Saturday, August 30, 2014

Treadmills, Fox and the Soulless CNBC...

The Swanky In Motion Fitness, my new gym...
I have a new life. I no longer travel 165 miles once a week to work in a hospital in the Napa Valley. Instead, I average around 150 to 250 miles a day, traveling around Butte, Tehama and Glenn Counties visiting homebound patients who suffer from mostly late life depression, anxiety and dementia.

It's a lot of driving; a lot of sitting. I sit to drive and then I sit to talk with the clients. My prior jobs have been mostly active ones---so this sitting for a living thing is new to me.

Plus Kylie, the resident 14 year old, moved back in with us after an attempt to fledge to her Mother's house. She prefers the school in Paradise, California where she likes the Honors program. So I start my day by driving her to school.

All this sitting and driving have led to an expansion of my waist line.

I work long hours--- I've been pulling into our driveway around 7pm. I leave at 7:20 am to get Kylie to school. Upon getting home, I've been much too tired to get a walk in with the dogs. Plus a little walk after work just isn't enough of a workout. I need to sweat.

I sold out some deeply held personal values and joined the swankiest gym in Chico. The place has three pools, umpteen million classes, scads of treadmills, ellipticals and other modern instruments of torture. There's a weight area where the muscles bulge and the men look like they must be using some sort of chemical to bulk up so big. They look like freaks. Yoga pants and pony tails are the fashion with the women---everyone has a smart phone with earbuds. All these people working out and I can count the number of conversations people have had with me on no hands. As in, nobody converses. Ever.

This has got to be the most anti-social, social place I've ever been. All these people go there to workout and are deaf and mute to each other: Each listening to their own secret soundtrack. My own private Idaphone.

I have headphones too. An old set that were new during George Bush's first term. I plug them into the treadmill machine and watch the bank of five televisions that face those of us working out. They have the TV's tuned to a local station, a sports station, CNN, Fox, CNBC/MSNBC (depending upon the time of day), and HGTV.

I alternate between 30 minutes and 60 minutes on the treadmill. Sometimes I achieve a peak speed of 5 mph. Mostly I stumble along at 4 miles per hour. Well, actually, I'm happy with 3.5 mph. We work up slowly.

And so I have that amount of time to watch TV. I alternate between Fox and the business news on CNBC. MSNBC, although advertised on the placard below the television, has never been on while I'm there. Things I've learned: CNN covered the memorial service for Michael Brown; Fox didn't. Fox has one show called "The Five" where one lone liberal, a portly suspender wearing gruff man who is reminiscent of Ed Asner, tries to represent sanity amongst a crew of younger, handsome men and women who do battle with him. He is hopelessly outnumbered. And every show on Fox displays a leggy female in a tight fitting dress, some wearing glasses, the sexy nerd look, who have searing words describing President Obama as a bumbling ineffectual dweeb.

And CNBC? The analysts there, soulless creatures beholden to the dollar, talk in raptured terms about the oil and gas boom and how there's a pile to be made in fracking. And so they suggest hardware stocks that supply pumps and tubing to the oil industry. When Burger King announced they were moving to Canada---the analysts were quick to defend BK, calling it a fine example of Capitalism and bemoaning the 35 percent nominal Corporate Tax Rate in the US (the effective rate is 12%). Of course BK should move: they owe it to their stockholders to make as much profit as possible. If you are a corporation that actually pays 35%, you need a new Chief Financial Officer. There is no talk about citizenship and the civic and social responsibilities of corporations. Follow the money. By the way, with ObamaCare, Healthcare stocks are up; home health company stocks are down (just my luck--if there's a curve to be behind, I'll find it).

I take the agitation caused by Fox and CNBC out on the treadmill. Anger motivates.

By the way, there is even a country song about the women of Fox News.

1 comment:

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