Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Government Insanity, and Other Stuff

As I mentioned in a previous blog (the organized purse blog, I think) I am the builing ministry chair for our church. This means that if anything gets broken, I have to fix it or find someone to fix it. And if anyone wants some special work done, I get to organize it. This can be a very frustrating, yet very rewarding area of service. Today, it's frustrating. I have been asked to handle two construction projects, one in a restroom and one remodeling the nurseries. My ingenious hubby made up project sketches on our computer, I got materials estimates, got budget approval, so I thought, "No problem! I'll just get a few guys together and we'll whip these projects out in no time." I mean, both projects basically involve moving walls, and that's it. Easy, huh? Boy, was I WRONG!! Enter the City of Cedar Rapids Building Department. I went there this morning to get building permits and was told that I had to have an architect design and approve our projects, and then I had to have the fire marshall inspect and approve our changes. This is what state law requires. I about had a fit in the inspectors' office. I mean, the law is the law, but all this over-regulation is driving me insane! Isn't the inspectors' office there to make sure what I do is up to code? If there's a problem, the inspector's there to find it and make us change it, right? But NOOOOOO - since we're an "assembly" structure, I have to pay someone to redraw Carl's drawings and then sign their name to it to make it "legal". Sheesh! So, I'll probably have to choose one project and do it, and table the other project until next year, because the architect will eat up half the money budgeted for these projects. This makes me so mad! Grrr!!

And speaking of Grrr!!!, there's a columnist named Mike Straka who does a weekly column for FOXnews.com called "Grrr". It's usually very funny, because the things Mike writes about are true instances of those little things that irritate us all. He even has his own lexicon; for instance, he calls people who are oblivious to their surroundings and think they're revolving in their own universe "Oblivions" and "Obliviots". I prefer "obliviot" since "oblivion" also refers to a place (ie the place you'd like to send obliviots to). For example, an obliviot is the person in line in front of you at Wal-Mart who waits until all their stuff is rung up to dig out their coupons, and then they pull out their checkbook and start writing out their check. These same people think nothing of backing up right into you, and then giving YOU a dirty look for not moving out of THEIR way. Argh. I think the Iowa Legislature is filled with obliviots who have nothing better to do with their time than write irritating legislation designed to line the pockets of lawyers and architects.

And speaking of Wal-Mart, am I the only person who can't stand those five foot tall singing animated Santas they have? Do they drive anyone else crazy?

Now, for some happy stuff: while I was out shopping today, I stopped at a little orchard outside Cedar Rapids for some of their homemade cider. The place is called Holland Orchard, and it's run by a Dutch immigrant family. They've been there for years, and have the best apples anywhere. They make great cider, and sometimes they have imported cookies and candies. So when I stopped there today, they had a display of cookies that included these little oblong sandwich cookies called "Bokkenpootjes". Funny name, great cookies. They're light, crunchy, with creme filling, rolled in chopped peanuts, and the ends are dipped in chocolate. I can't tell you much more about them (execpt that they're delicious) because the package is labeled in Dutch, but if they have these cookies at the end of the month, I'm going to get some for when my family comes to visit.

I apologize for any misspellings in this blog, but the spell checker isn't working. GRRR!!

2 Comments:

Blogger Shannon said...

concerning the 5 foot tall singing snowman . . . we own one. Yes, disconcerting as that may be, my mother-in-law gave us one last year. So, if we are able to make it to Hentrich Christmas, I could bring it along . . .

4:47 PM  
Blogger Aunt Nancy said...

About your singing Santa, Shannon: well, it was a gift, and not everyone likes the same things, so I hope you can forgive me for not liking the animated Kringles. However, if you want to bring him, fine. He can bunk with Judah...

9:00 PM  

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