Pointing out what really matters and things that just bug us has proven to be effective in getting rid of un-needed anxiety. Such catharsis helps us avoid expensive and unnecessary trips to see therapists to sort out one’s problems. So for my own mental health, here is my Bitchfest for Summer 2014. These are my Sweet 16 current gripes that are not listed in any degree of importance or depravity.
1. The dreadful music at my health club: They play a continuous/monotonous Pandora exercise tape which appears to be a combination of pop, rap, R &B, Disco, and chanting, accompanied by horrendous lyrics. Listening to this can make anyone a little crazier. The worst part is when Fitness Evolution patrons complain at the front desk they are always told “my hands are tied as changing the station is against company policy” These are words no card carrying rugged individualist ever wants to hear.
2. Having to regularly patronize the over shopped Safeway on Willow Pass in Concord. The place is constantly busy with long lines coupled with frequently running out of featured products. This is caused because this place is the closest store that can be reached by the thousands of residents of North Concord who have no place other than Mom & Pops to purchase groceries. Too bad Fresh & Easy (who are still paying rent) never opened at the Olivera & Port Chicago strip mall.
3. Demagogic remarks made in the Public Comment period at the start of Concord City Council meetings. The worst one of late has been by a guy who wants Hispanics to boycott Concord Toyota because his friend apparently could not get a deal to his liking there. As this allegation was in the realm of race relations, it was thoroughly investigated by the higher ups in City government only to find the complaint was without merit.
4. Talking about free speech, political correctness has gone much too far. Those in the public sector and private enterprise as well have to be careful not to offend anyone. Repeating ethnic jokes are often considered a hate crime, calling a dumb person anything but “challenged” is frowned upon and making any reference to race (unless a comedian of that color) is out of the question. Even using the narrative of being senile is distained as this is considered age discrimination. Give me a break and let me go back to the times when jokes often began with a Catholic Priest, Baptist Minister, and a Rabbi………..
5. Why is everyone so concerned with Gluten Free these days? Since when does consuming regular flour have become a fashion issue? Can anyone remember the days prior to when gluten free was in vogue when Emergency Rooms were filling up with victims who were overdosing on Wonder Bread? And I thought those who preferred white wine to red because of having fewer sulfites (this is factually not true) were candidates for the funny farm?
6. Using “diversity” as vehicle to offer jobs and services to less qualified individuals. Such a notion is in reality reverse discrimination and is against the law. Being inclusive is another matter as bringing in new participants to any activity is always welcome. Trying to legislate this other than when basic civil rights are involved just does not work. Natural is always better. This is why athletic teams have always led the way with improving race relations.
7. Stop blaming Wal-Mart for everything that is wrong with the world. If the truth be told, the Arkansas based company gives their employees comparable or better pay, medical and medical packages to what many comparable businesses including Macy’s, K-Mart, and Target Stores offer. Much like other successful enterprises such as Microsoft and Apple Computer, Wal-Mart has been put under the microscope by jealous competitors. Not to be forgotten are the “Limousine Liberals” who have urged boycotting the big box retailer while ignoring the needs of low income families who depend on shopping at Wal-Mart to feed their families.
Bitch Fest Continues….
8. Wasting precious resources of Concord City Government needing legal counsel to defend themselves against a few cranks who object to having a non-denominational prayer to be made at the start of City Council meetings. This is especially galling as one of these individuals leading the charge against this practice is a prominent member of the Democratic Central Committee. Since when does being a “progressive” mean acting in such an anti-social manor?
9. Discount cards at super markets, drug stores, and other retail establishments that allegedly give preferential treatment to their clients. In reality, these cards are a thinly disguised tool to track spending habits of consumers to steer them into buying selected products. This same model of taking personal information off the internet for commercial use brings up privacy issues when this data is shared with other companies.
10. Critics of Clayton Valley High Charter, Libbey-Dozier, Northgate, De La Salle, and other successful schools. The people who find fault with these institutions for producing better results than nearby places of learning, should concern themselves more with changing mediocrity into achievement than finding fault with those who are obviously pushing the right buttons. This especially applies to School District administrators who make a living blaming others for their incompetence.
11. Prices for tickets at Pixieland have gotten so expensive that middle class families can barely afford to take their young children there. When it costs over $ 2.50 per ride (which takes 2 or 3 minutes duration) per person not including adults when required to accompany toddlers, things are getting out of hand. To put things in perspective, it costs a family of 4 to ride all 7 attractions 64 tickets. The total for a family pack (50 tickets) is $ 47.00. When one adds on making other purchases of food, drinks, and souvenirs, going to 6 Flags looks like a bargain.
12. Efficient use of Police Services in Concord. Is it only me who has on numerous occsions witnessed 4 or 5 patrol cars congregating at the scene of an accident or minor crime scene on Clayton Road, Concord Blvd, or Willow Pass? Does back-up really mean multiple officers standing together waiting for an ambulance or tow truck to show up while performing no perceptible function? There may well be legitimate reasons for this practice but it sure looks bad when tax payers drive by who are picking up the tab.
13. Concord American Baseball League having free reign using public facilities when they fail to provide a girl’s softball programs similar to what Pleasant Hill Baseball Association (PHBA) and Junior Optimist Baseball League (JOBL) offer. This is not right. Perhaps it is time for the City to have discussions with Concord American to rectify this omission.
Bitch Bitch Bitch
14. Meat prices have become so high that even the “Rancher’s Reserve” guys can barely afford to purchase beef. This unfortunate condition has been a bi-product of the failed corn crop in the Midwest in 2013 after which the US Government still insisted on manufacturing the gasoline additive ethyenole. As a result corn prices were so high that farmers were forced to slaughter animals resulting in a shortage of product in 2014. This is yet another example of government programs hurting consumers while paving the road to hell with their good intentions.
15. Restaurants have improved dramatically in the area but we still have Mexican eateries serving carne asada (steak) and Japanese establishments beef teriyaki using stew meat which lacks flavor and texture. These dishes need help. In addition the region is badly in need of more ethnic faire (other than Hispanic and Asian) to add more variety for consumers. Especially AWOL is Greek and Mediterranean places. I guess the reason for this is such food preparations requires trained chefs who are in short supply in a culinary scene dominated by franchise restaurants.
16. It sounds like a broken down record but such a list should not fail to mention the shoddy run down shopping area of Concord known as Park and Shop. Apparently the multiple ownership of the complex does not allow for redevelopment or to force change to bring this place up to the quality standards of other retailers in the region. It’s not a good thing that when my friend for an April fools prank suggested that a nuclear power plant be constructed in the parking lot of Park and Shop and someone remarked “I did not know they had enough room to build one there.”
The Oakland Alameda Coliseum: God that place is dreadful. I feel sorry for the fans of the Oakland A’s and Raiders who have to journey to this locale to watch their favorite teams play. The food served there is expensive, stale, and not even up to the standards of Jack in the Box. One views the game from afar as the combination baseball/football venue is a relic from fifty years ago. Sewage pipes have been known to leak and there are no watering holes in the surrounding area for fans to frequent before or after the game. The good news is that the A’s are a fun team to watch. The Raider’s? Well, that’s another story!