NEW 110

"When one guy sees an invisible man, he's a nut case;
ten people see him, it's a cult;
ten million people see him, it's a respected religion."--Richard Jeni


      After getting 4 hours sleep Sunday night, my worry Monday was that I would fall asleep too early, wake up, then fall asleep too late and have another restless night. But I was awake all evening, falling asleep around 945. A usual worknight's bedtime. A good, long sleep lay ahead.
      And I woke up at 245AM. And laid there in a cold sweat for 4 hours, jealous of the little redheaded cat peacefully snoozing by my side.
      I'd had 9 hours sleep in 2 days. I usually get 9 hours in one day. I burned out near the end of my shift, but made the 17 miles home safely, and finally expected to sleep well. I went to bed at 9. Laid there for an hour, got up for an hour. And then again.
      Lather rinse repeat. I fell asleep around 1245, so I was awake for 22 straight hours.
      I can see the causes--last week, bacteria in my gut making me sick, and too much stress this week--but I really hope this is a transitory phenomenon, and not my Young's Syndrome of the 2010s.
      The biggest problem is that my brain will not shut up. It won't let me go to sleep. Even when asleep, crimeny, the dreams are movies with billion dollar set design budgets. It's an endless internal monologue. I tried meditation for the 30 seconds after it said "First, clear your mind of thoughts." How? That requires major anaethesia for me to do. Maybe at bedtime, I should start stabbing my temples with an icepick.

      Remember that hilarious "40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings of all time" from about 5 years ago? 40 More Of The Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings is the sequel.


      I went to the bank, and some guy was screaming.
      "SURE, you'll take my money! But you won't let me use your BATHROOM! Why, is my money too...BROWN?"
      Me, thinking: Is it in your back pocket? Because it will be if you keep shitting your pants about it.
      "You know whats going to happen?! All your managers will end up working at WAL-MART, and [points at commercial accounts teller] SHE'LL be your manager!" [Whatever that meant]
      He went on screaming, finally walking away shouting "MOVE TO FLORIDA! TAKE OUR MONEY! Coulda shit my pants! Dumb fucks!" He was too busy barking to himself to notice that I said to the teller "What a baby!" and called back at him "Buy a diaper!" or the customer, no doubt in his 80s, who was laughing at him.
      The teller shook her head. "He tried to come in and wanted to use the bathroom before we were even open!" I said, "Why would a bank even have a public bathroom? How do you know someone's not going to go in and come out wearing a ski mask?" Another teller said "Our bathroom's behind the cash counter! We can't let him back here!"
      The first teller said "I apologize that you had to see that." I replied "I work in retail. I see that all the time."
      Kicker: The bank is yards away from a breakfast-and-lunch restaurant, where you can sure bet that they have public restrooms. If I had to make a decision as to where the best chance to void my bowels was, "BANK! I can go to the vault and make a deposit!" would not have even entered my mind. It's lucky that he didn't try one of the only other open places, the laundromat. He might've jumped on top of a washing machine and done some "top loading."

      "Millie the Bengal cat, thought to be the world's first ever feline security guard, has been hired to guard some of the UK's best-selling toy ranges." Killsy and Deej are great alarm cats, running to make me aware of any odd happenings. Byron has had leashed dogs 10 times his size lunging at him from feet away, and gives them his "NONE SHALL PASS."


      It's been brutally hot & humid for the last few days, so I was glad that a giant line of thunderstorms came through to push it out of the way. The timing could've been better, as it came an hour before I left work, so I had to deal with the traffic the storms backed up. But it was largely over when I got home, just distant rumbles, and I was thinking about what I wanted to cook for dinner and fweep
      said the computer as the power went out.
      Dinner was either on hold or going to be something cold. The solar-powered radio gave me some music, but here I was with a boom box that I'd bought for such times without all those D batteries I'd also bought! They used to be in the fridge, but I'd taken them out and put them...somewhere. "Hidden in plain sight," I thought, and searched the many closets. Then the cupboards. In a closet, hey, I was going to get another power strip, and here's two I'd forgotten about! And in a cupboard, here's 3 bags of almonds. That I bought 3 years ago. Do almonds go bad?
      I gave up, and--wait. "Plain sight." I unplugged the boom box, I turned it on and it worked! I'd put them all in the battery compartment! I turned on the radio and ping
      went the computer as the power came back on, right about the same time as the light bulb over my head had.
      Mystery solved. I had a veggie burger.



      Do you read The Way of Cats, the most awesome cat blog ever? Pammy's having a fund drive, and if you have some loose change, you may want to chip in. If you want some inspiration, read the comments on Dear Pammy, Don�t encourage cats to be cruel. Holy motherfucking shit.


      I'm going to create a video workout series for very lazy white people called "Buns of Cod."

      Just to reiterate from a Facebook post about my car's busted windshield washer reservoir...

      I was quite calmed down for today's rescheduled appointment. I just simply refused to let myself think about it beforehand. I can't say that I was looking forward to it.
      "How long will it take?"
      "An hour." Suuure it will.
      I was prepared this time. I brought a long book to read for when I ran out of websites to check on their computer. The book was Fiasco, which I thought might turn out to be aptly titled for the visit.
      And good thing I brought it. The computers had something called WebSense. It blocked Cracked, which wasn't blocked last time. It gave the reason as "Tasteless." I don't know, I went to Cracked when I got home and licked the screen, and it had a taste. Dusty monitor taste, mainly. It let me look at comic strips on the Seattle PI and Houston Chron sites, but wouldn't let me look at Reason: "Entertainment." What? I'm only supposed to look at sites marked "Boring"? That can't be right, as it banned me from the page you're reading now for the same reason. Too Entertaining! (and it was the most specifically boring part, too) Also, all of the Cheezburger sites, and Comics Curmudgeon. But it let me into Duck & Cover, the blog that loves to hate the "comic" strip Mallard Fillmore. I guess that it decided that anything connected with Dullard Failmore couldn't possibly be entertaining. It also allowed me entrance to every Cat of the Day sort of site and the Way of Cats, so I guess when I read those from now on, I should read it in the attitude of a jaded dilletante. "Oh sigh cats. How they so reinforce my ennui. They give me angst in the pants."
      WebSense? I think the 2 words should have "non" in between them.
      If Liberty Honda gives you a wait time, always double it. After 2 hours, I was 3 chapters into Fiasco before they were done. But fourth time's the charm! Yeah, they finally fucking fixed it. Sure glad it was the washer, and not my brakes. I highly look forward to never going back there.


      6/27      Yeah, it took a week, but the Spring News is up. I always dread it as a tedious and frustrating affair, and it used to be, but it took about 5 minutes. I'll be quicker from now on.

      Baltimore City Paper's comics page. They used to run "Funny Pages," a snark on the week's mainstream comics, but it sadly went away. Now, it's alt-weekly comics. I found it looking for my fix of Lulu Eightball, but really enjoy Dirt Farm, which hits that weird/smart/funny/okay, it's weird vibe nicely. It also has Important Comics, which has that "What the fuck is this worthless shit?!" vibe. If it has a readership beyond "I wonder what that schizophrenic meth addict's scribbled in 2 minutes this week?" I can't imagine what it is.

      I don't remember what led me to remember the 1966 British comedy The Wrong Box last night. Pretty stellar cast: Mills, Richardson, Caine, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore. It's set in Victorian England (so Victorian that a couple know that they must get married, after she sees his lower arms and he her exposed ankle) about a race to get a large inheritance. Cook & Moore's uncle is a proto-nerd, endlessly spouting useless trivia about any subject to everyone, who dies in a train wreck (except he doesn't). Finding "his" body, the nephews decide to pretend that he isn't dead. This involves getting a death certificate signed by a shady, alcoholic doctor.
      Doctor Pratt is played by Peter Sellers, and I would like to know how much his 2 scenes are improv. His scenes are the movie's highlight, especially as they involve lots of cats.

      Part One (quit when the TCM guys come onscreen).
      Part Two.
      The Wrong Box in its entirety. I guess. It took so long to download on my DSL on Explorer that I gave up. But on Firefox, I need to subscribe to the site. But it's not Netflixable.

      Oh well. Here's One Joke From Every MST3K Episode.



      Hey, I saw some clouds like these once! At Oberlin College, 1978. It was like standing under God's giant egg carton. The only people out there seeing them were me, and the friend I fetched from her dorm to join me. She said "This almost makes up for my mother dying!" but college students say strange things.



      Winner of the Einstein of the Day Award: There's a stoplight on a side street by my job that leads to the busiest road in town, so there's a sign that says No Right Turn On Red. The light only stays red for about a minute. Today, someone decided to take a Left Turn On Red. Maybe I'm wrong that it's illegal to do that, as the police car yards behind him immediately took a left on red, too.


      "I HAZ A CORNS!" I declared to DJ.
      And indeed I did. A customer gave us a big bag of corn on the cob. One guy greedily grabbed half of it (he's the store's only Republican, which certainly has no bearing on his actions). I took 2 one day, then 3 the next, as nobody else was taking any. That left 3, and if they're there tomorrow, I'll take those too.
      Because A CORNS was delicious! Possibly, LOLspeaking to DJ convinced him that "I MUST HAVE A CORNS ALSO!" because he tried to help me shucking it (also: easiest shucked corn ever), and when I went to fill a pot with water, he was eating some corn silk. I have no idea whether that's dangerous or not, but I pulled it out of his mouth anyway. He even tried to get into the trash to get the cob. Maybe I should've given it to him. I had no butter, but I'd recently read an article claiming that olive oil was a tasty and healthy alternative, and it sure was, but I doubt many cats would eat a vegetable with another vegetable poured on it.

      Another long and interesting Kliph Nesteroff article on a forgotten show biz personality: Murder in Mink! The Crimes of Comedian Ray Bourbon. He was an openly gay comic back when you could actually go to jail for "impersonating a woman." The article ends rather abruptly, without much detail on his later years, but worth the read.


            Byron was sleeping yesterday on his nest of nested boxes when DJ rampaged past him, after an invader fly. He awoke, and looked across the room at me. I waved my hand to say "Nothing's going on; go back to sleep." And he did, as soon as my wave was done! I felt like a Jedi master! Or at least that he understands more of my sign language than I know.
      And literally as I was typing this, Deej and Kays had a bit of a wrestle by his boxes. I waved again, and he went back to sleep! For a second. Then DJ decided to bring him into the fun. And Byron made DJ run away--with a simple wave of a giant paw.
      You have come far in such a short time, young padawan!

      Also, just now the radio DJ announced that a CD was published on "Arse--spelled A.R.S." and he didn't catch what he just said. I may found a classical label called "Famous Universities' Combined Choruses" just to see how he pronounces that.


      56 Things I Learned At The Biggest Christian Music Festival In The World

      I don't know how to do screencapping on Facebook, so I'll leave with a series of comments I left, made about one a minute.

      Because History must never forget my words!



      Due to a scheduling fluke, I have 3 days off next week, YAY! And only one off the next, boo.
      I'll also get together with Jessie Baby, which surely falls into the YAY! category. I asked Kevin to burn a DVR of the 2nd season soundtrack of Twin Peaks, which she is a fan of, and--being Kev--he proceeded to fill it up with all sorts of David Lynch-related music. Even "David Lynch SINGS!" because, sure, why wouldn't he do that. Shatner did that, and his was very memorable. He also made a copy for me, which included tons of stuff only I'd be interested in.
      I took Jessie's DVR, said "I'll place this where I can find it easily" and
      WHERE THE FUCK IS IT?! I checked the logical places, then the less logical places, then the totally ridiculous places. I have no idea where it is. But I still have a few days before I give up, and give her a DVR that may have stuff she doesn't want on it.
      After our meetup, she takes little cat Remi in for her eye surgery.

      Due to a programming glitch, San Diego set off 18 minutes worth of fireworks in that many seconds. What was it like?


      FUCKING BORING. Oh wait, that's fireworks, period.


      I'm not saying anything about my coworkers, but there was a case of wine brought from our other store, and on it was written "Paper Work comming FriidAX". I think it came Friday via FedEx, delivered by a fried ax murderer.


      I went to the farmer's market today. As I entered, I saw some women setting up some small cages. I hope it's what I think it is!
      It wasn't as insanely crowded as last time, and I got there a little early, so I was successful in getting Cato Farms cheese without standing in line forever. I also got a pair of pastries and some wasabi goat cheese. I'm guessing that it won't have my favored level of heat, but I have some wasabi to add to it. No one had any corn. Because, who eats that in a New England summer?
      "They bring animals to the market who shouldn't be here!" sniffed the woman who brought alpacas and geese, glancing towards the little cages at the far end that I'd seen earlier. Obviously a cat hater, as it was Kitty Angels! With 6 tiny mewing kittens, maybe 5 weeks old, trying to escape the cage and go play, but very interested in anyone looking at them--but especially children. I kept getting snubbed. There was also an older kitten, 4 months maybe, and 2 adults. One was all grey, another a medium haired orange tabby (more orange than tabby) with feet that made Byron's clodhoppers look positively ballerina quality. I scritched kitties through the cages for 15 minutes, while a woman asked every question she could about the orange polydactyl. Is he good with cats, good with dogs, good with kids? Yes, yes, and yes! I feel that some little guy just found his forever home.



      Honesty in advertising: On the front page of the ad magazine "TRUCKS 4 YOU" (that's how they spell it), "JOHN DEERE 440D LOG SKIDDER (works till sold)"



      Hey, it's Mrs J!
      If you look closely--and appreciaters of feminine beauty may already be doing so--you'll notice something amazing. No, behind Jess. It's CHRISTMAS IN JULY! (what, again?)
      We talked for a long time at that center of healthy food, Cracker Barrel. About her rescue kitty mama drama, taking little cat Remi in for her eye surgery. I thought that she was getting her eyelids fixed, but it's so bad, she's getting an eye removed. Jess gave me a cat-themed Thank You card, as I donated to help pay for it. Unfortunately, she only raised $50, and she and her husband Ron will have to cover the rest. I hope it goes well, as she had a litter of 4 just put to sleep (feline leukemia; they could go away peacefully, or slowly and inevitably). She also gave me some shorts ("Only $5 on the clearance rack!") because that's normal, right?
      I told her about my visit to my old job, now in their fancy store, which went well. And we talked about her husband's job. I thought he still worked for Hewlett Packard, which had announced giant layoffs recently, but he was now at a big Massachusetts computer firm instead. And my job--THE DRUNKEN TODDLER IS LEAVING! In February. We hope. And being replaced by the owner's son, who has worked with us and didn't pull any kind of "My dad owns this place!" BS, so we're happy. How much fucking worse than DT could he be? And it was good that we had a lot to talk about, as for the first time, Cracker Barrel messed up our order. A guy I assume was the manager on duty said "The cook thought someone else cooked it, the server thought someone else brought it out..." We got it right after that, but was also messed up, but they fixed that even more quickly. We still tipped 20%. We have difficulty in being in bad moods together.
      There was foreshadowing that we really didn't catch. She was almost 20 minutes late getting to Sturbridge, due to inexplicable delays on the Mass Pike. The first antique store we went to had a big sign that said "OPEN TONIGHT UNTIL 8PM." But it was only us and a clerk. We didn't buy anything but renewed our argument about the mythic cross stitching. Short version: she's wrong. We bought nothing, then headed off to an antique store in Brimfield we'd discovered last visit and "FUCK!" she said.
      Traffic on the Pike, store open late by all the motels? Yes, it was the thrice-yearly Brimfield Antique Sale! Hundreds of vendors, thousands of customers. We found it unpleasant during our last visit--traffic, too many people, overpriced goods, rather filthy, and so much stuff that after a while, you look at things without actually seeing them--so she drove on. The store we were going to had no parking, but at the very edge of it all, by the Port-A-Potties, we turned into an antique store. "Great." I said. "Postcards."
      I have spent many minutes killing time in antique stores while somebody searches for postcards from Disney World, and here was a whole damn store full of them. Expensive ones; I picked up a cat one that was $75. I mainly acted as a scout, finding the Disney World card sections while she sorted through them. Then I stopped. The postcards are a thing, but one woman was selling Disney pins, which is her near obsession. For $5. I could tell by the look on Jess' face--like a kid on Christmas morning-- that this store we'd gone to by mistake was a very good mistake. She ended up with 11 pins for $50. In the car she immediately took her narcolepsy med and said "I hope I don't get so excited that I need a nap! Look, my hands are shaking! They were all limited edition pins! 2 are worth at least $20! I had to cut myself off from buying more!" Not that she sells them, she trades them for ones she wants. Lucky for her, but shows that recurrent problem for antique dealers: You can't be an expert on everything. Postcards I'll bet that seller knew, but pins? Just something for the kids.
      With nothing else to do, we visited Yankee Pedlar for the first time in 5 years or so, where it was CHRISTMAS IN JULY! I've mentioned this bizarre madhouse of retail before, but words don't do it justice. Neither do my crappy pictures, as I was impossible to back up far enough in this claustrophobe's nightmare to get a good picture. This is a good summation:


      It's a rack--in front of another fucking rack. The all-time record we saw there was a rack in front of a rack that was in front of another rack. Spinner racks of personalized keychains, and none spun, as there was a rack in front of it. Also, behind it.


      Hey, want that cat statue behind that dog pillow that's behind that couch that's behind the lamps that are behind that other couch that's behind that coffee table that's piled high with other shit? Don't knock the swan over! A few feet away was the only open space in the building, comparatively, because otherwise they'd be blocking the emergency exits. How this hellhole is remotely up to any building code is beyond me.



      I think it's the employee break "room," given the microwave and sink, with piled ladders that you need there--note that there is more crap for sale even here, where only determined spelunkers like we would go. And if anyone says "New brains don't grow on trees," show them that sign.
      We were glad to see our old friend from all 10+ years we've been going, Crocs with Kid's Names Keychains rack. This place will buy any personalized keychain. Are there really that many kids named Sierra? Or looking for "Class of 2007" keychains? How the fuck many keychains does a kid need, anyway? Sadly, we did not see the one thing I wished I'd bought there, a plastic mug with cartoon pirates on it. Most of that rack had kid's names on it, but this one said "I LOVE JESUS." WTF does Jeez have to with pirates? I said "Now, if it said 'I HeArrrr!t Jesus', that might make sense."
      They also had plants for sale outside, and yeah. Rows piled in front of rows. They must leave them outside at night, or they'd spend 6 hours taking them out, followed by 6 hours taking them in, so have fun with whatever insects you find crawling on them.
      The place had once had a clearance sale, she said, closed for a while, then reopened. Why would anyone have this business? Is everything so marked up that any profit is 90%? (All those keychains were $5, but probably cost 10% of that) Are they laundering drug money? Owned by a millionaire hoarder? A truly baffling store.
      Afterwards, I ran to the bank because I owed Kev $100 for a book. A book on...skunks. Yeah. Smelled skunky, anyway. I figured I'd be there briefly, as he's in finals week for online college, but I was there an hour, because he clearly wanted human contact over his fucking finals. Is it a "screaming match" if you're both screaming in agreement? Health care, Republicans, atheism, climate change, his oven (it semi-exploded like mine did a while back), that Way of Cats comments dust-up with the murderous loonie, we yell and nod our heads a lot.
      Well, glad I enjoyed my 3 days off this week, because next week, I get one. The other managers get 3 days off every week, and it's 3 days in a row. I can't wait for some regime change at work.


      Ah, crap! Now I'm going to miss The LOLCat Movie Festival!



      Frontiers in calling-out-of-work excuses: "My power's out, and my electric garage door won't close." Not "It won't open and my car's inside" but "it won't close." That coworker's mother is a high school teacher and thus currently unemployed, so I guess that they both had to sit in the garage holding shotguns to keep the looters of their old antifreeze at bay.
      Quote from the Drunken Toddler: "Why do I do this?! I know why! Cause I'm an ASSHOLE! I'm a FUCKING ASSHOLE!" Me, walking away and saying nothing: "I hope you're not expecting an argument."


      Due to someone's vacation, I worked my first Sunday. Yes, CT likker stores are open Sundays now. I was told by someone who's worked all of them for the last 2 months, "It's busy for the first hour and the last half hour." And we're open 7 hours.
      This turned out to be inaccurate. We were busy the first hour (THEY'RE CALLED DRUNKS), and for 15 minutes starting at 230. Otherwise, flatlined. We could go 15-20 minutes with no customers. We ended up doing the business we would've done on a Saturday, if spread between 2 days. Our profit was $550, or in reality, a loss.
      A customer even agreed it was stupid to be open, after 50 years of being closed Sundays.. I said "We're open 13 hours on Saturday; if you can't squeeze in a few minutes to come in, you have a real problem scheduling!" He said "Yeah, it's not like churches have to be open Thursdays!" which we all got a laugh out of.
      My coworkers used their smart phones all day, while me (who only recently got a stupid phone) snuck up to the office to browse the web. Haphazardly, as we have IE version Awful and Win2000. Yes. Win2000. I can get more done in 15 seconds on Firefox/Win7 than that thing ca
      n do in
      15 min
      utes with Win20


      "Bat what? Everyone I know has a big 'Bat'. C'mon, Simone, let's talk about your big Bat."


      Another thing completely changed by a weird voice:




      Possibly the longest search string someone has found my page with turned up today. Without quotes around it, so there were 730,000 results. It took me a second reading to get it:      Apparently, that work computer I was using Sunday is being replaced due to that big malware attack of 7/9. Nothing I did, certainly, unless you can get it from Google. That computer has several virus scanners, but it's maybe networked to one downstairs that's so old, it has a floppy drive. That's the one mainly used for store emails, which is how I was told it got it. The only guy who uses it was on vacation last week, so it didn't get turned on until yesterday. Since this info came from Drunken Toddler, who's about as computer literate as, I dunno, a toddler who's drunk (and he was. Very), maybe he meant the downstairs one.
      Maybe now they'll upgrade to Windows Vista!

      Your Logical Fallacy Is...;


      I would've titled that Stupidest Quote "I find your review's lack of stars...disturbing."

      "The yellow or white color of some 18th century varieties of this food item gave it a name that seems at odds with its typically purple hue. What is it?"
      Well, duh, I said to Wisconsin Public Radio's Midday Quiz Question. I only get to hear that twice a week, but I'm right more often than I'm not, so I emailed an answer. (Really, Bill? You didn't stick your head out a window and yell loud enough that they could hear you in Madison?) But this time, I'd be clever! Since all their winners are from Wisconsin, I'd only identify myself as Bill Young. From nowhere.
      AND I WON! "We have part of your address, Bill Young of Vernon CT, please email us the rest." Wait, I took special care not to mention that, so how'd they know? Am I that big of a pest?
      I get a CD of live performances on their show, featuring Anonymous 4, who I really like, and yet own no albums by them. And I never win anything. I'll never win again, and I'll bet that every other prize is "eyes that shoot lasers and can look through girl's dresses."
      (The answer was "eggplant". But you knew that.)



      SHAWT: "The phone's for you."
      ME: Can I help you?
      CALLER: [incomprehensible, slurred speech in a weird accent]
      ME: I'm sorry?
      C: Is this [something something, very slurred] circus monkey?
      ME: I'm sorry, but [Drunken Toddler] has left for the day.
      DT: HAHA! You got me!
      He then drunkenly babbled for about 5 minutes because he's bored and he doesn't like TV and he's getting rid of cable and getting a cheap emergency cell phone because he's retiring soon he'll have to get lots of cheaper stuff...
      Good Gourd, I hope he doesn't get so bored after retiring he continues to drunk dial us with prank phone calls.


      I got my CD prize from Wisconsin Public Radio today. That was quick! And it's Anonymous 4, they play great medieval/baroque era musi--WTF? It's "Gloryland," "hauntingly beautiful reliqious ballads." I'll have to listen to it before I pass judgement, but right now I have the same enthusiasm I'd have if it was a CD of songs about the heroic superman George W Bush driving in NASCAR races. Or if it was all songs about eggplants. Even when I win something, I lose!

      The oldies radio station we play at work made me cringe. For one, they played "Rock the Casbah" and part of me was glad to hear that and NOOO I'm not that old!!! Someday I'll have the same reaction when they inevitably play "She Blinded Me With Science" for us old fogeys. If they play "Mexican Radio," I'll just check myself into the convalescent home. I hope we'll have Jello for lunch!
      Just in the last few days I wondered about the little factoids the DJs read. Is there a service they pay that supplies them, or, since they're largely surveys from for-profit websites that are always named, do they get paid to run them? Probably the latter, as some they read are clearly press releases.
      They spent the last 2 days continually giving amusing little factoids about...Batman movies, and the latest one in particular. In a vacuum, without referring to any current events. I wonder if any of them read one while thinking "I'm now a dirty corporate whore."

      In lighter and older news, some white cats.





      A demo for Manos: The Hands of Fate: The NES Game.

      A coworker has been called for jury duty, and like every loyal and patriotic American, doesn't want to do it. She was told that all she had to do was invoke the magic words "JURY NULLIFICATION!" and they'd have to let her go, like it was a Harry Potter spell.
      mmm, I doubt that, said I. It's really this:"Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine which allows juries to acquit criminal defendants who are technically guilty, but who do not deserve punishment." It's like the "Act REALLY RACIST!" thing people who've never been called up tell you to do. Or saying "All criminals must DIE!" Or "I have a medical condition!" She does have diabetes, but...WTF would that mean? Half this country has corn syrup-induced diabetes!
      There are no magic words. In fact, they've heard some of them so much (like "I'm a racist!") that by using them you get charged with contempt of court, and guess who's the next person on trial?
      I can't even remember how many times I got called up. 8 times in 4 or 6 years, I think. I got out of jury duty because twice the trial was cancelled the day before, once because a key witness was one of my parents' friends, once because DT was involved in the same kind of lawsuit and I'd only heard his side of the story (this was the only time I got called in for voir dire, the interview with judge, lawyers and plaintiffs, and certainly the ONLY time I'm glad I was working for DT!), and the others because they randomly dismissed me (they dismiss in alphabetical order, so you can guess how much fun that is when your last name begins with Y).
      The magic trick to getting out of jury duty: You go, you either get out of it, or you don't. That's how it works. You can just not go, but every time I had to drag my ass there, the judge said at the end of calling the names that weren't there, "They get a fine, and now get called up FOREVER. MWA-HAHAHA!" (I paraphrased a wee bit there)
      Hmm, let's try it! I'll stand in front of a mirror and yell "JURY NULLIFICATION! JURY NULLIFICATION! JURY NULLIFICATION!"
      FUCK! Now Beetlejuice, Bloody Mary, the Candyman AND Justrice Scalia are in my bathroom! Hey, take advantage of the shower, you stank-ass! You smell like rotting pepperoni, Scalia!


      A certain Divine Goddess goes to get her rabies booster tomorrow, so I put the Feliway diffuser in yesterday. You may remember World War Cat, the 5&1/2 week agony between Byron and DJ that began when Bigfoot came back from the vet. It was solved by Feliway! So, it's in again, because I sure as shit don't wanna deal with that nightmare again.
      And the Feliway began to smoke! I unplugged it, checked their faq, found no real information other than "it doesn't catch on fire." Sure. And buying assault rifles with no questions asked keeps America free! I sent them a question that boiled down to--burned down to--"Is this going to burn my house down?" I didn't think it would, but that's the worse thing I can think of, especially if it takes my family.
      I plugged it in again and saw no smoke. Feliway, to their great credit, quickly emailed back: No, that doesn't happen. But it's smoking NOW! Because it's in slanted sunlight. It's not smoke, I'm seeing the Feliway particles. Byron, the sharpest-eyed of cats, could not be made to become interested. And minutes later, in a sunbeam he attacked the stray hairs that had left his body. Just like kittens think "SUNBEAM FILLED WITH BEEEES!!" and then attack dust motes.

      Dumm Comics has a different artist every day, and is 2/7ths great and 5/7ths okay-to-repulsive. I recommend Fridays (the hilariously odd "superhero" strip Frog Raccoon Strawberry) and Tuesdays, Life in the Analog Age, for people who were kids in the 80s. It's an adult's memories of his kidhood, but it can be funny, wistful, even moving at times, but always smart and observant.
      The latest strip is Blips. I was in my 20s during the 80s, but also the second person in Connecticut to buy an NES (only Kay Bee Toys sold them, where I was a store manager). BONUS: It also includes a downloadable zip.file of NES tunes at the end!


      Fun day off! I lost an eBay auction, but I lost it to someone who paid twice what I wanted to pay, so not so bad. And then--Kill Kill's vet appointment!
      As always, I got asked about her name. As always, 60s cult movie, good name for a kitten, should've changed it to Chill Chill, the usual. I took her carrier apart to wait for the vet, and she spent the time hyperventilating and making stress drool bubbles. I kept petting her, and she purred. Her "I'm stressed!" purr. The vet came in and nested her in a blanket sprayed with Feliway, and she got calmer within a minute.
      "She has the mouth of a five year old!" said the vet, and he didn't mean that she liked to call people "Poopyhead" a lot. Her teeth had tartar, but far less than would be expected from a 13 year old. She'd lost weight--down to 14.5 lbs--and was in excellent health generally. She growled a bit when she got her rabies shot; who wouldn't? Unfortunately, it took me a while to reassemble her carrier, but she ran into it as soon as I asked her.
      And now, the big test. Would DJ harass her as he did Byron, which led to World War Cat? She ran under the bed, and DJ followed. I tried to talk DJ out, as I could hear her hissing. I left, then went back not long after. She was out from under the bed, and DJ was lying near her. And she bagan hissing at the boy. This boy, meaning me. I think she was calling me "Poopyhead". I kept my distance, and let the Feliway work its magic.
      Then I got in a fight with the toilet. It's started to leak a bit, so I put a plastic jar to contain the drip, then tried to tighten the bolt that the leak was coming from. This caused it to leak more. The bolt was set in a way that it could only be tightened with the pliers held straight up, while bent over, in the bathtub, while at an angle that can only be described as "My back's going to kill me tomorrow."
      I decided to put off doing the laundry. The mail had some better news: 2 free samples! A bag of diet Cat Chow for the now chill-chilled Killsy, and 2 bags of olives for me. Free olives, and a house with 3 happy, healthy cats again. I'm good. Even after mailing out $1200 in town property taxes.
      Also, my vet treats baby goats.


      I knew I'd be in pain from yesterday's contortionist writhings and crouched squattings in the tub from trying to tighten that damn bolt on the toilet. I just wasn't expecting all the strained muscles to be in my butt. It actually hurts to sit. "Man, I can't wait to get off work, go home, take my shoes off, and stand up!"


      The news on the car radio today said that the opening of the Olympics would feature all sorts of UK references, from Shakespeare down to James Bond. I thought "There should be at least 3 Doctor Whos. If there is a Dalek, make it five." Because I'm a geek.
      One time, after taking some photos of us together, Jess said "I should make a Flickr set for you!"
      I said, "What will it be tagged as? 'DORKS'?"
      She gave me a look of minor annoyance. "You're not a dork! You're a nerd. I'm a nerd. I'm married to a nerd! My daughter is a nerd! I refuse to be friends with people who aren't nerds!" She then talked about the video game con she'd just been to.
      John Scalzi: Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be:      This just in: "during the musical montage, there was distinctively the TARDIS sound included." That's IT? London, I am disappoint.


      Since the opening ceremonies from the 2008 Olympics are Netflixable, I assume that the 2012 ones will be, too. I hope so! It sounds like it was pretty wacky. And while the Doctor only got an audio mention, according to the Nerve Net ML, so did someone else: Brian Eno. A clip from "Ending (An Ascent)" from Apollo. Which was about the Apollo missions, so about as not-British as Eno's music gets. It makes me happy, as it's the only music Killsy recognizes as soon as it starts, as I like to sing a stupid song to it ("I love my kitty, Kill Kill...and I love my kitty, Byron...and I love my kitty, DJ..."). Apparently, the ceremony's director is a fan of Eno, as he's used his music before.
      A news report I heard in the car claimed that the Queen considers Danny Boyle to be her favorite director, so try picturing the shriveled old fart Liz watching Trainspotting. There was debate at work as to whether or not the Queen parachuted into the ceremony herself. This is because "People are remarkably gullible and/or stupid."

      Olympics opening ceremony: US media reacts to 'peculiar' British festival




      Bizarre email scam involves horse, lard and sex toy death, and threat of assassination from an agent of
      Wait, who? That's about as credible as being threatened by a Gestapo agent, which went out of business only a year before SMERSH. I think I could take out the most determined Gestapo agent by kicking his walker out from under him and stealing his nitroglycerine pills. And he'd get no mercy! I'd brutally bruise him with a foot nudge to the prostate, while he cried "Do not kill me! Ze nursing home, zey are havink ze Jello tonight!"


      As you may recall, I paid my retail dues in a job from Hell called Kay-Bee Toys in the 1980s. I saw many a terrible cartoon-based action figure line come and immediately go, and even more action figure-based cartoon lines go even quicker. It's a slim distinction. The decade started with toys based on cartoons, then He-Man and GI Joe and Jem & the Holograms came along, which were cartoons based on toys. The longer the trend continued, the worse both the cartoons and the toy became. I think the worst was Super-Naturals, holograms entombed in injection-molded sarcophagi:


      Yeah, those have a replay value of "bored 10 minutes after I took it out of the package."
      Here's one that runs a close second: Power Lords. "Neither did they consider the subtextual implications of a main character who 'powers up' by turning (literally) engorged, blue and veiny."

      For no particular reason, a few days ago I thought about webcams. Not Skype or whatever you young punks are using while on my lawn (get off!), but the halycon days of innocence, circa 1998. When they were "Holy crap look what this amazing new Web-ernet has brought us!" I remember watching one for hours. It was a collection of every webcam they could find that linked to the net live. And it was 95% parking lot security cameras. And with exactly all the excitement that implies.
      But we watched it anyway! Wow, it refreshes the frame every whole minute! And, in the amazing coincidence category, last night Jess sent me The Best Live Animal Cams On The Web. Of course, I went straight to the "24/7 Kitty Cam," live feed from an Ohio cat shelter. I was first taken by the very likeness of one kitten to Killy's tiny months. She (I'm assigning that gender to her) even had Miss Kay's Queen of the World attitude, running into the middle of a tube and fending off any kitten that dared enter her domain. Once a rival was driven off, she licked herself, then battled the next pretender to her tunnelly throne.
      Then a woman came in and sat on the floor, and every kitten and cat rushed to her. She played and petted and gave extra attention to the tinier kittens. This is what Jess does at her shelter, socializing the kittens to get adopted. I've never seen her do it, so this was extra interesting to me.
      Then the woman looked startled, and left quickly. Huh? Why? The felines spent 5 minutes playing, and then another woman came in. And all the older cats ran away.
      So did the kittens, following their elders' lead. But they came back, to a woman who ignored them. She made sure to keep her face from the camera, as she was clearly aware that it was on. And she was already on her cell phone. She made sure to stand right under the camera, so that anybody watching the cam got to hear her call.
      You know how hearing half of a phone conversation is frustrating, because you only get that half? Her conversation wasn't like that. There would be pauses when the other person would be speaking, but then she'd do what they do in movies and TV shows: repeat the conversation. You know: "Whatcha doin' tonight?" (pause) "GOING TO BLOW UP THE DALEK HOMEWORLD TO PREVENT THEM FROM MATING WITH THE POWER LORDS AND DESTROYING CASTLE GRAYSKULL?! I'M IN!" (pause) " said 'Going to Arby's'? Jeez, I need a new phone."
      Well, we didn't get that. I followed the "conversation" so well that I decided that there was no one else on the other end of the phone. Her son Brandon's losing his job, he's so cute but so shy, getting his PhD, doncha know, his roommate's leaving him with all these bills from the house they rented, and his student loans are high, lots of love and prayers tonight to Brandon at the University of Toledo...I gotta go.
      She left the room, and the older cats finally returned, glancing about. After 5 minutes, the shelter phone rang, she horribly returned, and the cats bolted, along with the kittens. She crushed a cat toy on her way to the phone. She was right under the camera again, but for some reason this conversation was inaudible. Like she was now off-stage. Was it Brandon, calling to say "Cut it out, Mom!"? More soap opera than a Jem & the Holograms ep!


      Via Lilly, Drunk Kittehs! (Not Really)





      Yesterday as I left for work, the hag who once tried to run over Byron left, too. This is the first indication I've ever seen that she has a job. I assumed that she didn't, as one New Year's Eve in my store every customer either glared at her or tried not to make eye contact, as she was having a screaming psychotic meltdown. Her boyfriend (or whatever he is) clearly wished he was dead. I think she may have recognized my car, as she cut me off. I wondered what ever happened to her whatever guy, as I never see his car anymore.
      And today, there it was, his ugly 80s ragtop gas guzzler. He walked over to the dumpster, then stepped behind a bush. And took a leak in public. He couldn't walk up to her condo? Is he afraid that if he whips it out around her, she'll literally emasculate him?

      A customer aked if he could leave some flyers in our store. "Yes," I said, "but only because I'm going to it!" He was from the local cinema, and they're showing soon a little art house flick called Manos, The Hands of Fate.

      Domino's pizza is so bad, you'd be better off spreading tomato sauce on the box it comes in. The radio's been running weird ads for the only place cheaper than Domino's, Little Caesar's. "Consider this your warning: do not call 1-800-trylittlec. You will regret it!" Why? Do they make you eat a slice?

      "How big is a pint of Smirnoff?"
      "You mean how much is it?"
      "No, how big is it."
      "A pint is 375ml, or about 16 ounces."
      "And how big is a pint of Ciroc?"
      A thimbleful, or about the same size as your cranial capacity.

      Via Lilly:




      You know what sucks? Hearing on the news that for the first time in my life--the President's younger than me.

      Tomorrow the new owner starts at work. He's the current owner's son. He'll be trained by Drunken Toddler.
      I like change about as much as a cat likes when a favorite chair is moved. Will things be better? Hope so! Or the same, as DT has input? Or, almost impossibly after DT's reign of drunken terror, even worse? Who knows. I'll remain optimistic until proven otherwise.
      Hey, guess what I found there without looking for anything! Two folders of business deals that could not just put the all our stores out of business, but possibly put people in jail! I think I may spend some quiet time making copies of those. As I live near Hartford CT, the Insurance Capitol of the World. And a few copies might give me some insurance, or at worst a dish best served cold.


Nah, I'd have to be pretty bitter to actually tell the authorities about that. I'd be putting everyone there out of a job, and I don't hate even DT that much.      The New Owner was a no-show. The schedule had his name with no hours listed, so I don't know when he will appear. And, in response to a Comment on yesterday's post about "insiurance":      Sorry, South Korea, but you're going to have to try harder if you want to beat Japan in the Batshit Music Video Olympics:




      Canadians vs USAicans: Exactly the same, except for the "clearly wanting excuses to shoot people" thing.

      Sudden & abrupt & very violent protracted puking. Please, Young's Syndrome, not now. Please--never again. Please.


      If you followed that "Canadians vs USAicans" link from yesterday, the Ameridiots were from Kalamazoo. So I guess I can safely call them "Assburgers."

      My mom emailed me about my commute home. If you wonder why, here's a bit of my reply:

      Internet's Cat Obsession Justifies Itself In Cancer Ward Extra points for the patient's name being Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, which would only be more cooler and less likely if it were Hooty Sapperticker.


      This Not Always Right post reminded me of something I'd get back at my last job.
      "Is that really tall girl working today?"
      "Jessica? No, the giant 5 foot 7 inch Amazon is off. I think she's climbing the Empire State Building. It's just me, the puny 5 foot 7 inch lawn gnome. Well, I'm heading home, just as soon as I can saddle up my chihuahua."
      Scarred me for life, her being 5 foot 7 inches tall and me 5 foot 7 inches short. Sometimes we'll meet and I'll think "Wearing 3 inch heels, really? I'll just dig a trench and walk beside her in it."




      Sorry, LTRs, nothing of note going on right now. I mean, DJ went assassin on a fly, swatting and chasing but missing, and then later Byron began intently staring at something, so intently that Killsy and finally Deej did, and it was the fly! DJ had wounded it. It found one last burst of energy to fly away, but then DJ smushed it. And ated it. GROSS! I think that's what he thought, as he immediately ran to his food dish and began trying to get that fly taste out of his mouth.
      The most exciting thing all week, folks.


      RiffTrax does Cracked! The 7 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Movies of the Decade, "decade" being used rather loosely, as one movie came out in 2000. If the last one's review seems to be over quickly, that's going to be their October theater offering.

      Since there seems to be no quick source for all of these, and I'm not posting a dozen YouTube embeds at once here, I'm afraid that you might have do your own heavy lifting on this one. Russ Garcia's Fantastica, a series of 1950s exotica tunes based on space themes. The music's great, and the videos are too, and best viewed fullscreen:


      That's the trippiest one. If you liked that, sorry for the extra work! The rest will likely turn up clickable after the end, but only click on ones that have NASA looking pictures. Space Age psychonauts love them! (Size of sample base: me)


      What somebody in Sweden found when they Googled "golden dildo chair". There is, indeed, a chair. But also: WHY DOES EVERY GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH GO TO THE SUMMER 2009 NEWS? It's just getting weird now.

      RiffTrax vs Manos was pretty awesome. Especially as Kevin had never seen object before, and I think a lot of the audience hadn't either. And it was the biggest audience I've seen at an RT show. The theater's usually been about 60% full, this time it was closer to 90% (admittedly, it's the smallest theater in the gigaplex). Some great riffing on possibly the worst movie of all time. There was the only credit cookie they've ever done, the Eagles' "Take It Easy" as performed by Torgo, interrupted halfway by a scene from the movie of Torgo standing up that timed in at 30 seconds, which is a long time to watch someone stand up.
      It's also to their credit that they can be so funny without losing a PG-13 rating, and they only got that from once saying "boner." Rest of Hollywood: the punchlines need to be more than "Fuck!" and some bodily fluids.


Latest way somebody "found" this page: "our new video is with our new domina merica. she is very new to the idea of shitting on men. but with me on her side, she will love it, just like the rest of us. this movie is in 5 parts, starting with this pervert cleaning our feet. first part coming out asap." AT LEAST IT WASN'T FROM AN IMAGE SEARCH.

      Bill Corbett, the "I'm different!" Crow gets interviewed: 'You Can't Just Be The Voice Of Generic Sarcasm': The Art Of Movie Riffing. It's true. Mean-spiritedness eventually comes across as "I'm so much better than these people!" The Manos makers come across as people who heard about these "movies" second-hand, but made one anyway. But I haven't made any movies better than that--or any. It can get like "I could've designed a better car than the Edsel! If I wanted to."
      Anybody but me remember NBC's attempt to recreate the MST3K magic on broadcast TV, Attack of the Killer B-Movies? I was starting to think it was some weird dream I had after eating too many chili peppers (those burn my gut!), but there it is. Whiny teenagers who'd likely never seen any movie older than themselves making whiny "quips" about colorized 1950s stinkers (biggest draws: the stars of "Saved by the Bell: The Lesser Series"). I only remember it because I saw it. I did not remember that it also involved Elvira and...oh, dare I say it? TV'S FRANK. Yeah, it didn't take long for any "I quit MST3K FOREVS!" person to realize "...unless I want to eat again." And that was only 1995.
      See? That was kind of mean-spirited of me. But not really. Look what I do for my next meal, serve drunks and serve under a drunk!
      I'm glad both RiffTrax and CinematicTitanic are back making a living doing what they invented, and perfected.



            DJ took a flying leap off my lap, which also included the mousepad, right while I was in mid-click on my bookmarks. With Byron's huge haunch launches, this would mean a deleted folder. DJ's delicate tootsies, it just scrolled down. To my beloved old favorite, Abbie the Cat Has a Posse.
      Only 3 posts for all of last year. But worth reading. The newest is pure poetry about a lost cat friend. You may tear up too, if you've lost any friend to that Unknown Country.


      8/22      The 5 Most Ridiculous Drinking Myths You Probably Believe--it must be true, it's on Cracked!
      I drink beer. I also sell it--maybe I've mentioned that before? And there were things on their list I already knew weren't true (booze helps you sleep), and semi-knew (absinthe is NOT a hallucinogen from "wormwood". Anything 110 proof is going to fuck you up enough to hallucinate [DRUNK: "I LOVE you, man! SAME DRUNK, 5 minutes later: "I KILL YOU YOU BASTARD! (vomits on self)"].) What I wondered is how some penniless bum like van Gogh could afford that shit--oh, wait! It was the cheapest shit around then, like Bukoff vodka is today!
      Beer bellies aren't caused by beer, except when they are--Whuh? Genetics and metabolism cause it. I drink beer every day, and weigh in at my ideal BMI.
      There is a cure for hangovers, and it's called "Don't get one." Switch from booze to water when you really start to feel it. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for the alcohol to kick in, so if you think "I'm too sober right now!" and pound 3 beers in 15 minutes, don't come puking to me. If you find yourself too wobbly after getting home, here's the Bill Special: take ibuprofen and B vitamins with 2 pint glasses of water, and wait 20 minutes to pee them out. Don't take Tylenol! That's liver death in a pill.
      Of course, while 2 pint glasses of prevention equal a pound of cure, there is a flaw in those strategies. You need to do them when you're fucking drunk. You don't yet feel the pain from the beating you got from that guy whose woman you tried to feel up, even though she was his grandmother. You're still spitting teeth and curbstone from your mouth yelling "ARRGH I FEEL SO GRATE!!! puuuke" There ain't no "hangover cure."
      Not according to the Daily Mirror! The cure is a bacon sandwich and SCIENCE! I guess it must be true, it's in the Mirror! If it was the Mail, they'd suggest "beating up gay Muslims," so I guess that's more believable.
      My last hangover was in 1988, when I followed none of my above advice. Including 1 bit I didn't give you: never drink when you're angry, depressed or worried. I was the last 2 before my new job at JCPenney. And I was given my parents' house in Vermont as a loaner that weekend, so there was no one there to stop me and my new buddy Jack Daniels. And as I stumbled from my hell-bed Monday afternoon, I only had to drive to my new job by Tuesday 8AM. 120 miles away. I pulled over after 20 miles, and ran to the roadside and puked so hard, tears ran from my eyes. As I struggled back to bipedalism, I saw that my vomit was crawling. A small spider was covered in it.
      Well, I thought, at least someone's having a worse day than I am.
      Bacon sandwich? I think I'd still be puking it today. And boy, would I really be hated by that spider.


      I didn't get a second litter box until I got a third cat. But I'd recommend it, even if you have only one. One immediately became the Pee Box, and the other the Poop Box. The Poop Box is far easier to clean. The Pee Box gets pretty stanky, and needs to be completely washed out every 2 or 3 weeks.
      I did that a few days ago. And I guess the cats really like that, as there was pee and poop in the Pee Box. "I'd better clean out the Poop Box!" I thought as I went to scoop it. And saw that yesterday I'd left it facing the wall.


      Thing I totally retract: that DJ is not a bright cat. OK, he wasn't a bright kitten. But if anything, he's a copy cat. He's learned a lot from his elder siblings. From Killsy, he learned love-licking! From Byron, he learned to make fart noises with his mouth! He knows many words, although I'm not sure if cat names, "Food," "Treats," and "Nip!" really count. He has learned the least favorite of cat words, "No! Stop!" THANK GOURD.
      Um, that's as far as I'm going with this. I'll turn the blog over to Deej once he learns "How to wrap up a post effectively."


      It was over and done with a decade before she was born. So the last time I saw her, I explained to Jess what the appeal of the Apollo program was to a little boy in the 1960s. "I went outside the day after they landed and saw the Moon and thought 'There are people up there!'"
      "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer."--Neil Armstrong. I salute you, Commander.
      And I find it sad that the USA's misadventures on Earth since then will never be described as "We came in peace for all Mankind."


      A dark and wordy night: The 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Award winners.


      Felt nauseous for 3 hours yesterday, and for 3 hours only. Then it went away.
      I woke up at 5AM in a cold sweat. After a while, I began violently coughing and dry heaving, so of course I went to work. Where it became full-fledged puking. So after 90 minutes, I left. 6 hours after getting home, I still feel crappy. Too bad for me, as tomorrow I need to put away the 300+ cases of beer I ordered.
      Also Byron puked. Not unusual. Then Killsy did. Unusual. And I hope unconnected.

      I went through my old archives, looking for the time I carded Captain America (story far less interesting than I remembered; little to no Red Skull fighting) when I came across Shango the Atomic Cowgirl, a comic strip that I'm not reposting for any reason. Not for any convention of a Goofy Old Purpose.

      The Cats of Mars Meet the Toy Car:





      "'Stand slow!' a voice rang out with hollow ubiquity."
      Searching through my old posts for something, I came across All true excerpts from stories submitted to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Funnier than the Bulwer-Lytton Awards, as these were meant to be taken seriously. First one: "Out of the dark void came what looked like a giant rabbit followed by small rabbits which had looked as if they had undergone a mutation with three ears and 2 tails. They discovered they were on Rabbitania."

      How does the boy do it? Sure, he's got thumbs, but just stand on my lap and the keyboard at the same time and do things to the computer I can't fix?
      The latest: in a few seconds, he turned the Windows taskbar into 2 lines, one above the other. No big deal, yes? To me--yes! I keep my monitor at the lowest screen resolution, and having the taskbar double in size makes some pages unusable. The page for the online version of the 80s computer game I love Lords of Conquest came back after disappearing from its Compuserve host for a year to reappear on an Angelfire one (Yes, those still exist. Thanks for fucking me out of Geocities, Microsoft). I figured Byron had just dragged the icons somehow, but damned if I could find out a way to put them back. I gave up and just made the taskbar icons smaller. So how did he do it? Is he the world's first feline hacker?


      The Sony boombox I bought not 3 years ago to play my cassette tapes of albums not available on CD is utterly dead. Most of the time that it was on, it was because Byron stomped across it to avoid DJ.
      How does the boy do it?



      I was thinking today that the store should change its name to "Professionalism Liquors" for the same reason Republicans should name themselves "The Grand Old Party for TOTALLY NOT Billionaires, Bigots, and the Batshit." Because of everything ever done there, really, but today because they were firing a guy for [insert vague reason], and promptly told everyone who wasn't him that they were doing it. And then I was told "Keep an eye on him, it's his last day."
      "He knows he's fired?!"
      "Well, laid off--"
      "And he's running the register?! You don't do that! You just let him go!"
      "Well, we don't want any workplace violence. You know, like at HDI." Where a guy murdered 8 people when he was fired, because, hey, tell him he's fired ahead of time, and unlike the HDI maniac, he'll not only have time to get the 2 Glocks in his lunch pail but also the rifle and shotgun in his car trunk WHAT THE FUCK
      Ever see the movie "One Hour Photo"? Creepy as all get out. The only unbelievable part was that they fired a guy at a big-box drugstore but expected him to work the rest of his shift, even though he had keys to the whole store. He steals a giant hunting knife from a locked cabinet at work and kidnaps 2 people. Many stores I've worked at let keyholders go over minor shit, and changed the locks before we even knew they were fired.
      As I am currently alive, he did not kill me. He had the same murderous streak one would assume a butterfly has. (the Republican who owns many guns and once literally screamed about killing "SOCIALISTS!" yeah, he still works there; he's totally a safe risk) I only worked with him once a week, and never found much of a reason to complain about him, but I guess he "made a lot of mistakes on the register," so of course LEAVE HIM ON THE REGISTER. I frequently fantasize about giving my notice, and I plan on not working my last day, because that's the only day I handle the money. Will I be tempted to steal? Fuck no! I'm worried that someone else will decide to steal, knowing they can blame it on me. So, let's announce to everyone in the store that we're firing this one guy who makes mistakes with money! No conceivable way that that could go wrong!
      I work in a fucking madhouse.
      "Arkham Professionalism Liquors," how does that sound?






      That is actually the least insanely goofy part of this week's Stupid Comics! And while there probably weren't many kids in 1962 thinking "I wish I had the powers of a spider!" there were certainly even less that thought "I wish I had the powers of a housefly! Instead of getting strong eating spinach, I could just nosh on some dogshit!"


      Network Awesome has some cool stuff, although some of it isn't up for long (probably only until YouTube gets a take-down order). Last night I saw that they had Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. I'm a fan of Winsor McCay's surreal and beautiful comic strip from the 1900s, but there was no doubt in my mind that an animated movie from 1989 was going to not suck. Most of it did, but not all.
      Its production was odd: It was the dream project (ahem) of a Japanese filmmaker that eventually was made with a US company, with both animators of the Anime school and the less detailed US cartooning factories. In the same building. But I would guess the barriers of language and style made it a mess. There are beautiful, fully animated anime scenes based directly on the McCay original art, that jarringly cut to a Chuck Jones/Don Bluth look, but also what looks (to my undereducated eyes) like American inks over Japanese pencils. Why not just stick with one style, like the last one? They distract from the weak script with its dumb Action! plot. But at least there's a plot--for most of the film. It's pretty much cobbled together from bits that seem "Well, we animated this, so it stays in the movie." And--of course--the inevitable Disneyesque songs:


      "Miyazaki later described his involvement on the film as 'the worst experience of his professional career'."
      Possibly, the Tokyo side was distracted by a forgotten obscurity they were working on at the same time, Akira.

      It's interesting as an oddity of animation, or if you want to briefly see what a Little Nemo film could have been. The YouTube quality is amazing even if the film is weak, which is the exact opposite of what I can say about their presentation of The Rutles, a must-see for any fan of those forgotten obscurities, Monty Python and the Beatles.

      The winner of that LOLCats film festival:




      What am I doing on my vacation? Flirting with danger! Living on the edge! Dancing with death!
      I know that you certainly [have no reason to] remember that on my last 3 September vacations, they were ruined when I got sick for the second half. The last 2, the day I was the sickest was when I went to meet Jess in Putnam, leaving early each time. I asked what she wanted to do this year and...yeah. That same thing.
      I'm paranoid enough that I pushed my vacation up to the 2nd week of September, and we'll be doing it in the 1st half of the week, so hopefully the Curse of Second Vacation Week can be broken.

      Speaking of paranoid...
      I was taking the scooped bag of cat litter to the dumpster when I saw a white van idling in front of it. Weird, I thought. I tossed the pee lumps in, and the passenger said "Sir! SIR! I'm Federal Agent Guadalupe! Could you help us identify a person we're looking for?" He flashed a badge, and I mean flashed--the second my eyes went to it, he hid it. Just like a college kid trying to buy booze from me with a fake ID. For all I knew, it said "Official Panty Inspector."
      "Sure you are," I said and walked away to get my mail. "SIR!" he cried, then left the van and followed me. "Sir, I have identified myself to you! SIR!" As I rounded the corner, he saw that there were 2 women, one with a dog that barked as soon as it saw me, and he went back.
      Fuck, I thought, I'm never going to the dumpster without my phone again! I could say "Hey, I have the Police Department on here, do you want me to call them for backup?"
      Jeez, who were they? Private detectives, bounty hunters? People up to no damn good, right outside my house? I grabbed my phone and called the PD.
      I explained, nervous quaver in my voice, what had happened. When I was asked what my condo number was, I said "20C."
      The cop said "20 what?"
      After a pause long enough for me to almost add "C as in Cat," he said "We'll send someone right out."
      Then I began to worry. Maybe these guys were bad, and could come after me. I triple locked my doors.
      I live 5 minutes from the cop shop, if you obey all the traffic rules. After 15 minutes I thought, "They're taking their time." After 20, "OK, they're not coming, are they? Do they know about this already?" After 30, I just went "Eh" and went back to the net.
      At 35, I looked out the front window and SHIT THE VAN'S IN FRONT OF MY BUILDING'S DOOR! And 2 burly guys are running out, with their hands going to grab something from their waistbands. Guns.
      After some brief conversation, they hustled a guy into the van. Then the burly guy who'd been hiding in the back of the van ran up the stairs to my door--and knocked, quite politely, on #20D. The very nice woman who lives there opened the door. "I'm from the Drug Enforcement Agency," he said evenly. "Your son is a fugitive from California."
      "What?!" she gasped.
      I assume he showed a photo. "Is this your son?"
      "Is he from California?"
      "Y-yes! What did he do?!"
      "Would you like to come down and talk to him?"
      "YES!" Before she left, she said "You stay here!" to who was likely the adorable little girl that I've always assumed was her granddaughter.
      And minutes later, that saddest sound: a mother's tears.
      They've always been great neighbors. I wonder what happened.
      Walking away from a legit DEA agent was probably not a good choice on my part, but what would you do, if your whole job is based on not believing liars with IDs? Calling the police--that probably was a good idea. I wasn't aiding and abetting, I was keeping my eyes open, trying to protect the little village I live in.
      I have no idea what the guy was accused of. Enough to flee California for the opposite side from the DEA. But the USA's unwinnable War on Drugs needs to end. Now there's another guy clogging up our prisons for selling pot, or something else just as trivial and victimless.


      Just how drunk do you have to be, to have difficulty counting up to six?
      If you're my boss, as drunk as you are at 11AM!
      BTW, New Owner started this week, and he's Drunken Toddler's exact opposite. Sane, sober, friendly, sober. Salesmen and delivery drivers ask me, one by one in whispered tones, if DT is really leaving. "Yes, and everyone here is all broken up inside about it."

      If you have cats, always remember...

     add 10 minutes to any project that requires an empty box.


      A coworker enthused about McDonald's frappes (a word she pronounced every possible way, including "frape"). To my credit, I did not make fake barfing noises at the concept of McDonald's serving "food."
      For no real reason, it made me think of the McDonald's commercials I saw as a kid. There weren't any on TV one day, then they were everywhere. But there weren't any McDonald's! Who is this strange and speechless clown, we thought, getting into comic hijinks with his nemesis, Mr Muscle? Mr M was a cliched circus strongman (bald head, big handlebar mustache) before Ronald began to deal with the seedier side of McDonaldland. The burger-stealing Hamburglar, the shake-stealing Grimace, and the fishwich-stealing "WTF is that, a reanimated corpse that didn't get it's face reanimated?" Captain Crook. Seriously, Captain Crook was horrifying. Seriously--he had a dessicated face with no mouth and unblinking dead eyes back in the day. There were playground arguments over whether or not we'd like the clown better now that we told that in future ads, he could speak. Clowns: Scarier when mute, or scarier when they can now say aloud "Your immortal soul is now part of the special sauce!"?
      Anyway. Upstarts Burger King got into the act, with their own cast of lame characters. You thought those "Unblinking Mask Burger King" ads were offputting? They went straight into PureRipOffLand (as McD's had done, ripping off the Krofft Brothers). These I don't remember as well. I'm pretty sure that the King's frienemy was the long-nosed Duke of Doubt, who, when told how utterly delish BK food was, would sneer "I doubt that!" No, the bad guy's supposed to find your greasy slime food so awesome that he steals it like a trans-fat addicted crackhead, not avoid it because he's sure it's disgusting! No matter how accurate that opinion may be.
      Their milkshake guy brought no one to the yard. He was Sir Shake-A-Lot, and he certainly did. He loved shakes! In fact, he had the fucking shakes, a damn grand mal seizure all commercial long. Even as a kid I thought, if that's what your milkshakes do to you, give you hideous unending full-body spasms, and I should buy them? "I doubt that!"
      "But Bill!" you say in your whiniest of voices, "those ads ran in the late 70s! Are you sure you weren't on a lot of drugs?"
      NO! Depending how you counted "a lot." You try and pretend you're not hallucinating this:


      The ads ended not long after that, so I don't know if their fries spokesman was "Sir Morbidly-Obese-Wet-Farts-A-Lot."

      I do have some Burger King glasses. They're from an old movie, and, sadly, a kinda crappy one. It had Ewoks. If only they were from this!




      I'm on vacation. Hurrah. Yay.
      I've never been less thrilled to not have to go to work, because I don't know if I'm going to get sick like my last 3 September vacations. And since I moved my vacay up a week, am I just going to be sick the following week, when I have to work?

      Latest search result, from East Grinstead, West Sussex:

      spanish potato omelette makes my farts stink?

      The Newest was on page 4 of the results, so, nice diligence and determination there, farty guy. I want to say "Possibly your problem is caused by trying to make an omelette from potatoes, ever try to crack open a spud, haha" but yeah, that's a thing. Sounds muy tasty, in fact. But since 2 of the 3 main ingredients are eggs and onions--yeah. You'll be farting pretty stinky. You needed the Internet to tell you that?




      Of course, we all know what today is the anniversary of.
      15 years ago exactly that I met Jessica!
      (Actually, it was 9/9, but it was the 2nd Tuesday of September that I started that job)
      "Wow, 15 years!" she said. "That's a long time! Do you think we've changed since then?"
      "You sure have. Remember what a doormat you were when you were with [evil, abusive ex] Charlie?"
      "Oh, yeah, I was. Not anymore! People fear me! I'm the Evil Queen of my condo board!"
      "I was at my Mom's, and we were talking about bad bosses, and I said 'There was this CVS manager who started screaming at a cashier in front of everybody, and Jessica was in line--' and Mom laughed and said "Jess?! I'll bet that guy wished he'd kept his mouth shut!' I said 'We have a saying: Don't Mess With Jess.'"
      As mentioned, I was fearing the 4th Sick September Vacation in a row, and the 3rd when the worst day was a meeting in Putnam with ma belle amie. And, of course...yeah, but just mildly nauseous, not enough to leave, just enough that I passed on lunch. If our special place, A Special Place, served breakfast all day, I would've gone. I can always eat eggs (just did, in fact). Which was still sucky, as mealtime is talk time. Junk Shopping is more snark time.
      There used to be a dozen antique stores in Putnam, now there's 2. And we discovered that one is closed on Tuesdays. But we went to the art store, which had paintings that looked rather like the ones Jess used to do with markers, but J never sold hers for $1350. I doubt the artist sells many at that price either.
      We also went to Wonderland Comics, the first time I've been in a comic store in years. What a nerd fest! For us, I mean, we talked all nerdy. Jess about her painted miniatures for some game I didn't catch the name of. "I made all their weapons bloody and sparkly!" I was going to ask if they killed Twilight vampires when she pointed at a pair of games. "We have this. And this." "You have Twilight games?!" "My daughter has them, not me! Are you crazy?!" I pointed out "Captain America, Limited Edition Constipated Figure" (he really did look like he was thinking "Why did I eat all that cheese last night?!") and gave her a brief tutorial on Thanos.
      Theme of this trip: Scary Clowns, if that is not redundant. Or Odd Juxtapositions, several booths that mixed Nazi shit with things like Barbies. It's Malibu Bunker Barbie!
      After a disappointing start, we had scores. She bought a Disney World postcard, a bag of faux pearls (not sure if it was a necklace or just loose, but I imagine she has some crafty purpose for them), a "Modern Family" cookbook--not so Modern, as it's from 1942. And we all know how great recipes from that era were!
      She got an ashtray in the shape of a grey cat. "Yeah, Bill, I've started smoking again. It's [holds up separate bowl] a candy dish." At checkout, a customer and a clerk talked about it. "It's unusual to see a grey one! They're usually black cats." Clerk: "Yes, I have a black one." From her expression and silence, I could tell that Jess was thinking of her departed Majoriam. I wonder how I'll react someday when I see those ubiquitous figures of white cats...
      While she went on one of her interminable postcard searches, I glanced down and right there were some pitcher coasters. For Genesee beer. That's a thing that I collect! On top was a generic one that I already have, but in the stack were gorgeous full-color ones featuring "Jenny," their beautiful barmaid mascot of the early 60s. She had a tray of beer, standing before an upstate New York lake. "Pure HEMLOCK LAKE Water Makes the Difference!" Yeah, it's the poison that gives it that extra punch! Hey, Jen, let's have a Socratic dialogue!
      Later, I glanced down and right there were some old 10 inch records. "By Rocket to the Moon," super retro picture. Music composed by--Raymond Scott?! His weird pioneering electronica? No, the Quintet! Kids' record in great shape, and only $2.50 because the owner's younger brother Donny decided to practice writing his name on the back in red crayon 4 times. Pro tip: the "N"s face the other way, Donald.
      On the drive home I thought, I'll bet I can find this album online. And I did! On WFMU, a site I look at every day, and only posted a year ago. And a good thing: it's a 10 inch with no RPM speed listed from 1949. So a 78RPM. Couldn't play it without buying a new turntable.


      Woke up feeling kinda crappy today, but it went away. Good thing, as the only other plan I had for vacation was getting together with Kevin. He had some RiffTrax he could download, a collection of shorts and a bunch of movies. I chose some shorts and then a movie I'd seen long ago, Mesa of Lost Women.
      The shorts were inexplicable in their intent. There was one about safety--okay, a warning to kids to not play on construction sites--that had an actual point, but others that just ended without a point. One was about sailing a toy boat, but it was like seeing a "Dick & Jane" early reading book read aloud. You don't learn to read by watching a movie of someone reading. Another was about becoming a chef or a cook called "Cooks and Chefs," and another titled "The Fish Who Almost Drowned," the moral of which was apparently to securely attach any partitions you put in an aquarium with 2 fighting fish, good to know. Another's moral was, I guess, don't get a job as a radio station advertising guy, because the job requires you to become a raging alcoholic. I guess. All 3 didn't have endings, they just stopped. Funny work by the riffers, though.
      We ourselves stopped and went to pick up our Indian food, a whopping 50 minutes after we ordered it. Hell of a long wait time, but it was already sitting there and clearly had been for a while. Kev said he was told "Pick it up no later than 5:40," not when it would be ready. Bit of a language barrier there.
      I remembered Mesa of Lost Women as "so bad it's funny," but I guess my memory was faulty. It's hard to imagine watching it without riffing. I assume I was riffing on it myself, and cracking me up. It was 70 minutes, but it easily could have been a short of 20 minutes. I've never seen a movie with so much staring. There must've been 10 minutes or more of shots of actors silently staring, usually in lingering closeups. Another 10 minutes were spent with the characters slowly (and I mean slower than "Rock climbing, Joel. Rock climbing" slowly) walking from a crashed plane, only to turn around and walk back.
      The "plot," if you'd call it that, is told in a flashback that's in a flashback, often to things the back-flasher could not have known about. With an omniscient narrator who's so unctuous and fauxloquent (he uses big words and thinks he's eloquent) that Plan 9's Criswell would've shaken his head. A scientist goes to a mesa to meet another scientist and his bevy of staring bathing beauties. Mad scientist explains he's created human-spider hybrid women, who have human intelligence if staring blankly counts. Sane scientist then refuses, after seeing the Only Special Effect, a giant tarantula. Actually, we first see the spider sexily wave a hairy leg from behind a changing screen. So mad scientist injects sane scientist with insanity juice, and he drops out of the plot. He's played by former child actor/future Uncle Fester Jackie Coogan and gets top billing and then just disappears.
      Then somehow Mad Sane scientist escapes from an asylum we didn't see him committed to (how'd he get from the Mesa?) the Muerto State Asylum. It's in Mexico, so why wouldn't it have a calming name like Death? He's later chased down by a guy in a car that says "Henderson's Sanitarium," so maybe that name cost them some business. A rich jerk and his jerk bride-to-be arrive in the same shitty bar that Mad Sane has gone to and--remarkably--the floor show is put on by one of Mad Mad's spider girls! Hey, even human-tarantula chimeras need jobs, amigo! Also, there is an Asian guy who talks in oblique Confucian Wise Sayings because, because Asian is because, and he's working with Spider Gal. Nurse George from Muerterson's Asylatarium next appears to capture Mad Sane, who's now a psychopathic killer and has a gun but they all stop to watch Spider Girl do a sexy spaz-dance. Did I say watch?


      I meant stare. I can't stress the staring part enough. This dance scene goes on for at least 5 minutes, and it's just her doing the Dance of Her People, by which I mean the dance a spider might do if dropped onto a hot waffle iron, while we get closeups of staring like that. Who's the more bug-eyed one? And it had been this way all movie. By the end of the scene I said "The Visine budget on this movie must've been enormous!"
      Mad Sane shoots her, apparently channeling the wishes of the audience, and takes Rich Jerk, Bride Jerk, Asian and George prisoner. To the airplane that RJ and BJ--wait, that's too close to one of my cat's names, make that Jerk and Jerkina--were taking to their wedding but made a forced landing and Dr Crazycakes takes the pilot hostage and forces him to fly despite the one bad engine and the plane goes off course and the engine dies just as they reach the Lost Mesa of What The Fuck?! That was Dr Spider's plan to kidnap Mad Sane?! Hope he escapes the Asylum Now Under New Management, go to the same bar Spider Spaz is having her seizures in, hope he hooks up with a random couple of jerks who just happen to have a plane that breaks down nearby and they go to the same bar, and hope Mad Sane has a gun and decides to hijack them in the wrong direction, and have the engine die just as they were flying over his stupid mesa that also probably smells bad, despite the fact they all could die in the crash landing? You couldn't send your unkillable lady spiders to just kidnap him in the first place? If you wanted him so bad, why'd you make him insane and let him escape? Trust me, all this will be explained.
      That's all I say about the plot, because that's all there is about the plot. Plane crashes, they bicker, they walk slowly, Jerkina loses a comb and everyone but plane pilot, Jerkina and Sane Mad die. 65 minutes into the 70 minute movie, they meet Mad Spider Guy and his spiderbabes and dwarfs, he injects Sane Mad with his magic potion that makes him sane again (wha-a-at?!), Sane Mad immediately grabs 2 unmarked bottles of chemicals right next to him that he instantly mixes into some explosive (you can tell it's bad! There's dry ice in it!), pilot and Jerkina escape, but everyone else just stands there like idiots and they explode The End. Or--IS IT?!
      How was it all explained? This article explains some questions Kev and I came up with. It's mainly just describing the movie's "plot" in detail, but from Comments to the title card, it gives a brief history of the film's production. As I emailed Kev:

      The "cobbled together from 2 separate movies" things becomes obvious in retrospect. It was supposed to be some steamy D-movie film noir about a love triangle that got retconned into a movie "about" spider women, with Smarmy Narrator dubbed in. The dive bar through "Everybody dies before meeting Spider Guy" bits were from the original. It uses enough of the original elements and actors that it's not as blatantly ovbious as Monster-A-Go-Go or They Saved Hitler's Brain (2 far more watchable bad movies). You might want to read that part of the article to find out what made me hunt this stinker down all those years ago: It was rumored to be an uncredited Edward D. Wood movie, and there are an amazing amount of connections between the 2. Smarmy Narrator was in Plan 9, for one, but there are many others.
      This is one of those "How did they find the strength to mock this shit?" movies. I have no idea how I made it through this the first time by myself. If you want to try, it's Netflixable and also watchable here.
      Ha ha ha! "Watchable"!!


      Hey, there's going to be a new X-Men movie! It's going to be made by


      the same guys who made Mesa of Lost Women!



      "Is the Messenger of God--gay?!"
      "Yes, he is!"
      --authentic 10th century dialogue.
      I imagine that if you cared, you've already seen that idiotic anti-Muslim video that's led to riots and deaths. Today NPR finally named it beyond "an obscure American film," rather than the more accurate "OMG what a piece of SHIT!" It's here if you want to hurt your brain.
      It's too bad that this was dubbed into Arabic, because in English, it's hate speech, but HILARIOUSLY AWFUL. They blew the whole budget on fake beards, and green scenes where a guy in a dark dungeon talks to the guy right across from him, who's in a sunlit desert. All the Muslims are pedophiles molesting little girls, except when they're gay fags molesting each other. According to this article, one of the "actors" was in gay porn before he was involved in this.      Watch it and you'll see why everyone was kept in the dark: Every single line attacking Islam or Mohammed was ineptly dubbed in later, making it one the few movies filmed in English that were dubbed into English.
      Interesting that it suddenly came to light just before the election, when Romney is pretending that it proves that Obama is bad at foreign policy, and when Romney wants to expand corporate welfare "defense" spending.

      For those who don't want to get hate speech in their peanut butter, this gives a good enough example of that bile's fine production values and level of reasoned discourse:




      And so ends another September vacation. Sick every day, just less sick than the other ones. Jess theorized that it's either a ragweed allergy, or stressing that I'm going to get sick that makes me sick.

      Anyway, today's prly the worst it's been, as I'm just as ill, but now it hasn't gone away, so I'll just rip myself off for a post, then watch a movie and go to bed. Scary Warner Bros. Costumes is the name of the post, but aren't Tom & Jerry MGM, and Scooby Doo Hanna Barbera? Maybe they were bought out. Anyway, here's the picture:


      There's a lot to dislike about these. The most obvious is that it's a Scooby Anaconda about to swallow a toddler whole. A Great Dane-aconda? AconaDog? Or the Tom & Jerry costumes, where they have clearly murdered the titular duo and skinned them, wearing their pelts to absorb their mighty powers of well-nigh-invulnerability. Tom's last facial expression before death is clearly "How did this happen? I've survived multiple grand piano impacts!" Did the smiling tots first eat Tom & Jerry's hearts to gain their strengths? OF COURSE THEY DID. Also, a Shaggy costume is just a crappy green tshirt and a bad hipster beard? Zoinks, you paid for that?
      My comment on the thread was:

      Good luck unseeing that.



      Bear in mind that sometimes I use this space to write about things I need to recall years later, such as changes in my health. This is one of those times. Also: shitting.
      The first day back to work after is generally no fun, but you how your foot feels when it falls asleep? My whole head felt that way yesterday.
      Not because of work per se, but I was really sick from whatever it is I get in Septembers now. Three people say it's a ragweed allergy, so I guess that's what I'll ask the doctor. I can barely remember what I did yesterday, and have no memory of the commute home. 17.5 miles at 70-75 MPH, that's reassuring. I spent the day switching between a couple of hours violently puking and pooping, then an hour sleeping and apparently sweating. I wore the same undershirt to work today and hoo-whee, was it odiferous. Not sure if those are allergy symptoms or not, but I felt a lot better today when the heavy rains came in and swept away the pollen.
      Hopefully tomorrow's post will be less shitcentric.


      For those who read this for Bill Health Status Updates, you're in luck! You are. Not me.
      Slept way too much again, woke up ill again, had armpits that smelled like dead herring, again. I seriously don't get that last one. I may sweat, but I don't stink. Even a vigorous shower required not just shampoo lather, but body wash to make it go away/cover it up. DJ fell asleep in my lap beforehand, but maybe cats like the smell of dead herring. Maybe it's the fact that the only food I've been able to force down the last 2 days has been eggs?
      Although I have eaten corn on the cob. More free ones from customers at work. Unlike the previous freebies, corn early in the season during a drought, these were not scrawny little ears. I needed the big boiling pot. It took a long time to heat last time, and I realized I'd put it on a small burner. Today I put it on the big one. It immediately began to smoke. Must've spilled something on it, like olive oil or Pam. DJ snuggled in my lap, and I felt much better. Not just for his company or my lack of cartoon stink lines, but because I'd taken some old Zyrtec anti-allergy pills. Eight years old. Old enough to be in grade school. That's not dangerous; meds just lose efficacy over time. Expiration dates are only when they lose 10% efficacy, because drug manufacturers want you to throw them out and buy more. So it was pretty weak, but it worked despite my assumption it'd do nothing. Proves it's an allergy, I assume.
      Boy, that damn burner's throwing off a lot of smoke! I need to get DJ out of my lap and turn the fan on, before the smoke detectors go o--
      Actual flames, on fire, under the burner! I moved the pot, grabbed a glass of water out of the fridge, and doused it, spilling water on the otherwise clueless, sleeping Byron. SORRY!
      Then SORRY, Killsy! As 2 smoke detectors began screaming. I turned one off, turned the other off, turned the first one off again, repeat as necessary.
      What was burning? A bottle cap had fallen under the burner. How hot do the damn things get that metal bursts into flame? Thanks to the acrid stench, I remembered that bottle caps have a small plastic lining inside.
      It took an hour and 2 fans to air that stink out. But at least it wasn't coming from my pits.
      This concludes today's Bill Health Status Update.

      The Onion AV Club looks at that movie no one saw, The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon [film merchandising] Adventure.

      Your Memory Is Like the Telephone Game, Altered With Each Retelling. "Your memory of an event can grow less precise even to the point of being totally false with each retrieval."



      Working in retail isn't something to brag about, but I make good money (for retail) (or: outside of retail, not good money). But I am glad of 2 things: I've never worked in food service or had to get a second job, or had to work for a drunken lunatic (I did say 2 things).
      Two of my full time coworkers have second jobs. One has $50K of credit card debt (that she's making no attempt to pay down), and the other--not sure why. She says she's "helping out her mom," a schoolteacher that she lives with. So, no or not much rent. She certainly doesn't have to worry about a car payment, as she has neither a car or (at 27) a driver's license. Personally, I think a big factor with both of them is that they just don't know the first thing about handling money.
      First thing about handling money: There is a huge difference between Want and Need. Heard on the news today: woman camped out in line for the iPhone5 said "Me and my friend can't wait 2 or 3 weeks to get one! We need it now!" She and her friend have inoperable Stage IV cancer, and the iPhone's slightly larger screen cures that. I hope that it wasn't cancer of the shallow materialist gland, because it will only make that worse.
      Anyway, my coworker complains about not having money, but she refuses to brown bag her work lunch. She buys takeout, which A: Isn't healthy usually, and B: Seriously? You're not that worried about money, then. A coupla weeks ago she bought a tray from the overpriced sushi place. I've seen their menu, and a 6 piece is like $9.99. She bought the 15 piece tray. How much does that cost? $15? $25? It was in the cooler the next day. Out of 15 pieces, she'd eaten four. I thought, I know it's been at 38 degrees since she put it in here, but it is raw fish. How long does it keep? She came into work, ate a piece, made a face, threw it all out. Nice investment!
      Yesterday, she bought another tray. Today, it was in the cooler. Well, at least this time, she must've had 7 pieces and only left 2 pieces. I wonder how many were in it to begin wi--Why does this tray weigh so much? (opens it) She bought--the THIRTY PIECE ONE?
      I know tomorrow she'll throw it out, so I helped myself and had 7 pieces. I'll tell her and offer her $5 for what would've ended up as garbage anyway. She'll get $5 and not a lecture, just "Sorry. I should've asked but you'd already left, here's $5. The sushi's probably not good anymore anyway."
      I doubt she'll get the point I'll be trying to make.


      9/23I always lived very frugally. I flew around on a private jet. I had a boat. But I always lived very frugally.--billionaire financier and alleged Ponzi scheme operator Allen Stanford


--conversation in a big box computer store




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