there for a few turns of the key.  After the third attempt, however, we thought we should use the smartphone to problem-solve.  As we're looking up a few websites, Angela noticed smoke rising from the edges of the hood.  I quickly stepped out and noticed an orange glow on the ground below the engine.  A quick look under confirmed that a fire was building.  I told Angela to get out and check for a fire extinguisher in her parents' place.  I then advised her dad to call 911.

By the time the fire department arrived, the car was finished.  I have a few pictures below.  Unfortunately, none of them show the three foot flames coming out of the sides of the hood.

I'm thankful for the Jetta.  It served me well for 10 years.  I'm also thankful for the people at Augustine Insurance in Dallas and Gene Litton's people in Wichita Falls, both Allstate people.  They turned my car into a sort of phoenix:  Rising from the ashes, a check appeared.  Finally, thanks to my parents for a great car.  It served me well for 169,000 miles.  Though I don't recommend VWs to others due to their cheap, plastic interiors, this one had a great engine and took me to LA and back many times.

Do you have any good stories about how you ended your relationship with your first car?  I'd love to see how you said goodbye.

Now for some pics.  (By the way, I hate Blogger when it comes to pictures.  Apologies.)