Behavioral observations as a new Tesla driver

To cut to the chase, I bought a Tesla.  Okay, it’s really my wife’s car and she’ll be the one making the payments on it, but on paper, I’m the purchaser, since I don’t have student loans and my credit was more optimal to get the financing done.  But we have a Tesla, and I get to drive it around every now and then.

It hasn’t been long, but it’s definitely a fun new toy to drive around in.  There’s definitely an adjustment period getting used to regenerative braking, and how you can literally drive with your foot on a single pedal.  The feeling of there being no gears shifting at all as you accelerate, and the sheer lack of sound of motors or smells of exhaust definitely makes you feel like you’re driving a spaceship.

Without question, there’s still a treasure chest worth of experience yet to be tapped as far as diving deeper into ownership of our Tesla, and I’m sure weeks, months and maybe years down the line, there will be functions and features that we’ll still be discovering, and hopefully none that will have been gamechangers early in our ownership.

But the point of this post is about behavioral observations that I’ve had, now that I’ve been driving around in the Tesla myself for a few weeks now.  I didn’t really think much about it after experiencing some observations, I guess I can kind of understand what’s going on around me whenever I, or my wife are riding around in the Tesla.

  1. Surrounding drivers are more aggressive. This is really the big thing that I’ve noticed the most when driving around myself.  Turning on a turn signal to initiate a lane change, way more frequently than I’ve noticed in any other car I’ve been in or driven, results in adjacent drivers stepping on the gas to forcibly deny me entry.  If at a merge point, surrounding drivers are noticeably more aggressive and out to make sure they get ahead of me, regardless of our spatial positioning.  At stop lights, in just the last two weeks, I’ve had more people act like they’re Brian O’Connor on me, and turn a green light into an impromptu drag race, and seemingly make a point of getting in front of me like they just won the le Mans.  I’m all like, buddy, I’m still trying to learn the pedal of this car, I’m definitely not trying to get in any races here.  Plus, I’m 40 with kids, I’m long past caring about 95% of red light matchups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pushed the pedal a few times, and the acceleration is staggering.  In most cases, I probably could smoke a lot of the cars that have gone Dom Toretto on me, but just because I could doesn’t mean that I am, especially where I’m still new to this and learning about the car.

    But I don’t know if it’s the color of the car, or the notion that all Tesla drivers must be rich assholes, but it’s pretty undeniable that drivers all around me, when I’m in the Tesla, have their aggression ramped up like that one cheat code in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City where you can make everyone super aggressive.

Continue reading “Behavioral observations as a new Tesla driver”

H-Mart* is where people act like the pandemic never ended

The other day, I took my au pair to H-Mart.  She could see what an Asian market was like, we could take the girls out of the house to stave off their boredom, and I could introduce her to some of the more unique foods in the food court.  Plus, ever since I discovered Bibigo’s ez-Korean stews, I wanted to get some more to stash for a rainy day where I’m jonesing for some Korean stew.

We get there, and while we’re walking into the store, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the customers headed inside, were all masked up.  This was confusing to me, because usually when I’m out and about, I’m usually the only one who still wears a mask in public places.

Sure, it’s finally gotten cold in Georgia, which means it’s the usual cold and flu season on top of the fact that COVID is still all over the fucking place, but that’s never really stopped anyone from arrogantly going into Publix or Target without a mask on these days.  The news can literally mention a new variant or a spike in infections, and people still parade around like it’s 2019 again.  White people, black people, men and women, young and especially old people, just can’t be bothered to mask up anymore these days.

Inside H-Mart, it looked like it was March of 2020 again, with everyone masked up, except there were way more people packed into the store, which was a colossal pain in the ass considering I had a shopping cart and a double stroller for the girls.  But make no mistake, the vast majority of shoppers in the store were masked up, and it wasn’t lost on me the ones that were rocking the heavy duty KN95s instead of more casual cloth or surgical masks.

It didn’t take long to consider what the outlier was, which was the fact that we were at an Asian grocery store.  Sure, forget that H-Mart corporate is based out of New Jersey, and most of the produce they procure is from the same suppliers as most commercial grocery chains in America.  The narrative now begins to feel like the fact that it’s an Asian business with a bunch of chinks and gooks all over the place means that China Virus is clearly wafting around in the air, and all the non-Asian folk will be damned if they are going to risk getting it.

I mean, they could just, not shop at H-Mart, but I suppose their low-priced produce and Korean fried chicken are far too tantalizing to resist, and for these people, it’s worth risking their lives and looking like passive racists.

But hey, if you’re exasperated with people arrogantly not masking up, start going to H-Mart to shop for your groceries instead of Publix or Kroger.  If you’re not Asian you’ll look like a racist, but at least you can shop somewhere where most everyone is finally being careful for a change.

*and presumably any other Asian-run business that non-Asian people like to patronize

Re: Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia

I’m pretty sure these guys were the officiating crew in Lusail this morning.

Obviously, I didn’t watch because fuck getting up at 5 a.m. to watch a game I have no interest in, but I was curious enough to check the score while I was preparing the girls’ breakfast, because frankly I thought Argentina was a strong contender to win it all.  Lo and behold, the crooked number was next to Saudi Arabia, and I’m just like wtf?

Naturally, the red flags start popping up in my head, because on paper there was absolutely no way in hell’s hell that Saudi Arabia should have any business defeating Argentina, much less competing with them in the first place.  But being in Qatar, the Islamaphobic conspiracy is that the royal family or something must clearly be paying off the refs or something in order to buy wins for the Saudis.  Sure, they still had to get the ball into the net a few times to equalize the great Messi and then take the lead, but some outside interference could help with that.

The game summary was especially interesting, because after the Saudis took the lead early in the second half, the six yellow cards that were issued to them throughout the rest of the game clearly says that they were not being shy about physically defending their side of the field, and took it too far multiple times.  The ten offside penalties by Argentina probably says they were pressing, and bad officiating will call offsides if someone farts on the pitch.

My favorite though is the fact that Saudi Arabia only took two shots on goal, and they both happened to go in.  That truly is some Game Genie-like luck and accuracy, that I’m hard pressed to believe that even the greatest teams in futbol history have ever achieved.

Regardless of all the skepticism and bad jokes, the reality is that Argentina still shit the bed and suffered probably one of the most humiliating upsets in World Cup history.  Whether they were completely looking beyond the team in front of them, or maybe some of their 900 kilos of imported meat to circumvent Islamic restrictions went bad on them, but the fact of the matter is that no matter the interference and impartiality of the officiating, they still let a tremendously inferior team get the ball into the back of their net twice.  

They’re in one of the weaker groups, and on paper, should by any right still make it out, but they’ve got no more breathing room at this point, but historically some powerhouse always gets owned in groups, and based on this clown car performance, it might just be Argentina, regardless of they were tampered with or not.

Thoughts on The Walking Dead “Finale”

Although I can’t promise that what words come from my fingers in ensuing paragraphs might not be blatant spoilers, don’t read too much into the quotation marks in the title.  S11E24 of The Walking Dead was most definitely the finale to the series, but there’s a lot of nonsense in the final eight minutes of the runtime that very much implies otherwise, and that’s all I’ll say about that, at least not without a tastefully placed cut.

Honestly, leading up to the long-coming series finale, I actually did not have any high expectations that it was going to be any good.  Frankly, I still maintain that the series still peaked with Negan and the Saviors, which I think was season 7 or 8, so that means the last 3-4 seasons have definitely been on a downhill trajectory.

However, all things considered, in spite of the low bar I had set, the final episode was actually better than I had anticipated.  Without giving anything away, the episode resolves the supposed final conflict fairly early on, so the rest of the episode was actually allowed to breathe and methodically wind things down, instead of a mad dash of trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible in a sloppy manner /coughGameo Thrones.

I make the analogy a lot, but The Walking Dead also feels like the Rurouni Kenshin bell curve, where the television series peaked hard with Shishio and the Kyoto arc, but then went downhill until the series was mercifully ended.  TWD’s surprisingly positive finale still doesn’t save it from a similar fate, and much like Breaking Bad ended with generic Jack the White Supremacist when Gus Fring was so good, Pamela Milton and the Commonwealth seems like such a weak antagonist to end with, especially after Negan.

Alright, enough with the eggshells.  Continue reading “Thoughts on The Walking Dead “Finale””

I don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever be with AEW

I was perusing through my YouTube recommendations, and I came across this clip of Kenny Omega challenging Will Osperay, and what caught my attention was the fact that it was dated just a day ago.  Perplexed, I bit, and I watched this not just impressive for Kenny Omega, but a very impressive promo in general, where yep, Kenny Omega was challenging Will Osperay, at WrestleKingdom, New Japan’s version of Wrestlemania.

It was a very thoughtful, impassioned, and good promo, that doesn’t just flex Omega’s fluency in Japanese, but just the whole package of delivery, context and dialogue were fantastic.  It was without question one of the best promos he’s cut in ages, and without any doubt, better than any promo in English he’s ever cut for AEW; that company he helped found, and is an EVP for, regardless of what kayfabe stripping of titles Tony Khan might have declared.

What I’m really getting to is exactly what the title of the post is; no matter what he accomplishes in AEW or the role he plays in AEW, I just can’t believe that at any point, his heart will ever truly be in AEW, because Kenny Omega is such a monumental weeb that has already given his heart to Japan, and by proxy, NJPW.

Forbidden doors and all those buzzwords that love to be thrown around in the current era of the business, but it’s just silly to me that AEW’s (arguably) biggest star is loaning himself to NJPW, and if I’m a betting man, will probably put on the greatest match he’ll have had over the last 3-4 years.  Dave Meltzer will jizz out 7+ stars to describe the match, and international buy rates of the show will probably benefit from this match being announced. 

And it will all be under the umbrella of another promotion.

NJPW will own all the footage of the match, and AEW won’t be able to show any clips of it.  Omega will go from having a mega Broadway of a match against Will Osperay in the Tokyo Dome, and then two weeks later be selling for Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends in Nassau Coliseum with the Young Bucks, whom I also don’t think they really care nearly as much about AEW as much as they do their YouTube channel.

The Oracle (me) says that Omega does the job, because he’s still kind of on the mend, on the later stages of his career, while Osperay is still very much rising to his prime, and logic dictates that another promotion’s guy shouldn’t beat the house talent, but when it comes to AEW and their relationships with other promotions, it always seems like they usually win out, even if it means Omega absconds with the IWGP United States championship.  It’s not like they haven’t done it before.

But I also think that there’s the possibility that this booking was reactionary to the WWE loaning out Shinsuke Nakamura to Pro Wrestling NOAH to have a match against the Great Muta who is kind of a (endless) retirement tour, since both events are on New Year’s, and if that’s the case then Osperay wins, with probably there being a fuckton of interference in order to keep heat strong for the future.

I could expound on a variety of opinions, but ultimately, it all boils down to this hunch, this feeling, that I just don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever really be with AEW, no matter what Tony Khan pays or does for him to try and win it. 

I’d love to see the outtakes of the promo, because it probably took 28 takes at the part where he said he was surprised to have gotten the call from NJPW, because in reality he probably reacted like Stewie Griffin finding out he was going to Disney World at the opportunity to perform for NJPW again.  Frankly it’s like the best of both worlds for him, because he gets to keep his AEW paycheck going, but he gets to go to Mecca and perform at the Tokyo Dome against an incredible talent like Osperay.

The Qatar World Cup is going to be not great-great

It’s not that I’m an Islamaphobe, it’s just that I happen to disagree with a lot of their cultural customs, and when it comes to things I’m interested in, I tend to be disenchanted with whenever an Islamic country hosts things, but imparts their, what I think are archaic and frighteningly draconian, rules and customs onto them.

I have little interest in whenever the WWE runs events in Saudi Arabia, regardless of the egregious amounts of money that clearly sways them, and I can say that I have fairly similar opinions about the World Cup being held in Qatar, right fucking now, instead of the usual summer in which most World Cups tend to be played.  The difference is, professional wrestling is still fairly niche and there are way less people interested in the industry than they are about futbol, and the whole every-four years aspect about the World Cup makes it harder for me to ignore regardless of my disagreement about Qatar.

There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a yacht full of money somewhere involved to where FIFA agreed to have it in Qatar, but what has been ironically entertaining is the sheer amount of disdain and expectations of utter failure and ownage that the event as a whole is being scrutinized over, and after day 1 of the World Cup, it appears that the watching world is in for a great ride in the sense that it might just be a brilliant shitshow.

Obviously, Qatar really has no business being in the World Cup, only being allowed to play by virtue of an archaic rule that gives the host nation a spot in a group, and it was no more evident when they became the first host team in World Cup history to ever lose their opening game.  Now I’m not the biggest futbol enthusiast in the world, but I thought there was a constantly missing “in X amount of years” because the World Cup has been going on for a long time, and even if it’s every four years, surely in some point in time a host country had to have lost at some point, especially since the United States hosted in 1994.  But no, it really has been a 92-year streak where the host nation, has never lost their first match; sure, there’ve been some draws, but still no losses.

Until Qatar, who was basically de-pantsed in 15 minutes, allowing Ecuador to score twice, and basically never challenge them for the remaining 80 minutes of the game.  Every opinion that Qatar didn’t belong was validated, and frankly, I’m looking forward to their next two matches, and hoping they don’t score a single fucking goal, which is a very viable possibility.  They may never even have a single target shot on goal.

Amusingly, it seemed like the refs might actually be as unimpressed and disenchanted with being in Qatar as most peoples’ opinions are; I figured they would have all been bought off, like most host nations tend to do with the refs, and Qatar was going to win the match.  But be it Qatar’s lack of skill, the refs ambivalence of being there, or whatever circumstance, Qatar players were getting nailed with fouls and yellow cards at an alarming clip, and I before I sat down to start watching, I knew the narrative already.

But the best part was undoubtedly the seas of empty seats throughout the arena, and the cameras catching locals leaving the game while it was still going on.  Much has been made about, how being in an Islamic country means no alcohol at the stadium (unless you’re a VIP in a VIP lounge apparently), as well as the reported attempts to basically buy influencers to pretend like they were having a great time, but once the matches begin, Qatar gon’ Qatar, and fans who can’t have a good time are going to bounce, and clearly Qatari fans are pretty fairweather, and don’t want to stick around if their team is getting trounced.

Either way, it’s only been a single day, but I have to say that the Qatar World Cup has delivered on its fuck-uppery in an entertaining way so far, and I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what ironic bullshit is going to emerge in the coming weeks of play.  Also, I’m looking forward to being able to make the obvious dad joke on Thanksgiving about how I’m going to watch futbol instead of football americano, because again, of Qatar’s bullshit demands, we have World Cup over Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving Day just so happens to be the day in which Korea has their first match where they’ll probably get trounced by Uruguay but I’m obviously still going to watch because O Pilsung Corea motherfuckers

I will never not enjoy seeing Tennessee lose

ICYMI: South Carolina defeats #5 Tennessee, 63-38

Man, this game is proof of the power of sports.  I had a pretty rough day, having to be on double duty all morning with the kids, and while they were down for their afternoon nap, I took my wife to the airport, and got obliterated on the way home in traffic, enraging me to thinking Thanos had a good idea, and how lucky the 2% of people who vanished in The Leftovers must’ve been to have been on a version of Earth without 98% of the population.

All I wanted was for the kids to go to sleep without too much warfare, and perhaps have a quiet evening where I could veg out and watch more television from my listed queue.  Instead, I caught wind that unranked South Carolina had hung 21 points on overrated #5 Tennessee, and I was like hmmmmmm and decided to watch, and hope for the upset; seeing as how my interest in South Carolina is merely in-law, but an opportunity to see Tennessee lose made it feel like it was kind of a no-lose situation for me.

Three hours later, my mood is uplifted, and the aggravations of the day earlier are melted away as ESPN cameras begin monitoring the crowding of the students section of Williams-Brice Stadium, after the inevitable upset is complete.

Seeing Tennessee get obliterated, and effectively dashing any remaining hope for playoff contention is the real win here.  Hendon Hooker demonstrated that his mediocre tenure at Virginia Tech was not the fluke, but his performance for Tennessee was, playing way over his head for an equally overrated and ballyhooed program as the Volunteers are in the SEC as Tech often had been in the ACC.  Instead of blowing out the unranked Gamecocks and making a case to leapfrog the Horned Frogs who needed a last-second field goal to beat Baylor, Tennessee will undoubtedly drop out of the top-10 outright and might not even get a New Years Six bowl.

South Carolina winning, and it pleasing my in-laws is merely the cherry on top. 

Spencer Rattler, oft-being labeled a bust after his much-hyped transfer from Oklahoma exploded on Tennessee like Soldier Boy from The Boys, throwing a double hat-trick of touchdowns that even Al Bundy would have to scrunch his eyes and tilt his head over.  If he performs similarly next week and the Gamecocks can upset Clemson, it’ll have to be one of the more legendary finishes to an otherwise adequate season.

But what a game though, really.  Who doesn’t love a good upset, regardless of the loose skin I might’ve had in the game?  Sure, I don’t like Tennessee and I am not a fan of turncoat Hendon Hooker.  But my in-laws are all South Carolina fans, and I like Shane Beamer being the son of Frank Beamer, and it was a treat to see that ol’ Frank was there to revel in this win. 

Speaking of Frank, it was also nice to see that Virginia Tech didn’t lose eight in a row.  Hard to believe a win against Liberty would be considered such a massive upset, but it also equalizes when they upset the Hokies in Blacksburg just a few years ago.

It was touching to see that both teams, and as I realized, all across the CFB landscape were wearing UVA stickers on their helmets to show solidarity and honor the victims of the senseless deaths and gun violence from earlier in the week.  Regardless of my personal team allegiances, nobody ever likes to hear of anything like that, and it seems pretty unprecedented that it hit multiple, active, student-athletes, whom people literally saw on television just days prior.

All in all though, this was a good example of just how effective sports can be, at being able to make a difference in the lives of people.  For me, it was a great catalyst to improve my day, for some, it’s a reminder of strength, solidarity and mourning, and for many in South Carolina, this is probably one of the better days of peoples’ lives.  Yeaahhhh sportsball

And as the subject says, I will never not enjoy seeing Tennessee lose.  Even when they’re back to being the middle-of-the-pack SEC East program they are, or when they’re having shitty years, but it’s even better when they’re completely overrated, and brought back crashing to reality.