I haven’t washed my car since September.

Tuesday I had to drive to Melrose to drop off my tax information. Sure, I could have mailed it, even FedEx’ed it, but I didn’t want to take any risk, as so many of the documents were one of a kind. And as I was sitting in traffic…I said to myself THIS IS A WASTE OF TIME!

Now L.A. has the worst traffic in America. But it wasn’t heavy this day. Maybe because it was the July 4th week. But even so, all three map apps said it would take between 27 and 29 minutes to get there, just east of La Cienega.

And I love to drive. And I’ve got no problem with traffic. And I was flipping the presets on SiriusXM from Howard to music to NPR, and on NPR I found this very interesting story…that I can’t really remember right now, but I know it’s in there somewhere. I’m not one of the NPR people. Whenever they e-mail to be on, which is not recently, there are few translatable stories in the music business right now, other than sponsorship and greed, they tell me about the outlet’s reach, as in it reaches more people than any of the news on TV. And this is true, if you’re on NPR people hear you, I always get emails after appearing on NPR, but I can be on TV stations and there are crickets, except for CNN International, which seemingly every American traveler turns on in their hotel room. I’m on at some ungodly hour, late in the evening on the west coast, and I always hear from friends in Asia and Europe that they saw me. Fascinating. So be on NPR. The rest of the outlets? Pretty much a circle jerk.

Like today’s L.A. “Times.” All the articles in the Calendar section were hype. Sure, there were a few reviews, but the rest of it is endless b.s. from celebrities hawking their new product. I mean who cares at this point? Meanwhile, I read on Twitter that the new Minions movie was set on fire via TikTok. If you’ve been following the receipts, it got bad reviews, and the last Pixar film released to theatres was a financial disappointment, but this Minions movie, “The Rise of Gru”? It’s been doing boffo at the b.o. Meaning that despite all the kiddie product released direct to video during the pandemic, parents will still take their children out to the theatre. What does this mean? I’m not exactly sure, it is summer, do they just want a baby sitter for a while?

So so many of my “commutes” have fallen by the wayside since the pandemic. Doctors? I see them via Zoom. My psychiatrist gave up his office. And now, years later, I can see all the time I’ve saved.

And, all the action is at home. I can sit in front of my screen and reach the world, never mind take the temperature of the world. This is impossible out. While you’re driving you can’t pay full attention, as for doing all your work on your phone… Did you ever notice that you read an e-mail on your phone and get all pushed out of shape and then when you read it on the big screen, on your desktop or laptop, it’s nowhere near as heinous as you think, sometimes even positive? Has happened to me too many times. Now I’m reluctant to send serious e-mail responses immediately on my phone, I may get the attitude wrong, never mind the response.

And when I’m deep in the heart of the city, I think about everybody going to lunch.

Now in truth, there are a lot of people who go to lunch with a different person every day, it’s networking. Funnily enough, they always go to restaurants near their office, they don’t burn much time. But their dining companions? You’ve got to get in the car, drive, park, eat and then repeat. You lose hours. To accomplish? This is very different from a meeting to seal a deal, this is just conversation, is it worth this time investment? Is it worth it to talk live to anybody these days?

This is another thing the boomers can’t understand about the Millennials and Gen-Z, I hear it all the time…PICK UP THE PHONE! The younger generation communicates electronically, i.e. e-mail, iMessage, etc. Whereas the boomers work on the phone. They’re confounded that the office can be so quiet. But this is the way the world is going. Electronic is so much better. You don’t waste so much time, you get to the heart of the matter, and you’re not on hold, even worse not waiting for a call back. That’s one of the reasons I hate to call, because then I can’t relax until the call is returned, which may not even be the same day. I know, in the office this is de rigueur. But in the creative world, you cannot work unless you’re in the zone without distractions. If people tell you otherwise…well, I guess there are exceptions, but I don’t know any. That’s why recording studios are dark, with no windows, you want to remove the act from the real world, create a unique space.

So I’m hiking in the mountains listening to the Pivot podcast. That’s basically where Kara Swisher asks questions of Scott Galloway. Ms. Swisher is constantly dropping names and engagements, but as a result she doesn’t smear people like her compatriot. Galloway lays down the truth. Like Swisher repeating her take on the Elon Musk Twitter employees meeting. Yes, she had access, very cool. But she drank the kool-aid, Galloway wasn’t buying it. Elon Musk has been backing out of the Twitter deal almost since its inception, and Galloway is not letting him off the hook.

But during this podcast, they were talking about working from home. Scott’s take was very interesting, if you want to get ahead, if you want to be mentored, go to the office. And that rang true. But most of the younger generation don’t want to return, they don’t want to waste all that time, just like me!

Now in truth the days of tech wonderment are done. All the new hardware, then the new software. For nearly two decades tech drove the culture, now it’s politics. Behind that? Well, there’s streaming television and in a distant last place music, which abdicated its power all by itself. Have you been reading all the stories talking about how music sucks?

Well, first let me say if you want to keep up on what is going on in the tech sphere, you’ll get hooked on Pivot, this is the episode I was referencing:

“Twitter, Layoffs, and Streaming: Pivot’s Q2 Quarterly Review”: https://apple.co/3c3CkJX

As for those articles about the decline of music…

One is by political writer Umair Haque:

“Forget the Apocalypse, Let’s Talk About What Happened to Music – Why Music doesn’t Sound Like Music Anymore”: https://bit.ly/3RjiD0O

The other article is in “Inc.”:

“Why Music Has Lost Its Charms – There’s little doubt that corporations have stifled creativity”: https://bit.ly/3InIxwh

This second article is by Howard Tullman, a VC guy.

Do I really care what either of these guys have to say? Especially the one with money? Not at all. I could quibble with their analyses, but once a concept, a wave of information gains hold, you know there’s something there. The truth is the recording industry, as practiced by the major labels, skews to an ever smaller slice of the population, and very rarely does it provide cutting edge tracks that impact the culture at large. Like I said, the music business has abdicated its power, no one took it away.


So I used to go to the car wash.

And then during Covid, I started washing my car myself, I bought all the equipment, the varying brand name cleaners and shammys and…even a clean bucket!

And the effort was not that major, not that I could get it up to clean my car that often, there’s that nasty time factor once again. Never mind I seem categorically unable to wash my car without getting wet myself.

But now we’ve got a water shortage in Southern California.

Have you been reading about that glacier coming down in Italy? I have, being addicted to skiing, all things mountains. Read this:

“Glacier Tragedy Shows Reach of Europe’s New Heat”: https://nyti.ms/3uyZXjT

If you’re not horrified about global warming reading this, you’re probably the CEO of an energy company. As for the Republican party which installed these Supreme Court justices beholden to the energy suppliers, the big story in the news is how the Conservative party revolted against Boris Johnson, a serial liar, never mind bad actor, but the Republicans never revolted against Trump. Johnson didn’t want to go, but everybody kept resigning. In other words, the Republicans are wimps. I’m gonna lose a few more subscribers here, but I’ve got to stand up for the truth a bit, and the Republicans are the sorest winners I’ve ever encountered. As for Tucker Carlson…

You’ve got to see this performance. This is what the Tuckster said about Taylor Lorenz:

“She showed up to an interview wearing some sort of face gear, was she going to rob a liquor store? We don’t know.”

Lorenz’s big offense? Interviewing someone in public while she wore a mask, having underlying immune issues.

Check it out: https://bit.ly/3PaFaLX

So, needless to say I can’t be seen with a hose in front of my house, cleaning my car, hell, you can only water your lawn once a week.

As for going to the car wash…

Well, I’ll spend twenty bucks.

Now wait, I’m not going to go at all, because of my immune issue. I finally have enough B-cells to get the vaccine again, I now have 39.33 antibodies, which is better than none, which had been my total previously. But you want 150. 100 is okay. I just got a second shot, but I could only get a booster, not a full shot, I won’t bother you with the rigamarole, I’ll be tested again in ten days.

Anyway, my car is a disaster. Completely covered in dirt. Just leave your car out one night in SoCal and it’ll be covered in dust. And we only have a one car garage, so it’s got to be on the street.

Now I’d say I’d wait for rain, but that won’t come until at least September, if not later.

But really, the problem is the sap. These yellow dots all over my damn car. I can take it to the car wash and they don’t even make a dent on them.

So Felice sent me a discount coupon for Washos. 15% off!

Well, am I really gonna spend fifty bucks to wash my car?

Well, by time you get through tipping at the car wash you’ve spent twenty, and it’s not even clean.

So I start doing the research.

NEVER EVER GO DEEP! Or at least know how to reject the outliers. Search online and you’ll find someone talking crap about everything, listen to them and you won’t buy anything. And there was one picture on Reddit of a guy with a brand new Panamera, who bought a detailing package and… The pictures tell it all.

I was horrified.

But I’ve got a seventeen year old car which came with a crappy paint job to begin with.

Now dig into Washos and you’ll find they use this non-water cleaning method. But my car is uber-dirty. So… Can they really clean it this way?

When I decide to jump in (frustrated with a couple of other problems in my life, I figured taking action washing my car would show I had some power), I booked Washos a day later. And did I want a cleaning with water or non-water? But they say if your car is really dirty, they’re gonna have to use water. But water is free, and non-water is an extra five bucks. I ended up checking them both. But I’d filled out the form a couple of times and the date reverted to a couple of hours hence so I changed it, canceled, and then started all over.

I booked for one today. Now even amateurs know you shouldn’t wash your car in the bright sun. But better to take action than to do nothing.

So the guy came ten minutes late. No biggie, they said to give him fifteen.

And he immediately asked me to move my car to the shade. Which was not all-encompassing, but good enough for him. And I pointed out where the spigot was, and he said HE BROUGHT HIS OWN WATER!

Now the guy pulled up in a car better than mine, a new Dodge.

So I left him to it, he said it would take about an hour and fifteen. And then he’d get me to move the car closer to an outlet so he could vacuum.

So, I go out there to move it and… I’m positively stunned. My car hasn’t looked this good in years! All the sap is gone, I’m astounded. However, a couple of the glued-on letters have disappeared from the tailgate. Hmm… He should have mentioned to me they came off. I ended up walking to the shade and finding them. Then again, how pissed can I be? One of the glued-on letters came off when I was washing the car a year ago. And it is a damn old car.

So then, when I’m walking back inside, I notice the wheels are still dirty. I don’t know what it is with my car, it’s very different from the BMWs I’ve owned previously. As in you can clean the rims…AND THEY GET CLEAN!

He said he was going to clean them.

About twenty minutes later I came out… And they were!

Now the next thing I have to do is get my car serviced. But because of Covid they no longer give you a wash for free. And your car has to arrive relatively clean to begin with, otherwise they don’t respect it, at least that’s my thought. But really…


As for leaving my house to run any kind of errand ever again…

Let’s not forget, there’s Instacart, and Amazon Prime…


And here’s a 20% discount code, supposedly good through November 4th: TIME20

Finally, Washos is not available everywhere and I’m only testifying as to the basic wash, beyond that, re detailing etc…you’re on your own.

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