The Age of Insolence

NEW 83

"Nobody loves Robot Lincoln!"
- -Robot Lincoln


       What Ifs?
       "What if, as originally predicted, heavier-than-air flight had actually been impossible?
       Rocket-propelled blimps. Travel would take a little longer, but the 9/11 plot would have failed, comically."


      I read the condo flyer that told us not to park in front of the garages starting today, as they'd be painting the doors. And I thought, What are the odds of that affecting me? They'll be painting MY door at exactly 11:35?
      "Well, that scared the hell out of me!" said the painter as I yanked my garage door up while he was painting it. How come I can think "What are the odds of me winning?" when I waste a dollar on a Lotto ticket, and yet I never get surprised?

      I guess that I'm going to spend the upcoming Sunday phoning pet stores to ask, "Do you sell birds? Good! Do you sell feathers? Loose ones. Yes, I realize that birds generally come already equipped with them."
      Byron, he loves him some feathers. I gave him a good-sized seagull feather 2 weeks ago, and he was in nonstop battle mode for a full hour. Today I gave him 2 tiny ones. He was ecstatic for about 30 seconds, when he lost both of them. I found one, and he was happy for another minute. Then it was gone. He searched for 15 minutes, and I helped, but it wasn't there. Did he eat them?
      Killsy joined the search, too. It's not anthropomorphism to say that I can tell from the look on her face whether she recognizes a word. "Feather" was not one of those words. I think she was looking because she thought we were looking for a bug.
      Before I start making random phone calls--Anyone know of a pet store chain that sells their feathers? Don't suggest a craft store; I want "smells like the bird did" feathers, and native grown and thus not all Chinese avian-fluey.
      And when Dumbya starts declaring that he wants to waive the Posse Comitatus and use the Army to run America if there's an epidemic of bird flu.
      If Gore or Kerry was president, do you think that this discussion would be about "How much vaccine we can make, and how quickly and efficiently can we distribute it?" instead of "Where will we quarantine our own dying citizens, so we can shoot anyone who tries to escape before they infect the rich white guys?"
      ...In the back of your mind, isn't there that tiniest shred of worry that he'd allow a flu pandemic to decimate the country, just so he could declare martial law? The only way that there will be a Republican president in 2008 is either through huge numbers of rigged Diebold machines, or
      ...some other option.

      ...And what were the odds, on the next day, of opening the garage door while the same painter was applying the second coat to it at 11:35? And opening the door the next, next day, and have him wave "Hello!" at me, at 11:35? Pretty good, apparently. He was like my new best friend! Or stalker.
      Kinda glad he wasn't there this morning.

      Anyone who acts as their own lawyer has a fool for a client. "Phadnis claims he was kidnapped and tortured for three days by a gang of 400-pound Samoans who eventually killed his parents in front of him." Damn fat Samoan gangs! They're everywhere!

      The 2005 Ig Nobel Awards, with some cutting edge penguin-pooping data.


      The first thing that happened to me after I took off my socks: I stepped in cat puke. "Byron!" I said.
      A bit later, I looked down and saw a CD-ROM lying on the floor, out of its case and shiny-side up. "Byron!" I said. He must've knocked the case over and flipped it open (he destroyed my DVD of Kiki's Delivery Service that way). "Please don't be anything important," I thought as I picked it up and turned it over. Oh, it's only Civilization II, my favorite PC game EVAR, the one that in the years before the net I would play for 40 hours a week. The one that you can't play if you go long enough without letting the computer know that you still have the disc. It was scratched and had some goo with cat hair attached on it (grey and black hair, huh who woulda thought). I cleaned it off, and fortunately it loaded. But there was no sound.
      I tried listening to an online radio site. No sound. "Byron!" I said, "I hope this isn't because you knocked the computer speakers over!"
      I guess not. Rebooting didn't fix it, and plugging the headphones into the back of the computer didn't give me any sound. Knowing my computer, it might be one of those things that fixes itself. Or doesn't.
      When I went to plug the headphones in, I moved the Monkey with a Box thing I have. I bought it for nothing at the Salvation Army, as it was made of wood, and thus something Byron couldn't break when he inevitably knocked it over. When he did, I discovered that it was made of some material that felt like wood, but wasn't, and so he broke it. I moved it off of the top of the CPU and saw dozens of...seed casings? No, on closer inspection--larvae casings. So that's where these damn little gnats have been breeding! But on the top of the computer? Why would they--"Byron!" I said.
      Remember that can of Monty Python Spam I bought on Broadway? Toemaster B has knocked it to the floor regularly. Apparently, one time it hit in just the right way. The lid cracked open just enough to let gnats crawl in and lay eggs in the Spam. So now I've left it in a plastic bag to asphyxiate them (How about some anaroebic atmospheric conditions, Scarecrow!). Then, I'll have to carve out the polluted Spam--which can be the only thing on earth MORE disgusting than regular Spam--and clean the can out. My $12.95 can of Spam that could've cost me $4.99 on Amazon.
      "Byron!" I love you, you crazy little man. For all your faults, I love you.

      From Fark, someone's short, funny, dumb paper on Walt Whitman. I once wrote a term paper on satire, and made it a satire on term papers. My English teacher gave me an A+ and an F. She averaged it out to a B+. I think I got away with it simply because no one else had thought of doing it before. She told me in private that it was a popular read in the teacher's lounge.


      Like there isn't enough to worry about! Crackhead Squirrels!!!


      Senile Citizen Day!

      I had to do a delivery (which we do free) to the retirement home. I called before leaving, as we always do when we deliver (for free; it even says so on our business card). "Oh, don't deliver it here," said the very old lady. "I'm not ready yet." Not wanting to see an octogenarian in her negligee, I offered to bring it later (note: This was 1230PM). No, she told me to "Bring it to the girl in front." "Is that Receiving?" I asked, and she said yes.
      Well, turns out that Receiving, besides being next to a reeking dumpster full of used Depends, was in a basement with no "girl in front." I was sent to The Girl, and it turned out that there was more than one Girl in Front, so I took a long and convoluted multi-floor tour of the facility before finding the correct said Girl.
      But really, I mention this because of the phone call at the start.
      "This is X Liquor Store. Are you ready for your [free] delivery?"
      "Oh, what it says on your business card is very deceptive! It says that you deliver for free, and you don't! It shouldn't say that on your card if you don't do it! You shouldn't say that if you don't deliver for free! Oh, don't deliver it here, I'm not ready yet. Bring it to the girl in front." But...but...I'm calling about your free delivery...BOOM! Head splodes!!

      The multi-state Powerball is up to $240 million. This is because they changed the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 121M to 1 in 146M, and people are too stupid to have figured out that they're prly more likely to be hit by a meteor with a penguin chewing Juicy Fruit riding on it than win. Consequently, the lottery line was very long today. One Einstein bought $200 worth of tickets. This lowered his odds to the point where the penguin might be chewing any brand of gum.
      Grandpa Lotto, as we call him, is 88 years old and plays the lottery a lot. As you might've surmised from his nickname. He also likes to talk, which would be a good thing, except that he mumbles and has an impenetrable Jamaican accent. At any rate, I run him 10 Cash 5 tickets, and try to run his Powerball picks.
      ME: "These are on the old forms. They won't go through the machine. You need to fill out new ones."
      HIM: "What?"
      I take a twenty from him to pay for his Cash 5s and hand him a ten. With both registers and lottery with major lines, he insists that I fill out his new Powerball sheets. Note: all 10 Powerballs are for the same number. If he won the jackpot, they'd divide it into 1/10th of the total and pay him 10 seperate times for the same amount. His odds are not improved by buying the same number 10 times. In fact, the penguin is now reading an Oprah book club selection with his gum.
      In the meantime, the liquor line went down and Yolanda started ringing up the lottery customers who weren't doin' nothin' but tieing up the line. When I finish filling out his Powerball slips, I politely tell him to get back into the line, and she will ring him up. "I got your Cash 5s, she'll do your Powerballs," I add, which sounds dirty, but there's no way I'm letting him hold that many people up and let him jump to the front. I then go a ring up the new liquor customers.
      He leaves the lottery line. Oh no, he's going to talk to me. Mumble mumble, impenetrable accent, and senile.
      HIM: "What did you give me?"
      ME: "The Cash 5s. She'll run your Powerball tickets."
      "No, what did I give you?"
      A severe case of annoyance? No, I know what he means. "A 20, and I gave you a 10 back."
      "Where is it?!"
      "In your hand."
      "Where's my tickets?!"
      "In Your Hand."
      "Where's my money?"
      "Where are my Powerball tickets?!"
      "I didn't run them. She'll run them."
      "HERE." Hands me the tickets.
      "No, SHE'LL run them. We only have 1 Lottery machine. You need to get back in line."
      Pause. "What did you give me?"
      "THE...CASH...5S. They're in your HAND."
      "What did you give me?"
      Repeat the entire conversation start to finish, no lie, FOUR TIMES.
      He gets back in line, gets his tickets (what's an 88 year old going to DO with a quarter-billion dollars anyway?), and then goes off to do...whatever it is he does. He always retires to the same spot in the store to stare at the tickets for 10 minutes before leaving. But after he does, he waves me over. Oh, great, hooray.
      "I want you to check these tickets," is what I thought he said. "You have to get back in the line," I say, as Yolanda's ringing up other lottery buyers. Repeat 3 times. "No, I checked these tickets, and they're okay," is what I think he says this time. "Oh, the numbers I copied are right? Sorry, I misunderstood you." And then he goes to the end of the line again.
      No, he said what I first thought he'd said, and wanted his tickets checked to see if they were winners. They never are; anyone who spends more than a dollar on the lottery is a fool throwing their cash away in an impossible quest to magically get more. And his tickets are all crumpled up, meaning that they had to be keyed in by hand. I don't recall exactly how many digits we have to key in, but it's at least 15. Per ticket. And lotto machines use the touch-tone phone arrangement with the 3 at top right, not the computer numeric keypad/9 at the top arrangement that we use a thousand times more often, and if you hit the wrong key, there's no backspace, so you have to start all over again (more accurately, there's a backspace button on the machine that doesn't do anything, which should give you an idea of just how user-unfriendly these shitboxes are). After he causes another major traffic jam, winning exactly nothing, he finally leaves.
      I hope he wins Powerball. Maybe he could finally buy himself a fucking clue.


      Kill Kill is back on her diet. For that matter, Byron's on her diet, too. Whenever 2 pets need to eat a specific food, they'll eat the other pet's chow. That's why she ate kitten food for a year, so that lil' puny Byron wouldn't be even a littler guy than he's turned out to be.
      She'd been eating and sleeping. Only eating and sleeping. I was used to her eating, then plopping down into one of her many boxes to watch Byron rampage after the laser dot. Her immediately falling asleep, that I wasn't used to. But the Iams diet food (sorry, it's now "Weight Control/Hairball/Indoor Cat Formula," which is why it took me a month to be able to find any in the store--they were changing the packaging) works wonders. She regained her pep after a week, and after 2 weeks, she was visibly less chubby.
      And now she's crazy! She battles her brother, she runs around, she whines incessantly for me to do her favorite thing, getting petted with a bamboo backscratcher while nibbling her kibble. It's reaching the point where I don't know if I should reflexively blame Byron for any bizarre damage done when I'm not home or asleep.
      Although, it does require thumbs to open a kitchen cabinet door and pull down a container of raisins and empty an entire bag of shelled walnuts all over the counter and floor...I think we can rule the Small(er) White out from that little prank.

      Sometimes amusing Fark Photoshop contest involving cats doing unlikely feats. So far, has only one "a dead cat is funy!!!" joke, which is a low percentage for Fark. Expect some "hilariously obvious Korean kitten cuisine jokes!!!" by the time you read it.

      HMM. And who just now jumped up to the counter and sniffed the cabinets? And then began snooping around and meowing?
      Hint: It's not the 2 of us who have thumbs...


      When I first started entertaining the idea of getting a second cat, I knew I wouldn't find a cat more interesting-looking than Killsy. Perfectly white. And when fate put another kitten in my arms, it was a little boy with all those extra toes. Certainly I won't ever have another cat more interesting-looking than that!
      And I guess that I won't. At least, not unless I find a cat with THREE tongues...


      It rained last week. By "last week" I mean last week--seven and a half days in a row. Mainly, it was just an annoyance, particularly when it became a downpour. It's yet another reason to dislike my 20-mile commute when I'm trying not to hydroplane all over the highway.
      On the 7th day, Friday, it really began raining hard, the kind of rain one normally sees in a thunderstorm. But it wasn't just the volume that was amazing; it was the duration. It started at 4PM, and it hadn't slacked off for a minute by the time I went to bed at 2AM. A leak opened up in the store, and I put a keg icetub under it. Good thing it started when it did; if it had started 30 minutes later, no one would've been in the store to do anything about it.
      I arrived the next day at noon (it was still drizzling; in 36 hours, we had 6 inches of rain), and wondered why the trash can was inside the building. When I walked in--"Oh." The one leak had transformed into about twenty. Some were right over bottles, which made the labels damp. Some were over the bulk displays, which made the cardboard boxes damp. Which meant the displays collapsed and the bottles broke, and wine was mixed with the rain. So I joined the general running-around cleaning-up frenzy.
      I found a reason to like my commute. When you live the farthest away from the store, your name is at the bottom of the list of people to call when the alarm goes off. Dave got the call at midnight, and was loyal enough (or whatever enough, choose your own adjective) to stay there overnight cleaning, and ended up not leaving until 16+ hours later. I hope he gets overtime.

      Solve all your problems--Become a Republican!

      If you've ever read The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, you'll remember Kavalier's stint in World War Two: he ended up on a tiny American base fighting a tiny German base in Antarctica. There were enough background details to make it seem if at least bits of it were based on fact (the Germans did send expeditions there, just before the war). I never followed through to see how much of it was true.
      And here's the history: Britain's secret war in Antarctica:
      "We were told in no specific terms what was expected of us and what Britain expected us to find on Antarctica. Britain had more than a strong suspicion that the Germans had built a secret base and had spirited many of the unaccounted Nazis away from the turmoil in Europe.
      "Still, more and more revelations were forthcoming. The summer before, we were told, the original scientists and commandos had found an "ancient tunnel". Under orders, the force went through the tunnel but only two returned before the Antarctic winter set in. During the winter months, the two survivors made absurd claims over the radio about 'Polar Men, ancient tunnels and Nazis'. Radio contact was finally lost in July 1945, and ominously for our mission, going into the unknown, the last broadcast brought us all further anxiety as we listened to the fear in the voice: "...the Polar Men have found us!" was screamed before contact was lost."
      Uh-huh. Entertaining read, but if you go to the main site, their credibility seems a mite, uh, hollow due to their, um, core beliefs.


      $2,289 in Powerball ticket sales today.

       Note to Powerball buyers: UR STEWPID!! THAT MEANS U R AS SMART AS A BOWL OF STEW The jackpot's $340 million because THEY CHANGED THE ODDS SO NO ONE CAN WIN. You're as likely to walk away with money in your pocket from a New York City sidewalk game of 3-card Monte as you are to win Powerball. Don't spend more than $5 on your tickets, because you are NOT going to get that $130 back!
      Note to those who buy want their tickets as "singles" rather than 5 to a ticket: UR STEWPID!! THAT MEANS U R LIKE THEY GAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE TO A CAN OF DINTY MOORE Why do you do that? It doesn't change the odds, it doesn't give you more widely-differing number spreads (look at your tickets and see--they tend to get the same numbers even more), it pisses off everyone behind you in line when you HAVE to have your 50! tickets printed up one at a time on these freakin' slow-ass built-by-the-lowest-bidder shitbox Lotto machines, and it gives you more tickets to lose while making us refuse to run your 50 through the next day because you're too lazy to check your numbers yourself.
      Note to those who buy some booze and then declare "Give me 20 quick picks!" and get shocked to discover that YES, you have to get in a line 7 people long to buy them: UR STEWPID!! THAT MEANS U GOT PIECES OF CARROTS AND TATERS SWIMMING IN YOUR CAN-LIKE SKULL Yeah, just cut right into the front of the line. If you get the winning ticket, it'll buy a swanky funeral after you get beaten to death by a line of outraged people. HMM, did your shock have anything to do with the fact that a white businessman in a suit couldn't push his way in front of a bunch of blue-collar black people?
      Note to those who bitch when we say that our lottery is closed as we close at 8: UR STUPID!! WHY DON'T YOU PLAY SOME BEE GEES THEN YOU CAN BE DISCO STU-PID We close at 8, and it takes about 20 minutes to cash out Lotto. NO we are not working until 8:20 off the clock to cash it out, no matter how much you whine "BUT IT'S NOT 8 YET!" Ooh, Lotto's closed, call the police. Or go to the thousand other places in town that sell it 24 hours a day.
      Special Bonus CoWorker Stew: When a customer asks "How much is Powerball?" and you say "$340 million" and he says "No, how much does a ticket cost?" it means that he's never PLAYED Powerball before. It's okay to say "One dollar" but not okay to add "Two dollars with the Powerplay" when he isn't going to know what that means, and despite 18 months of working here, YOU DON'T EITHER. Then someone else has to explain it, and it's not like we're being distracted enough from our other work to spell it out for him. And you. UR STEWPID LIKE OFF-BRAND STEW AT BIG LOTS WHERE THERE'S STILL GROSS FAT ON THE MEAT
      Not really related, but to to those who refuse to take the top copy of the local free alt-weekly newspaper because there's a rip on the cover: UR BOUILLABAISE!! THAT MEANS U R A FRENCH STEW WITH CHUNKS OF DEAD FISH IN IT So instead, you take a copy from underneath it--preferably, one FAR underneath it, so as to cause as many copies above it to fall apart. Are you planning on framing that cover? Are you going to stare at it for hours on end? NO, you are going to read the sex column, scan everything else, then throw it away. "OH NO I DIDN'T GET MY MONEY'S WORTH FROM MY FREEEEE PAPER!!!"
      Note to all: Stew in Hell.

      Big Picnic pretty much nails what I started screaming at NPR radio news on my lunch break today.
      Jeez, Rummy. Even I get that if China stops buying up our--sorry, YOUR sad-ass administration's American debt, and switches from the dollar to the Euro, that means hyperinflation and pretty much the end of our economy. You DO know that they still want Taiwan back, right? And that someday they're going to invade, and now (thanks to YOU GUYS) they can do it with impunity? Talk nice to the Chinese, you stewpid motherfucker--they own us now.


      It took me 20 minutes to drive a mile tonight.
      The radio said "traffic problem on 91," which wouldn't affect me, then abruptly the announcer said "291," which would very very affect me. As I strained to hear which road he meant, a customer loudly barked in my ear. If he'd waited another 5 seconds to bark, there was an alternate way home that would've only added 5 minutes to my trip. I'll bet Bob Barker was a Poweball buyer, too.

      We need cat pictures!


      Lazed out with her stubbly tummy. She's licked a lot of fur from there. Doesn't bother her when I give her belly rubs, so I don't think that it's anything to worry about.


      "For those who are about to ROCK--we salute you!"


      "Man--salutin's a lotta work! ZZZZ..."


      Layer cake.


      The Cat Ouroboros.


      It's 3 weeks until the local election. The Republican candidate is named Fox. As I went to work today, he was pushing his candidacy by having someone wave to cars...while wearing a full-body fox suit.
      Is he expecting a big turnout of the preschool voters? Seriously, what idiot is going to vote for a mayor who dresses up as a sports mascot? (If this was St Louis, his fox cosplay outfit would at least get the vote of Daveykins Gonterman) And he was doing it in front of local landmark chicken restaurant Tasty Chick. How many times has the Bush administration's cronyism been referred to as "Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse"?

      Why being into cats is essentially the same as being into psychotic tweakers.


      Yesterday, I decided to take a nap. At 1. AM. Why I just didn't decide to go to sleep for the night, I have no idea. I awoke at 3, stayed up another hour, then went to bed. Not to sleep, but to bed. It took forever for me to fall asleep (possibly because I'd just had a nap, huh?), and when I did fall asleep, I dreamt that I couldn't fall asleep. You never feel rested when you have those dreams.
      I finally fell really asleep. And at 8AM, they started mowing the lawn. Because it's late October, and the lawn will be dead in 3 weeks. I finally fell asleep again, and it was time for CAAAAT RAMPAAAAGE! using the bed as a battlefield. I finally fell asleep again, and the alarm went off. I had things to do.
      First was to replace my black Converse hightops. Great shoes, but when they're 2 years old, they spontaneously disintegrate. I checked the Converse web page's store locator, and it said that Burlington Coat Factory had them. Hey, I drive right by one of those every workday! I looked around the shoe department, then asked "You don't sell Converse, do you?" and they didn't. I found mine today at Bob's, which they don't list as a retailer that sells them. Apparently, the site tells you who doesn't sell them, and you figure out which stores do by process of elimination. It's like a game of Clue!
      Everything at Bob's was on sale! Every shoe! Except fucking Converse! Fortunately, I still had a gift card left over from last Xmas. It had $1.05 on it. Big savings, big savings.
      Did PetCo (where the pets go) have bird feathers for sale? No. I have a feeling that looking for those will be a hopeless quest. There was a bird liquidator store that liquidator store that just opened right by PetCo. Too bad that typo wasn't correct, I'll bet that they'd have feathers to spare! One always opens in the Mall area around this time of year in some abandoned storefront. They close up in early January. Way too many books for me to pick through, although I found "Movie Megacheese" by MST3K's Mike Nelson for 66% off. I was amused by the huge table of "History" books, half of which were by right-wing hate-radio hosts. Your time came and now it's gone, Retardofascists. One pile was by Glenn Beck, and if you frequent this page's Comments, you know that it's now in the financial reach of his biggest fan (or should that read "bigottest"?), Mr Gonterman.
      The Humor table was half books based on websites. Well, if you can read or for free online, why would you buy it? Maybe there was a potential market for a "Radiskull and Devil Doll" book, but I don't think the scripts from some Flash cartoons would fill that need.
      Then--to the grocery store, to get a home equity loan! What a brave new world, that has such convenience in it! I'm getting a home equity loan to buy me some equity in my home. I've 12 years left on my mortgage--the only real debt I have--and if my math is right, getting a loan at a much lower interest, combined with me throwing extra money at the principle, I should get this paid off in 4 years. And there's really nothing more to say about that experience, except that it involved signing my name a lot.
      Since I was at the bank, it was time to buy groceries! With the sale and my coupon, I got an 8-lb bag of Iams cat food for $4.99! I also had a coupon for $7 off of Nature Made vitamins. It was to be my third time using it, as the first 2 times, I grabbed the damn wrong brand like a big stoopy-head. I was using the Self-Serv Robo-Registers, so I knew that I'd have to flag down some help to run the coupon. It was the same girl who'd tried to help me last week when I screwed up (and, as I work in retail, I apologized profusely for wasting her time with my own stupidity). I was embarassed when she remembered me as the dork from last week. She was very sweet about it--in fact, she gave me $7.99 off my $7.99's worth of fish oil caplets because of the previous week's confusion. Which was very nice, since the confusion was all my fault. I continued to apologize and thank her for my mistake. Which only goes to show ya--screaming at retail people over imagined grievances can frequently get you your way, at the expense of everyone getting their blood pressure to 500 PSI, but sometimes just being nice can do it, too.
      Once home, I took Byron for his weekly trip to the garages, but this time--I brought the laser pointer! Like Killsy loves to combine her 2 favorite things, getting backscratched while eating, Byron loved his favorite adventure combined with his favorite toy. There were a few problems at first, as he learned that he can run farther and faster in the garage, but he can't brake like he does on carpet. There were a few crashes. He just kept going and going at top speed, pausing only to gasp for breath. I don't know where he gets the energy. Maybe his lazy sister gives him some of hers. It's not like she's using it.

      I watched Batman Begins. Yep, pretty much best Batman movie ever, even if the only competition was Burton's first one. Except for that one really "Are you KIDDING me?!" scene: Wayne refuses to execute a murderer, cuz he got him a moral code. So what does he do? He explodificates a Tibetan monestary, leaving dozens dead. And since the dead are mainly ninjas, I guess that the fat murderer died, too. Unless that was who we see in the party scene. In which case, it has 2 "AyKm?!" scenes.
      Tonight I watch Hitchhiker's Guide, and I suspect that it might not be as good. Glad I still have an SCTV ep to watch if it's 10 kinds of Not Very Funny.

      A brief but amusing look at what's like to work in a late-night pizza place near a college full of drunks and stoners. Dude.
      Speaking of customers sucking, my Saturday involved a woman with a debit card and a lovely white, scraggly beard. Her card wouldn't scan. "It's because the last place I used it bent it!" she said, of her unbent card. And she said and she said. Something here was bent, and it was her. The strip was totally demagnetized, and we can't punch debit card numbers in manually. She paid somehow. I really forget how, as this went on forever and all I wanted was for it to end. Because she smelled like dogshit. I don't just mean she smelled bad. I mean, she smelled like she rolled around in dogshit. I used to have a dog; I know what it smells like. I held my end of the conversation up with my fingers over my nostrils.

      Hey, I had this comic book! I wish they'd scanned the whole thing; it was really funny and a brilliant piece of graphic storytelling. Wish I still had my old copy, too...

      I was emailed by my old coworker Shelley. Lots of interesting stuff from her to someone who knows her, but really nothing interesting to those who don't (which would be you). One story you might like involved a girl who started there aged 19 and naive. She worked 65 hours a week for the owners, as she really wanted to move out of her mother's place. I knew that there was no way the owners were paying her 25 hours a week of overtime. They were quite miserly at times, in that "penny wise, pound foolish" way. For instance, one would strip the label off of his can of Slim Fast and bury it in the bags of deposit cans, so that the store got a free nickel. But they both drove Ford Expeditions, overpriced luxury SUVs with gas mileages in the 12MPG range.
      I always thought that the conversation went like this:
      GIRL: I want as many hours as you can give me!
      OWNERS: We can't afford to pay you overtime.
      GIRL: I don't care. I need the money.
      Well, they worked her 40 hours in 1 store and 25 in another one, and apparently told her, "They're 2 different businesses so we don't have to pay you overtime." But, of course, they really were the same business, and eventually the State found out what they were doing. And ordered them to cough up $7,000 in back pay. And then they demanded that she give them the money back! Who the hell is THAT stupid? She took her money and quit, and they're damned lucky she didn't go to the labor board and sue them over it.
      (insert segue) Here's a picture of Shelley's cat Peanut (one of her 4!) that, although he isn't one of MY infinitely superior little muffin-heads, I do give you permission to go "Awww!" over it.


      One-star Amazon reviews of Time's Top 100 Novels.


      Ahh, lovely day. I awaken for the third day of an ever-widening lump in my lower eyelid. Hi, stye! Glad to see you! Until I can't.

      I arrive home tired and dishevelled, and glad to see a Small White holding her tail aloft and rubbing her cheeks on stuff. "Where's brother?" I ask as I remove my trenchcoat and hard-won Converses. "Where's Crazy Man?" I ask as I dump my keys and wallet on the bedroom desk. I walk to the kitchen, and he's still not there. He's ALWAYS there by this point. "Honey, where's Byron? Where's your brother?" She just stared, so I went in search of him. He wasn't in the dining room. Or the living room. Or the bedroom. Or the bathroom. Or behind stuff in the dining room, or under the recliner in the living room, or in a closet in the bedroom, or in the bathroom. So I continued to check the same places, trying not to worry. Hey, it's not like I live somewhere where some Nazi bitch tried to KILL HIM, why should I be worried when I haven't seen him in 5 times the time he's ALWAYS turned up! And I look over the same place, and then the same other place, then places where he couldn't even fit, then start begging Killsy to help me find him ("You can hear him better!") And then the Mother Gene takes over, jumping at every noise thinking that it's his big feet plodding towards me, and when it isn't, I'm MY CHILD! WHERE IS MY CHILD?! And as I'm just about to go completely insane after 15 minutes..."Doodle loodle loo!" in he trots.
      And I remember, with all my desperate running around with the giant flashlight, I never actually the bookshelf built into the bed's headboard. Where he's taken to sleeping so much lately.
      And they were given Fancy Feast, and there was much rejoicing.

      Next, it was my turn to make dinner. If you're curious, thin-sliced chicken breasts in a garlic and herb marinade (from a plastic bottle from Big Lots). I was surfing while the cats slept on the cat tree, one below the other. "WHAT THE FUCK!" I screamed. And this wasn't the typical "WTF did Bush just say?" kinda WTF, this was the "WHAT THE FUCK MY HOUSE IS BURNING DOWN!!" kinda WTF. The oven exploded with an agonized metal-dying noise I'd never heard in all my life, while sparks as if from an arc-welder spewed from the bottom of the oven door. My first confused thought was that it looked like I'd put metal in the microwave--a piece of metal the size of Mir or Columbia--and that something in the pots'n'pans storage area under the oven had spontaneously explodificated. I ran over, turned the power off, completely forgot that I had a fire extinguisher, and carefully opened the storage drawer with a giant oven mitt, and my other arm over my face...No. Nothing melted or combusting down there. I then noticed the clouds of particulates fuming out of the oven. I opened the windows (sure, why not, it's a balmy 35 out there), then opened the oven the same way I'd opened the drawer.
      "Welcome to HELL!!" shrieked the flaming face of Beelzebub! But it turned out to only be Carrot Top.
      The heating element had burned through itself. Eaten itself clean through. One end glowed red, while all the rest of it had cooled to black.
      OH GREAT AWESOME, it's not like a literal 95% of my cooking isn't done with that thing. A few tests followed--Did the stove work? Yes. Was the oven even safe to use? Yes. Since it no longer worked at all. How about the broiler? I could work around not having an oven if the broiler still wor--No. A quick trip to Google said that the "baking element" could be replaced. As to whether it can be replaced in a 1968 oven, hmm, dunno.
      And to answer the question you're already asking--Replacing the oven isn't an option. The first thing I did was get the tape measure, and I'd have to move half my living room into the garage to get this fucker through the door. And that is no exaggeration.

      This is here because I need a stupid net quiz to calm me down.

25% Combativeness, 16% Sneakiness, 76% Intellect, 11% Spirituality
Brilliant! You are a Wizard!
Wizards are spells-casters who study powerful arcane magic. While Wizards tend to be pretty fragile, some of those spells can pack quite a punch. Unlike Clerics, Wizards aren't as good at fixing people as they are at breaking them, so watch where you toss that fireball.
Your most distinctive trait is your intelligence. You're probably well learned and logical, if perhaps a bit fragile.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 10% on Combativeness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 19% on Sneakiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 67% on Intellect
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on Spirituality
Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

      Yeah, great, I'm a mighty WIZARD who can't cook a fucking chicken breast anymore.

      What's Bill Watterston, the 10-years-retired creator of "Calvin and Hobbes," doing these days? Who the hell knows!

      The Tao of Dubya.


      One of our coolers became a heater. It stopped blowing cold air early in the week. We knew this, especially as every single person who took something from it would tell us "You know, your cooler is really warm."
      The next day, the HVAC people came to look at the cooler-cum-heater. "We'll fix it tomorrow!" they said. We turned the lights off in the cooler, so that people might grasp that it was broken. "Did you know your cooler is really warm?" is all they said.
      Today, they did not come and fix the cooler. When I arrived, the lights were off in the cooler. As the internal temperature had gone from 40 (when it worked) to 65, then 72, and was now 78, we propped open every door with 30 packs of beer. As it was cooler in the store than in the store's cooler. I suggested just turning the damn thing off, before it spoiled all the wine inside. We killed it at the circuit breaker.
      So the doors are all open, the lights are off, the fans aren't blowing, and 4 times an hour someone would ask, "It's not cold in there?" I swear that there could be flames shooting out of the mofo and people would STILL ask that.
      Seriously, this is cluelessness on a pretty epic scale. Do these people go to wakes and ask, "So--I guess your mom's still dead?"

      Speaking of wakes...If you know you're going to die anyway, a really cool idea is to go to your own wake.


      Did they pass a new law this year that said that Halloween was now a Major Drinking Holiday? I ran my ass off all day.

      I must be reading Customers Suck! too much. I had a customer-sucky dream last night.
      As you may have noticed from the lack of SHAWTs, my customers don't suck that much. It's mainly stuff like "Can you get me a cold Mike's Light 6 pack?" and when I do, I'm told "I wanted TWO!" Well, then maybe your sentence should've included the word...TWO! Or the dimwit who called at 7:55 to ask when we close: "At 8." 2 minutes later, the phone rings again, and the same ambulatory lump of fungus asks, "Can you stay open late for me?" Umm, let me think, hmm...I believe that the proper response to said query is FUCK YOOOOU! Jesus, we're open 12 hours a day! Christ, get your ass in here on time! (NOTE: despite the implication in my use of names, the customer was not Jesus Christ. He would've just grabbed a liter of Poland Spring and made a lovely, full-bodied merlot from it)
      In the dream, I'm in an incredibly cramped and run-down grocery store with an ex-girlfriend. As this is a dream, she keeps shifting between 2 different XGFs and a female co-worker from 20 years ago, none of whom I've given much, if any, thought to over the last decade. A customer in the store, a cheerful white-bearded college professor type, talks to us relentlessly. Apparently this pisses off his wife, who calls the XGF on her cell phone to scream at her. "How'd she get my cell number?" asks XGF. "He must've given it to her," I say. "Well--where'd HE get it from?!" Good question, which remained unanswered. He comes up to us, very embarassed, and gives us his winning lottery scratch tickets as compensation.
      We get to the register, and the cashier pulls our bags of groceries from a hole in the ceiling. I hand her the scratch tickets. And we owe HER money from them. He told her we'd pay for them, and the winnings are less than the cost of the tickets. "What a dick!" I say.
      Then ta-daah, suddenly it's a liquor store and I'm the one behind the counter. A woman comes up asking for "Any cigarettes with the heavy Egyptian cotton fleece filters." There's no such thing, but she begins rattling off a half-dozen brand names. The only one I remember was typical of the names, "Hefties."
      Part of this was actually based on something that had happened to me that day. A customer wanted a carton of USA Gold Light 100s. "We're out of them," I said, and like every customer in my entire retail career who has been presented with this information, she immediately said, "You don't have any?" The second time they hear "No, we don't," it usually sticks in their cortex. Usually.
      "No, we're out of them. We only have the kings."
      "I want the 100s!"
      "We don't have any 100s."
      "You don't have any?"
      "No, we just have the kings."
      "I want 100s!"
      "We Don't Have 100s."
      "You...don't have 100s?"
      "Just. The. Kings."
      (here ensues a solid MINUTE, which is a long time in an alleged conversation, where she simply stared into space, mentally trying to figure out "KINGS but no 100s! I want 100s, but there are only kings! I cannot have 100s, but I must have cigarettes! At what point on the graph do MUST and CANNOT meet?!" And she decides on a few packs of kings. "It was a simple matter of...strangulation!" (Well...she wasn't a monster, but she might as well have been a robot. And her old-lady beard indicated that she might be wearing a gorilla suit)
      Meanwhile, back in the dream, the woman eventually ran out of product names with those 1000-thread-count percale filters, and I wish I could remember those names--I'm a lucid dreamer, and was laughing in the dream at these names that were retarded yet realistic at the same time. When she finally realized that we had no goose down filter cigarettes, she laid her head down on the counter and wailed as she cried her eyes out.
      The old man behind her in line stepped up. His face was blotchily red and scabby, and he had a large bandaid on his nose. He shook his head in distaste at the sobbing woman. He clearly thought that she was insane, and said, in a reasonable voice, a voice so reasonable that it was a clear counterpoint in his mind to her stupidity, "I'd just like a small fry."
      "Sir, this a liquor store. We don't serve fries." Mortified, he walked off.
      He was replaced in line by a knucklehead who wanted to return an opened package of AA batteries. "Sir, this a liquor store. We don't sell batteries." "I bought them here!" he whined. "No, you didn't. We don't sell batteries. To prove it, I'll try to scan them." I try, and they scan. So I have to give him his money back on his--
      And that's when I yelled, WE DON'T SELL BATTERIES! No one's getting a refund on...oh, wait, I'm awake now, and that was a dream.

      Speaking of liquor, if you've heard of absinthe, you'll find this article interesting. If not, you won't.

      Back From the Dead, various anecdotes about people reviving from "fatal" wounds.


      I listen to classical music, and every station for the last few days has played Halloween-themed music. How imaginative! How do they come with these ideas!
      If I were a DJ, I'd play the spooky music on Easter. Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, zombies, Jesus--they're all the Undead, right?

      Speaking of radios, UPS turned up at my door today with a Mysterious Package. I signed for it, despite not knowing what it was. Remember that offer I had to wear a little device that would beam what radio or TV stations I had on back to AC Nielsen? Here it is! Y'know, I said I might be interested in doing this, depending on how much it paid. $20 a week--definitely. $10--probably. $5 a week--I'll think about it. So what does the thing pay? $5--a MONTH. With the "potential" to earn "up to"--2 MORE WHOLE DOLLARS A WEEK. So I'm supposed to lug this bizarre device around for the possibility of making $13 a month, $156 a year. I also got a fridge magnet (always good), a pad of Post-Its, and a lanyard so that I can wear it around my neck. Thanks, this thing already strikes me as an albatross; there's no reason to literally wear it around my neck.
      I'm thinking of leaving it on the stereo when I go to work, as the radio's always on anyway. I'll bet that they can tell if the thing isn't moving around, so eventually, they'll boot me off the program. And I'll be out a sweet, sweet $1.25 a week.

      I got together with Kevin yesterday, which is a lot easier to do now he doesn't live half an hour away (now, he's half a mile away). While waiting for our pizzas, he mentioned our old friend Cos. I have'nt heard him use his name in anything but the past tense for years, so I asked what he was up to. One of his friends--who I believe I've met--was making a movie. A super low budget movie. Micro budgeted. Nano budgeted. Like for $5,000. Kevin went to visit their set one day, and the boom mike guy said, "Could you hold this for me?" Kevin said yes, and did the sound for a scene (he's a film geeky enough to have asked the guy, "Is this an omnidirectional boom?" It wasn't, which meant he had to keep the thing pointed right at the correct actor. As most no-budget movies are, it was a slasher pic. In this case, a parody of them, with the villain being a deranged chef who says stuff like "BON APPETIT!" when he offs people. (I hope he kills someone and yells "BAM!")
      He said that while he can understand why you'd want to be a director or screenwriter, but he's never understood why someone would go to Hollywood just be someone like a boom mike operator. Now, he says that he gets it. You're part of the movie. And he'll even be in the credits, as the boom guy eventually asked him to take his place and left.
      Parts of it weren't that great; he had to lay on the floor behind a couch with the giant mike for a long time, and he had to stand outside without a jacket in our unseasonably cold October. But his coworkers were hot New York models, standing right above him in bikinis while he was on the floor, and one actress was outside wearing nothing but a half-shirt and panties and stage blood. She couldn't put a jacket on, as it would mess up the blood.
      The name of this magnum opus? "Bikini Bloodbath." "Hey!" I said. "I read all about that!"
      And the killer chef? He's played by Cos.

      Speaking of movies, we saw "Unleashed." It was surprisingly good. You expect a good performance from the likes of Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman, but you don't expect one from Jet Li. He played a man raised like an attack dog (literally, complete with collar) from childhood, in the employ of the truly vile loan shark Hoskins. He eventually escapes from him, and is taken in as--well, a stray, by Freeman, and is shown the only kindness he's ever experienced. Li's limited English vocabulary works to his favor, and he's striking as a guy who could kill you without a thought, yet terrified by anything out of his experience. Such as being treated as a human being.
      It's an odd movie. It alternates between violence and calm, just like the main character. In one scene, some chavs beat a guy mercilessly in a grocery store in front of him, and he keeps looking for the ripest melon. "Most people are upset when they see people fight," says Freeman. With a logic perfectly in keeping with his character, Li shrugs "They weren't fighting me."
      Well worth the rental, even if there are some "Yeah, right!" moments (such as one impossibly indestructible character, and a massive fight during and after which no one calls the police).
      Also recently seen: "Layer Cake," another British gangster movie seen with Kevin. Again, quite good, with some nice twists. There are points when you have no idea what's going on, but everything gets explained soon enough. Colm Meany, remember him from 2 Star Trek series as Chief O'Brian, where he was nice as a cool pint of Guinness? Man, he plays a lot of assholes now. The only downside to the movie was the ending. Either of the alternate endings play better, so I don't know why they chose one that makes the whole thing seem like a really violent After-School Special.
      "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy." The reviews ran the gamut from Worst Movie of the Year, all the way up to It Wasn't THAT Bad. I side with the second camp. It was amusing, not funny like the original BBC saga. I've noticed that those who liked it seemed to already been familiar with the story, and the critics, who pretty much hated it en masse, never knew it existed. I think that it's like the movie version of "Dune," where they tried to use the entire story but cut so much out to get it to fit into 2 hours--if you hadn't read the book, you didn't know what was going on, and if you had, you got pissed over what was skimmed over or left out. Worst crime: the funniest character in the original, Marvin, became the least funny in the movie. Having a scene were the original Marvin costume is present is nice, but not when the guy in it is literally jumping up and down to draw your attention. Funniest character was Zaphod, and as eveyone said, yeah, he's Bush. A good rental if you're into the series, but probably a waste of time if you're not.

      Speaking of--umm, really lame segues, Sears came to fix my exploded oven today. They looked at a plate with numbers on it, but couldn't read it. Not even after a whole 5 seconds of wiping with a paper towel. "We can't do anything without a model number," and then they left. So I unscrewed the plate, scrubbed it with toilet bowl cleaner, ran over the numbers with a pencil (yeah--it wasn't easy to read), went to the Hotpoint website, punched in the numbers in every possible combination, and it turned up nothing. I could replace the part on my own, but I'm starting to think that the oven's so old that they don't make the part any more. Since, like, Nixon was president.
      So, I'll go to Home Depot and see if they can figure out if it's available. I so do NOT want to have to buy an oven right now.


      I was more interested in finding out if I can fix my oven yesterday than to really investigate the Nielsen Gadget. I quickly set it up to charge and transmit, and that was about it. I decided that, while I didn't want to haul it around with me all day, I could keep it in my car, or in my pocket at home when all the other crap I lug around every day (such as a mini Swiss Army knife and a 4-inch-long LED flashlight) is sitting on the bedroom desk. After all, the Thing works on its proximity to the radio or TV, and the receiver at work is in the second-floor office.
      I read the instructions carfeully this time. I'm really not "letting my opinions count," in Nielsen's endlessly repeated catchphrase, by wearing it. It only gets a signal sent by "participating" stations. I truly doubt that the public radio and college stations I listen to are paying to be part of this. Since the only TV I watch is Ebert, it's possible that a syndicated show doesn't broadcast the Magick Sign either.
      I skimmed enough to know that the incredible bonus of a Potential Two Extra Dollars American a Week came from something called "green light" points. I noticed that the Thing had a green light, as I'm observant like that. I noticed that if you didn't move Mr the Thing for a bit, the green light started flashing, and then it stopped. Hmm, so there's a motion sensor built in. I thought it odd that it'd have one, since the manual suggested "leave it in your purse." While I've never myself used a purse, or for that manner even a fanny pack (like a purse for men, except that carrying one makes you look even GAYER than a purse), I've never seen a female coworker carry one on her shoulder for 8 hours.
      It turns out that, if I want Croesus and Mammon to give me the princely sum of Two Whole Dollars a Week, I need to wear the Thing long enough to earn "green light points." I get one point for every ten minutes I wear it. For my 20 dimes, I need at least 600 points a week.
      "WHAT?!" you just said. Yes, but don't do the math, Nielsen does it for you: I need to wear the Thing for 14 and a half hours every day.
      Yes, AC Nielsen will give me $2, and THEY will tell me how much time THEY'VE decided that I can spend sleeping or bathing. 14 hours and 29 minutes?! NO $2 SOUP FOR YOU!
      Brothers and sisters, can I get a "FUCK YOU"? How about a hearty "AMEN!" to that Fuck You!
      Are they fucking kidding? I'm ALLOWED 9.5 hours a day to NOT report to my New Corporate Overlords, and I get TWO DOLLARS? If I miss an hour, I get $5 a month? If I miss ALL the hours, I get $5 a month?
      So, I'll leave it in the car, and it can get no Double-Secret Signal from WNPR, then I'll toss it my pocket when I get home, and it can get no signal from WNPR from a different location. I'm basically going to consider it a lucky charm that lets me find a Lincoln on the ground once a month.
      Until they throw me off the panel. And I'm not any no goods at math, but I think that 101.5 hours a week divided by $2/week equals an hourly rate of less than 2 cents. Only a Vietnamese child Nike worker might want that kind of pay.
      PS: Even if you have no oven, and Hungry Man dinners are on sale for $2--save your 101.5 hours of work for Nielsen and don't eat one, for they are truly disgusting. And they have (not kidding) 92% of your daily sodium per serving. "Hungry Man, " indeed. Christ, you'd have to be! Maybe they'll come out with a line of "Starving Man" dinners made of beetles and tree bark soaked in brine.


      I went to Home Depot, assuming that since they sell oven parts, they could tell me if my baking element was still available. Instead, they handed me a 1-800 number. I could replace the thing, as it's only 2 screws, but my broiler element doesn't work either. The Sears repairmen said that maybe the selector knob was broken. I'm willing to bet that replacing that involves more than turning a screw. So I'd end up buying a part--which may have long become as extinct as the passenger pigeon--and still have to pay someone to fix the oven anyway.
      This always happens to me. I make a voluntary and large purchase, then all these other and involuntary expenses mushroom from nowhere. My 2 Mimi artworks were voluntary, and, including the framing, cost me $300. This was immediately followed by SO much Young's Syndrome puking that I grasped at that straw and bought an air purifier. When I first turned it on, the Air Quality sensor went straight to Perfect and never left. I ran that thing for a month, and never stopped turning my stomach inside out. Until, as always, I just stopped vomiting. So there went $135 on nothing.
      My tub's faucet has leaked for years. When it first started, Killsy ignored her water bowl and began drinking from the tap. Well, I'll pay a coupla bucks more so that the kids can get fresh water. Then the drips became a leak which became a constant flow, which became a loud, whiny flow that I could hear as soon as I walked in the front door. Then I got the $200 water bill! So I hired a plumber to fix it. When I mentioned the bill to him at the end, he said, "There's no way they know how water you're using! It's not metered by unit!" And 2 days later, I got a revised water bill. Seems that they didn't meter the water use at all for this year. They just charged us the $15 flat rate. They changed the bill to $105--still pretty expensive--and mentioned that the condo water use was Everybody's Usage Divided By Everybody There. The plumber was right. So I was paying extra for the water I was using, but I only paying 1/16th of what I was using. The water bill will go down since I fixed the leak, but the plumbing bill was $255. That'll pay itself off in about 10 years, I bet.
      And gas was $3 a gallon, and a number of other, lesser, also involuntary expenses joined the pigpile. My only bit of luck is that there's a month between my last mortgage payment and my first equity loan payment. Otherwise, I'd be transferring money from my savings, and I really don't want to do that.
      And then the oven explodes. GREAT. I need the oven more than I need purified air or a quiet tub. My only option was to fix the oven, or to not fix it and buy a toaster oven, or go back to my Year of Unemployment and eat Hamburger Helper every damn day.
      More money to spend! Couldn't the damn oven have exploded 6 months earlier or later, when the cash flow was better? I mean, I realize that there's no way this problem can be solved without spending money, but--
      click click click
      ...OR, I could use the gift points I earned from my other Nielsen Gadget, the UPC scanner, and get a toaster oven for free. Hmm..."free." I could fit that into my budget.
      The only downside to my cunning plan: "This item usually ships within 6-8 weeks." So I might get it next year. Fortunately, tonight I successfully sauteed chicken breasts in marinade on the stove top, so I should escape involuntary Hamburger Helper for a while.

      The Top 25 Pee-Wee's Playhouse Moments. I thought for sure I knew what number one would be, but it didn't even make the list:
      (COWBOY CURTIS puts his feet up on a table)
      PEE-WEE: Wow, Cowboy Curtis! You sure have big feet!
      COWBOY CURTIS: And you know what big feet means, Pee-Wee!
      PEE-WEE: Uhh...No?
      COWBOY CURTIS: Big boots!

      I'm sure tomorrow that everyone will have linked to the 2005 Darwin Awards. If they live that long.

      Dogcatradio. MY cats listen to NPR while I'm at work! Well, one does, anyway.


      I am so behind on posting, largely due to a major event in my life called "Not caring if I post."
      Of course I had to mention the lack of puking last time, which led to a day of puking. I guess I'm still blog-centric enough to have thought that I could get a post out of that. Y'know, what are the worst things to puke. Then I realized, "Everything is." And so I break my brief silence with an internet quiz! As I am THAT imaginative!

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 7.3
Mind: 7.7
Body: 8.3
Spirit: 8.5
Friends/Family: 4.4
Love: 3.1
Finance: 8.8
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

      Yeah, whatever.
      Obviously, it's someone else's idea of What Makes People Happy. I assume that I tanked on "Friends/Family" by only having 2 close friends. I always thought that quality rated over quantity. Maybe I should've counted this page's Commenters? And I guessed that I positively bombed on "Love," as the test writer can't grasp the concept of "happily single."
      Oh well, it's just a net quiz, and while I like my generally high score, I don't give it any more credence than one telling me which Smurf I am.

      Interesting quote from a Bush supporter about why his visit to Latin America failed:

      Repeat, it was "already past his bedtime." No diplomacy on a school night, Dubby! You do your homework on croneyism and corruption, and then straight to bed!
      No wonder he loves reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," even if he probably couldn't spell "caterpillar." Mentally, he really is 8 years old. Or, as the rest of post says, "addicted to himself." And that's more scary than funny.


      The funny thing is, I used to like posting. Then I didn't like it, but I'd post anyway out of a "sense of duty," as I felt guilty for not posting.
      I no longer feel guilty.

      Soooo...What have you missed about the excitement that isn't my life? Umm...Byron got under the sink! He opened the cabinet with his thumbs, and got into where I keep the bleach. NO, not good, we already have a white cat here! I shut the cabinet door when I returned home, and he was quite upset when he saw that he could no longer go into the Underworld. Look, if I wanted you to do that, I would've named you Orpheus, dig? He screamed and clawed at the door, and when it didn't open sesame, he jumped on the counter and tried to open every kitchen Cabinet of Dr. Cat-ligari he could get his big mitts into. That was almost a week ago, and every few days he gets this bee in his noggin to try again. He flails, he fails, and then he bails.

      Hey, my toaster oven arrived after only a week! It's actually an improvement over the stove, as I don't have to preheat this enormous cavity in order to cook a single chicken breast, and that saves on the electrical bill. I'm still fuzzy on its operation. There's Bake and there's Broil, but there's no way to change the temperature, just the cooking time. Broil made the chicken a bit overcooked, and today Bake made it a bit undercooked. If I don't post for another week, it may be because I'm still lazy and unmotivated, or it may be because of the salmonella.
      Actually, if I had salmonella, I'd prly post. Speaking of which: Yep, another weekend, another weekend of puking. Apparently related to sleeping late again, despite the illogic of that concept. I slept 2 hours late yesterday and Lo, there was spewage. As there was today, when I only slept 45 minutes late. does that make sense? I *have* to get out of bed at 11:06AM, or it's "CT is for Cookie-Tossing, that's bad enough for me"?
      Oh, wait, that's not something different! Here's something I did yesterday that I NEVER do--I watched television!!!
      Yes fuckin way, dude! Not just my usual Ebert and a DVD, but ACTUAL TELLYVISION. There was a Penn & Teller special, and then "Saturday Night Live: The 80s." P&T was...okay, I guess. Really, really padded. Actually, it wasn't very good. Some card tricks and such, including one that they didn't explain ("Teller knows if you're lying," and "how we did it" is the only reason to watch a P&T show), and then a huge amount of setup for the Disappearing Submarine Trick. The show could've been half as long and not lost anything.
      Except for the ads. My Gourd, I'd forgotten how many ADS there are on TV! I just FF them on Ebert. Ever notice how they're *exactly* long enough for you to think "I should get something to eat!" but exactly not long enough for you to actually make something to eat?
      "SNL: 80s" I watched because that's the only time I ever watched the show. It started in 1975, at the exact time Monty Python began showing on PBS. This was early high school for me, so there immediately evolved the pro-Python and pro-SNL camps, both of whom thought that the other show wasn't ever funny. You can prly guess which camp I was in (the smaller one). But some band was on SNL in 1982 that I wanted to see (most likely Devo, but possibly the Talking Heads or Bowie), and I found the new group to be kinda funny. I watched it off-n-on until that awful season that was taken over by Anthony Michael Hall and some other preteens, then I watched that "all-star" season with Billy Crystal (but mainly for the Ed Grimley). Then, it started to get sucky again, although not all at once. I don't think I've seen it since the 80s. I don't feel left out because of that.
      At any rate, I was expecting a clip show, but instead, it was a documentary. An interesting one, too. I wished they'd shown more of the backbiting and infighting; I suppose some day there'll be some definitive version of what really happened. For instance, Tim Kazurinsky's mention of a writer whose "office always had the best cocaine" isn't elaborated on, but the fact that people were rated by the quality of their drugs speaks untold volumes about what must've really been going on behind the scenes.

      And I still watched a DVD. Aren't you happy for me? It was called Batman vs Dracula. Actually, The Batman vs Dracula, although I'm unclear as to the purpose of the distinction. "No, it ain't Tony Batman from the 7-11 vs Dracula! I don't care if he can make a garlic Slurpee, that's just not as good!"
      Ah. There's seems to be a new version of Batman: The Animated Series on WB called The Batman, But Not Tony. That would explain why all the character voices, and the character designs, had changed. It was...okay. What I liked about B:TAS was that it kept surprising me. This The Batman didn't. It was entertaining, but everything I thought would happen, happened. Like--it begins with Wayne Industries new product, "the ultimate solar generator!" And I knew exactly how Dracula would die in the climax. And Joker and Penguin serving as endless dispensers of lame pop-ref dialogue...ugh.
      And I went for a hike in the woods today, for what is certainly the last time for 6 months.
      And that's pretty much it. See you next week!

      The Last Flask of the Seaforth Highlanders.

      Apparently, the Weekly World News is now being written by The Onion. Bat Boy will find the leaker!


      I watched Charley and the Chocolate Factory yesterday, and I'm really sad that I didn't see it.
      Why is that we say we watch videos, but only see movies? I think I found out yesterday. I really wish that I'd "seen" it, on a big screen. There was so much detail, so much color, so much craziness, that it couldn't be merely watched. But *shrug* too late now.
      Totally enjoyable, better than the first movie. A lot of people were really put off by Depp's apparent channeling of Michael Jackson, but I thought that he was the best part of an already great movie. I laughed almost every time he spoke, because of his portrayal of this seriously strange (but perfectly realized) character. Strange, but unlike Gene Wilder's version, not also vaguely creepy and threatening. I guess he was Jackson-like, with his gloves, unnatural skin tone and little "Tee-hee!"s. But Mikey likes little kids, really LIKES little kids, and Depp fucking hated them. And hateful they were, far more than the original. And that's a plus--When I saw it as a kid, we all cheered when Veruca took her dump, but it seemed pretty harsh to turn Violet into a giant piece of fruit just because she liked gum. The bad kids all had a cruel streak in this version. It's too bad that their parents didn't get punished too, although I suppose living with Mike Teavee is a doom within itself.
      And the worst thing about the first movie, the "love us please!" awful Oompa-Loompa songs, were among the best things about this one. I loved how they were all done in a different style from a different decade of musicals or music videos.
      Unfortunately, "Little boy!" whimpered just before some stupid child does something horribly stupid and possibly fatal, just doesn't have the ring of Gene Wilder's utterly disinterested "Stop. Don't. Come back."
      On the other hand--Christopher FUCKIN' Lee!!!

      Hey sure why not, another net quiz.


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

      Okay, that's reasonable. But if you check all the possible results, they're all the Good Guys! No orcs, no Uruk-Hai, and there's "Numenoreans," but not the more generic race of Men. Rip off! And that guy doesn't look like an Ent, he looks like a wino.


      It's the greatest miracle since the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sammitch!

      I would've called 911, too! But then again, my nickname is "Retardorama."


      Interesting profile of a professional jewel thief. Like every con artist, her success wasn't built on her greed, but the greed of her victims--jewelers who were hoping to make a big sale, or to rip off someone who "didn't know the value" of the stolen merchandise they were reselling.

11/whatever day this is

      Yeah, me am super-duper inspired to post. On Bizarro World, not posting make page popular!
      While men need clever pick-up lines to score at parties, women need...saying the something about anything to a guy. Her only pick-up line that failed: “Hi, I’m Sarah. Can I pee in your butt?”
      That is all! Roger, and out!


      I thought I saw a Fark headline a coupla days ago that said "Bush wishes world a happy Thanksgiving," but I didn't click on it. Because I didn't get it until the next day. In July, did he wish the world a happy Independence Day?

      And how was your Thanksgiving? ("Our what?" answers every non-US reader, except for the Canadians, who say "October was good in general, eh?") Mine was fine, thank you. Know what helps? Take a papaya extract pill. Really aids the digestion. Which means you can pig out without getting bloated, or having your brain shut down from l-tryptophan shock.
      There's always some activity planned for the younger set, my 8 nieces and nephews. Participation drops every year, as some of them get old enough to be Too Cool For That. Today's was a blindfolded taste-testing of soda, with the winner being whoever could guess the flavor. Sounds easy, but they were being given the nightmare that is the Jones Soda Thanksgiving Pack. The flavors were, in ascending order of horrificness, Cranberry, Pumpkin Pie, Turkey and Gravy, Stuffing, and Brussel Sprouts. The first rule of the Jones Soda contest was don't tell anyone about the Jones Soda contest that the 5 young contestants had to drink the entire ounce of soda they were given before guessing at the flavor. This rule was waived after the first round, when the older 2 kids immediately gave up. And that was on Pumpkin Pie. I tried every soda after the kids did, out of curiousity. How bad could Pumpkin be? Every fall, the store gets pumpkin beers, and they're always quite tasty. But pumpkin was very bad, especially the aftertaste. It made me wonder if Jones deliberately made the soda nasty.
      Next was Turkey. It wasn't that bad. In the "I only had one sip and wanted to vomit" kind of bad. I should mention that the pack came with an inexplicable plastic spork and a moist towelette (no, not that one), probably to help you wipe the puke off your chin. I wouldn't want to drink the whole bottle. Or have another sip.
      Cranberry was next, and I could drink a bottle of that. Assuming that I drink soda, which I don't (or "pop" or "tonic" or "coke even if it isn't Coke" or whatever you in the heathen backwaters of America call your fizzy high fructose corn syrup).
      Now we were moving into the realm of Pure Sody-Pop Evil. No kid guessed what the next one was, despite repeated, and unwelcome, sips of the bile. I guess that they'd forgotten that Herb Stuffing was a flavor. We thought that Cassie had it when she said, "It tastes like that STUFF...that's really gross!" And she should've got that one, as, well, yes, it sure did. I don't know what stuffing tastes like, as I don't eat stale bread that's been shoved up a dead bird's ass, but I don't think that it'd be a Thanksgiving staple if it tasted like a mix of cough medicine and dirt.
      At that point, it was just a test of who remembered what the flavors were. And Tommy won with "Brussel Sprouts!" And, as always in these things, he "won" a cheap tchochke. A wizard or monk-like guy with a book and a feathered headdress. Saint Geronimo, I don't know. And Tommy got mad, despite being told at the beginning that the trophy was nothing great. And he got mad because he'd gone so far as to cheat! They were blindfolded so that the colors of the sodas didn't give away the flavor, and one of his older brothers gave him hints based on that. Well, Tommy--cheaters never prosper. Cheaters just drink awful soda and get a wooden Big Chief Gandalf figurine.
      Eventually Alexa poured one sample of each into a single cup, and dared me to drink it. "An entire Thanksgiving meal in a glass!" I enthused, and took a sip. And it actually tasted the best of all.
      You know--still not very good.


      I never win anything!
      Well, I did win a model of an old moving van at a local home show when I was 11. It was pretty cool, and might today be a collectable, if it hadn't rolled off a high shelf by itself and smashed. So I won something, but it committed suicide.
      That's why I don't play the lottery. Well, I do buy 1 Lotto ticket a week, but only if the jackpot's over $3 million, and there's no line at the counter of the gas station, and I'm also buying milk. And even then, I know that I'm paying a buck for the privilege of fantasizing about being rich for a day or so. I'm not like the idiots I see at work, who drop $20 to $100 a DAY on the daily numbers. There was a guy who recently bought $200 worth of numbers for one drawing--and they were for the same 4 numbers. If I was going to drop 2 Bennies on the dailies, I'd get 200 quick picks. Except, of course, I'd never do that. These people who drop half their wallet every week never seem to come back with a winning ticket that pays out more than $41.50.
      But I guess I understand probability more than these people. They love to say when one of their numbers "almost got picked" (meaning, they played 976, and it came out 978. Look, you have to get all 3 numbers to win; 978 is exactly as close to 976 as any combination from 000 to 999) that "They won't LET me win!" Well, umm, DUH, if the lottery "let" you win, it would defeat the purpose of having a lottery. And if you think that random numbers are part of this conspiracy...Why do you keep playing? Realize that it's a loser's bet and save your money.
      That Nielsen Homescan thing I belong to has contests. There are either 20,000 or 25,000 people on the panel. Now, 25,000 to 1 is still crappy odds, but it's better than Lotto's 7,100,000 to 1. I've been on the panel for 12 and a half years. And I've won nothing! And do you know how many drawings they have every year?
      So I've been in over ten THOUSAND drawings, and never won even an American Express $15 gift card.
      So I was pleased when the radio at work began playing shrieking and obnoxious commercials for the grand opening of a bank in my lovely hometown. "EVERYONE'S A WINNER!" "I WON! WHO DA MAN, WHO DA MAN!" "YOU DA MAN!" scream the white people in the ad. And I got my "Monaco is da Big Winner, mon!" entry form. Finally, a guaranteed chance to win something! Which hopefully doesn't jump off a bridge after I get it! And I WON! WHO DA MAN?!?! ME DA MAN!!!! And here's my fabulous parting gift!!!

            WHO DA Pickles?!
      The bitter irony, the irony as bitter as pickles, is that the reason I went is because I WANTED a Rein's coupon! I eat there a lot. I thought that it'd be, y'know, 10% off your bill or something. Instead--well, it'd better be a very small bucket of pickles, like big enough to hold one pickle, because that's about my pickle limit.
      I'll bet than when I collect my winnings, the pickles throw themselves in front of a speeding, but very small, moving van.

      The Liberal's Pre-Emptive War Against Christmas. Sign me up! There must be some magic in that old silk hat they found--And I'll bet that Frosty comes clean after a nice cup of cocoa. REALLY HOT cocoa, poured right on his button nose!

      Whose War on Christmas is this, anyway? "What on earth does trampling a 73-year-old woman in a Wal-Mart while racing for a $300 computer have to do with a baby in a manger that you believe is your messiah? If this is Christmas, then damn it, yes, LET'S declare war on it."

      Yet another fetish that never would've occured to me: The Daleks say "SEXTERMINATE!" But where's Dr Hoo-ha?

      Well, I can't have a victory dinner of pickles, but I will make some celebratory Hamburger Helper! I think's it been a while since I last made this. As the box says "Best Before 02APR01." But isn't putting a "Best Before" date on Hamburger Helper like putting one on Stonehenge? Some things never get old.


      Interesting, if EXTREMELY LONG (and kinda boring near the end, when it's all about this director or that actor coming on board, and then quitting) story of the background behind the new Superman movie:

      The guy who made Wild Wild West? That SUCKED! And, in what I would call an interesting choice, almost everybody on the project (especially this Peters jerk, and some dork named Tim Burton) really, really hated the whole concept of Superman. And this whole thing about "Braniac fights polar bears" sounds amusingly like Python's "Scott of the Antarctic"--"I want to fight DA LI-ON!" The best is the first half, with all the really retarded script ideas (he doesn't fly--he drives a SUPERMOBILE!)

      Not quite as long, but definately in the "only if it interests you" category: The Life of Ebert. I didn't know that he was a hardcore alcoholic, and the only thing that changed that was when he got the TV show, and didn't want to face his then-archnemesis Siskel with a hangover.


      Oh, great--the president of Iran is an insane hears-God-in-his-head guy--just like Bush. Yes. This bodes well for the future, when the two insaniacs are fighting each other in eastern Iraq. I wonder whose Armageddon will prevail?

      Vote for the slogan on the anti-Wal-Mart billboard.

      And I thought that the average American was stupid. Maybe it's just the average Earthling. (Although you could argue that the capitol of France really is "F")


       The U.S. Air Force guide to spotting a terrorist.


      Headline News:


      One step closer to eternal youth

      The Untold History of the War On Xmas


      Last night, I dreamt that a beautiful woman was running her fingers through my hair.
      I woke up, and Byron had his foot on my head.
      I'm surprised that I didn't dream that it was a beautiful Sasquatch.

      SHAWT: A woman complained loudly and to everyone in the store how expensive we were! Her Carlo Rossi jug wine was cheaper at a store 10 miles away! And she was right--$5.59 is cheaper than $5.99.
      She then spent $10 on lottery tickets, and explained at length about how often she goes to the casinos. I guess that's where the 40 cents she could've saved would've gone.
      Irony: It's not just for Alanis Morrissette anymore.

      When I heard the first sketchy details on the story about the guy who boarded a plane, then ran off screaming that he had a bomb, and was killed, I thought, "Well, he must've been insane. A terrorist would've just exploded himself." And Hey guess what. "The passenger ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757, flailing his arms, while his wife tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication."
      (Actually, my real first thought, after 4 years of waiting for that "imminent second attack," and the twentieth time that the "number 2 man in al-Qaeda has been killed--again!" was, "Yeah, right, whatever.")
      Is that a big terrorist thing, announcing, nay, screaming your homicidal intentions, before you can do anything about them?
      9/11/2001, 8AM:
      "So--where're you flying to?"
      "Oh--nowhere. Gonna crash the plane and die. Hear that everyone?! GONNA CRASH THIS PLANE, AND WE ALL DIIIIIIE!!!!!"
      "Wh-what?! So--Don't need that bag of peanuts, then?"
      An Israeli cafe: "Heyyy, sexy Zionist! Like my dynamite vest? Do you go for guys who explode? If so, we better get it ON in the next 45 seconds, because after that, I have 72 hot dates with doe-eyed virgins in Valh-Allah!"

      Another news story was about the mayor of Spokane, who was thrown out of office because he went to gay chatrooms, while being vehemently against any rights for gays. It irritated me that the report refused to say which party he was from, until I realized that he's an utter hypocrite, and that the news frequently is, too--if he'd been a Democrat, they sure would've let me know right up front. And Hey guess what.

      MiniMeows! Cats with a special gene that makes them grow no bigger than a kitten. (Unless this is the "Bonsai Kittens" of 2005)

      "Sure, we all want what's best for our kids, but let's face the truth: not every child can grow up to be Einstein! At the Baby Bush Toy Company, we offer an exciting range of products for the resoundingly average child."


      ID: Incompetent Design. However, his theory (AND IT'S ONLY A THEORY, LIKE EVOLUTION! or also Gravity, and I'll bet that if I threw a brick into the sky, I could make it stop falling by praying real hard) doesn't question why, if the human body was designed by someone "intelligent," he made it with a vestigial tail. Or why he gave the snakes and whales legs.

       Yet another reason why I love Connecticut--we don't suffer fools gladly.


      I hope that you're all aware of Cat of the Day. I myself just became aware of The Daily Kitten. Maybe I'll submit Kill Kill's "cat and mouse" pose, and Byron's "gnawing the giant toy mouse with a deranged look" pics.
      C'mon, at least look at this one.


      A co-worker found a pill on the floor at the liquor store. I took it home to find out what it was. Well, you would too, if you'd once been a drug store manager. People would drop pills all the time. Once, it was a nitroglycerin pill, pills which actually don't explode at all! But evey other time, it was one of 2 things: Valium or codeine. I guess that the people who bought these couldn't wait to get home, or even into their cars, before they twisted the top off the bottle and began eating them like M&M Minis. Draw your own conclusions as to why someone like me, who went to high school and college in the late 70s, would keep looking for such things.
      It turned out that an OP 706 is Antabuse. This is a pill alcoholics take that makes then violently ill when they ingest alcohol. And it's in a liquor store...why?

      Went over to Kevin's yesterday, for the usual triweekly dinner and a movie. When discussing what to have for dinner, he said, "I haven't had Domino's pizza for 8 to 10 years!" Me neither, I said, and I think that there's a reason for that. But he insisted. He called in our order, then said "Oh shit!" and hit redial. "Yes, I just called--Could you make that pizza thin crust?...What? How could it already be in the oven, I called you just 1 minute ago!" The Domino's guy tried to get him to take this minute-old pizza, and finally whined that, since we didn't want it, he'd "have to throw it away."
      Yeah, if that medium cheese was in the oven after a minute, I'll bet that you get a lot of orders for medium cheeses. Our new pizza arrived after only 18 minutes. We could've had it after 17 if Kev had ordered correctly!
      I've had pizzas so bad that no one wanted the last slice. Such as the Papa John's chain, where the toppings were so undercooked that the meat looked and tasted raw. But this was the first pizza I've seen where no one wanted the first slice. I opened the box and it looked like one of those cheap grocery store frozen pizzas that you left in the oven a few minutes too long. As dry and as shriveled and as "Yeah, I want to put THAT in my mouth!" as Rumsfeld's nutsack. They could've spread tomato sauce on the box and it couldn't have tasted any more like cardboard. And that must be how it was in the oven after a minute--it was a cheap frozen pizza. They ripped the shrinkwrap off and tossed it in the oven. Or microwave. There were also breadsticks, which I don't believe I've ever seen leave as thick a puddle of yellow grease as these did. Again, not unlike Rumsfeld's nutsack.
      Domino's Guy would've done us a favor if he'd thrown both the pizzas away. As that was what we did with that one. I suggested that Kevin throw it in his backyard, so that at least the local raccoons might have something to eat, but he considered that animal abuse.

      The movie was better. Kevin had suggested 2 horror movies originally ("If the IMDB title says Really Good Gore!," I said, "don't expect me to see it unless it's about the 2000 election"). I emailed back, "Always with the horror. Don't you have any movies that involve fluffy kittens? Where the kittens don't get decapitated?"
      He snarked back with Quill, a Japanese movie he'd downloaded about the life of a guide dog. He, for some reason, was surprised when I agreed to watch it ("Puppies are the same as kitties!" I said. "Just smellier and stupider!")
      And it was good. Okay, it was kinda Afterschool Specialish, suitable for all ages (well, all Japanese ages. I doubt that there are many American movies about dogs that depict them, in loving detail, taking a massive steaming shit). But it wasn't romanticized or cuted-up. Nothing happened that couldn't happen in real life. But if you're not predisposed to animals, it might be boring. No major conflicts, just the real ones, such as guide dog-in-training Quill's difficulties in learning his new job, or his newly-blind, crabby master's long refusal to accept that he needs Quill. And plenty of interesting insights into both guide dog training in Japan, and Japan. For instance, guide dogs are trained in English, as Japanese "is too confusing" for them (They're trained with commands like "RIGHT-goah! STRAIGHT-goah!"). And since the Japanese take their shoes off in a special part of the house, they clean the dog's feet there, too.
      There's some odd parts--it seems impossible that a highly trained animal like Quill would just be put in a kennel for the 3 years his master's in the hospital, rather than assigned to someone else--but then, do I work for Fidelco? I imagine that the movie will be impossible to find, except online, but if you like a nice, slow-paced movie with a believable, but still cute and amusing animal, check it out if you can.
      Would've been better starring a kitty, but we already know that cats make rubbish guide dogs.


      On my third try, I found a place selling cheapo Xmas cards. I only bought them because I give my 8 nieces/nephews a card with $20 inside for Xmas (I only see them on holidays, and so have no idea what they'd want--except for money. And $20 each is pretty much all I can afford). Even BIG!Lots failed me; I had to go to their competitor, Ocean State Job Lot. Last year, my archconservative, Limbaugh-loving corporate-lawyer brother-in-law snarled all O'Reillyish about the right wing's made-up "War on Xmas": "If somebody said 'Happy Holidays!' I'd yell 'MERRY CHRISTMAS!' at them! Just to show them!" And he was truly angry when he said it. I just shook my head--Yeah, it's not like there's a REAL war going on. And what you really, really want to say is--"FUCK THOSE JEWS AND BLACKS!" Yeah, it's a big conspiracy of the Secular Humanist Liberals to say Happy Holidays--no, wait, it was the Giant Corporations who started that, as a way to wring more money out of the nonChristians. Why is "Happy Holidays!" like spitting on Jesus, but it's okay to say "Merry Christmas!" on a sign with Santa? Because right-wingers have this bizarre need to be the most powerful force in America, and yet still whine like litle pussies about how "biased" against them the country is. Where are the conservatives who hate the giant money-grubbing corporations who changed it to "Happy Holidays"?
      Since I'll be handing out these cards to his kids, I made sure to buy the ones that say "HAPPY HOLIDAYS! The Best of the Season to You and Yours." Unfortunately, they did not have cards that added "You Nazi Bastard."
      I came home to a note taped to my downstairs neighbor's door. I walked by it, then thought "No one's in that place more than once a week for more than an hour," so I read it. Something about the people on the opposite wall from him having a plumbing problem, and the plumber needs access to both their condos in 2 days. Well, good luck with that. I wondered if a similar note would be on my door--and REALLY FUCKIN' good luck with that, yeah, I'm taking a Friday off at Xmas time because your toilet leaks, hey fuck you AND your bowl. And when I reached my door, there was an Xmas card taped to it. And festive it was. Envelope tied with a bow, with a little red cat ornament hanging off of it. It was adressessed to "Bill and his family."
      First thought: really want to sweet-talk me about your plumber, huh? No, too elaborate. Next thought: Oh, I'll bet that it's the nice biker chick with the garden who just loved seeing me take Byron for a walk! Next thought: What if it's that crazy bitch who tried to run MC Toesalot over with her car? Actually acting like the Christian she so loudly claims to be, and recognizing her sin and apologizing for it? Paranoid thought: What if it it's her psychotic revenge, and it contains a mix of weaponized anthrax and catnip?
      I opened it with great care, and it was biker chick. Signed by her boyfriend and her cats. The kids found great pleasure in sniffing the ornament, as it undoubtedly smelled of their cats.
      I'll return the favor with a card of my own--hopefully the Harley Family isn't upset with "Happy Holidays!" as the greeting. But I'll give the ornament a good rub on each of my kids' cheeks. That should be interesting for them. And maybe a new holiday tradition will be established.
      The card, by the way, pictured a Golden Lab puppy with a Santa hat. I would've gone with a cat card, but maybe she couldn't find any cat cards. As the EVIL SECULAR DOG LOVERS want to end CATSMAS!

      It could've been the woman who looked at the scratch tickets and said, "Give me 3 Kings of Cash and an Aces High," then barked "NO! ONE King! I said 3, but I meant one!" or the other lady who wanted "Red zinfandel," and just kept demanding it because "It said red zinfandel on the bottle!" which is like going to the grocery store and giving no other information other than "It was MEAT! It was from the MEAT department!" but this is the winning SHAWT:
      A group of kids have a pile of booze. I asked for ID. It was from Ohio. With a well-known college up the road, that's not unlikely (one of our part-timers goes there, and he's from Idaho), but that costs him a point. There's a corner missing from the ID; we refuse heavily damaged ones, but it's nowhere near the birthdate, so okay, I'm not docking him a point over that. I look up the ID in the Big Book of IDs, and the header is the wrong color. Otherwise, it looks okay, and so I'm not about to count that as a point until he says, "It's from 2000, it may not match." Hmm...obviously someone has questioned his ID, he knows about the Big Book, and he has some patter ready--3 points docked. I don't have a set number of points, but when someone collects a bunch, I keep looking. And--Bob, we have a LOSER.
      "I can't take this. It's expired."
      "But it only expired last month!"
      "Sorry, it's like a credit card here. Expired means we don't accept it."
      "But I'm from Ohio! Do you know that I can't go home and renew it?"
      "Do you know there's a police station across the street? It's not worth it for us."
      "it was only last month! Isn't there a grace period?!"
      Oh, we have a better knowledge of CT liquor laws than a Booze Pro, do we? And if the one guy who's the chosen buyer in a group of 4 has an expired license --that definitely means everyone else is underage. You couldn't've had it renewed before you left? Don't most college kids go home for Thanksgiving break, especially at THAT insanely overpriced university? Oh, you are gaining negative points as you speak!
      "I'm sorry, but it's store policy. We don't accept expired IDs." As it tends to be really hard to renew the FAKE ones.
      "This is fucking gay! I'm going to take my business elsewhere!"
      I smiled and said, "Well, since I'm not going to sell to you--yeah, that's pretty much what you're going to have to do!" The other customers laughed as he turned beet red.
      After he left, the next guy in line asked why I turned him down, "I did almost give in when he said 'That's fucking gay!' OH MY GOD--you're RIGHT! This is totally effin' gay! You've defeated me with your crystal-clear logic!"

      I was briefly excited about the new dollar coins that will feature all the presidents. Then I saw that it was dead presidents, so that my "Worst Presidents EVAR" collection would end at Reagan. At least until someone has a really bad pretzel incident.


      Twas the Week Before Christmas...

      Happy News from Iraq!!!!!

      Hey--let's build a new Panama Canal! Using 300 atomic bombs! No way that could blow up in our faces!
      (Note: Happened 45 years ago, except in the sense that it only could've happened)


      25 Mind-Numbingly Stupid Quotes by Various Idiots.

      The secrets behind the cutting-edge special effects of Shakespeare.


      After sitting through a pair of bad pormos (ha! That almost looks like "porno"! I meant promo) I watched (oh, wait--I started this as one sentence,so now I have to parentheitcally tell you about the promos, so as not to disrupt the flow of the one sentence. Oh crap, I made a period, so now it's two parenthetical sentences, and will soon be even more, unless I use--dashes! CRAP! I ended another one! Umm, the promos were for Disney's latest remake of The Shaggy Dog, except THIS one stars Tim "Washed-Up Ex-Felon" Allen, so you KNOW it'll be a good dog, and the other was for the desperately awaited and totally necessary Bambi 2. Yeah, oh boy, "Will a young boy's courage reveal a father's love?" Jeez, dunno, not like it's a Disney movie or nothin'. Will a young boy's love turn Dad into venison? I doubt it. Hey, wasn't there some parentheses here? Oh, crap, now you've totally lost the sense of the opening sentence, you and your miserable short-term memory HEY A PENNY!!!) Kronk's New Groove, Disney's sequel to The Emperor's New Groove. It was hilarious! It was even funnier than the original, with a pace that sped past "frenetic" and went straight into "hyperkinetic." It was so great! For 20 minutes!
      I dunno, weird script. Then it went from the story of Yzma's youth potion (which was very much in the vein of the first movie, and, million years old or not, Eartha Kitt can still sing--and this time she really does play a Catwoman) darn parentheses! Then it became a terribly cliched sitcom plot about a Boy Scout jamboree, then a painfully cliched sitcom plot about Kronk's dad coming to visit, and Kronk said he had a wife and kids, but he doesn't, so all his friends pretend to be his wife and kids and this plan is so crazy, it just might work!
      So...Thumbs Sideways, I guess. A third of it is great, a third is entertaining, a third is eye-rollable. It's like they were given 3 possible scripts, and went with all of them.
      Best line: "Pancake Junction!" But you'll have to watch it to appreciate it.

      I also saw, for the second time, the old MST3K ep "The Dead Talk Back." I Netflixed it even though I remembered it as the one that made me think "Losing Joel made this show not be so funny." And I noticed something that I'd forgotten: It's supposedly a 1956 movie that wasn't released until 1993, but it sure looks like a fake 1956 movie made in 1993. The writer-director-star has the hair and the beard that no one would have in 1956, and has other characteristics that wouldn't get him the lead role in even a bargain-basement movie back then--not to put to fine a point on it, he looks too Jewish. Other males have longer hair than they should, and there's no way there'd be a negative portrayal of a Christian back then. Checking IMDB, everybody involved has no credits besides this movie, or they have credits starting just before 1993, or, like the lead actor writer etc, have made-up bios. It's a good enough fake that it really is hard to tell that it is one. The women have period makeup, the buildings and furnishings and epecially the cars all look very 50s, and nobody can act. It'd be downright brilliant, except for the fact that instead of making a perfect simulacrum of a 50s movie, they made a perfect simulacrum of a really bad, incredibly boring, terribly acted 50s movie. I'm not sure why you would do that. It's like making a lavish copy of a seven-tier wedding cake entirely from rat turd.


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