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"You don't live by bread alone, sometimes you gotta have toast."
-- Biff Rose

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9/14/15

      Hey, I'm on vacation. I spent day one mostly asleep.
      Today, my DSL has been mostly asleep. I tried everything on this end, and then called the phone company. It's just the internet; sucks that this happened when normally I'd be at work, but I can find other things to do. I really just wanted to make sure it wasn't a hardware issue in my house. The guy had such a calm monotone that I truly thought "Wow, voice recognition technology today is really advanced," before it was clear he was human.
      "Connecticut, yeah, we had some problems overnight. You're in Vernon, oh yeah. There was that big fire last night." Which made me sit bolt upright. Good Friend Lily was just evacuated from her house in NoCal because of a terrible wildfire with her aged father, and had to leave her cats behind, not knowing that she'd soon be banned from returning. But he meant it in the figurative sense. "We're still putting out the little fires. It will definitely be fixed by 3PM tomorrow." Well, my fire's been out since then. So it was worth the call. Not the brief heart attack. "Denny's had a grease fire, and the center of town looks like 1945 Dresden! Why, it seems like World War Two was just moments ago..." (flashback music plays, deedle deedle deedelee)

      Look at this thing!

      

      In early WWII, New Zealand took a fucking farm tractor and literally put a toolshed on it, and expected people to go to battle in--
      Apparently I've already covered this.
      Bobby the Not-Tank was not alone. In the 1930s, Europe went for tankettes! Little baby tanks that look like something Bowser might drive in Super Mario Kart.

      

      Awww! These could be posted on Cute Overload with the title "Tankettes are REDONKULOUS!" and be described as "Totally Adorbs!" It's like the Boy Scouts are attacking you at the soapbox derby!
      Can you spot the tiny, tiny design flaw in these?

      

      Yes. Those are inadequate bike helmets.
      You're at the front line, and suddenly a dozen of these Matchbox Cars of Doom race towards you! At their top speed of 20 MPH! Which is faster than...19 MPH. "Oh no!" say you. "This metal centaur man's crotch deflects my rifle's bullets! We shall certainly be shot to death by its dinky lil' gun! If only there was some way, SOME WAY, I could point my gun 2 feet higher! ...Oh right, they're called 'elbows'."
      BANG and goodbye tankette driver. I like to think that he'd fall over and hit the gas pedal and then his tankette would chase you all over the battlefield while Benny Hill music plays.
      Tankettes--oh boy, I love that name, tankettes! I'm so a-scared! Was "Tanky-poo" already taken?--were, as you see from that image of the model kit, ubiquitious before the war, and also the only armored vehicle that could be taken out by a well-aimed rock. They were too small to have both turrets and popguns, so one had to turn the entire weaponized Rascal scooter to aim the peashooter. Plenty of time for your enemy to run up, shake a bottle of Coke, and spray it in your face. Then he takes you out by hitting you with a stick.
      I admit, it would have to be a big stick.
      Under further reflection, this is the only tank-like object that could be defeated by hiding on an overpass, then standing up and peeing on the driver. Then your fellow frat boy friend beans the guy with a can of Natty Light, and you yell "DUDE that was our last beer!" and the tankette crashes and you go grab the pee-soaked beer anyway, and use a Sharpie to draw dicks on the guy. War really does bring out the worst in all of us.
      I'm sorry that you will never again hear the word "tankette" without hearing Benny Hill music. On the plus side, you've never heard the word before now, and will never hear it again.
      It's my vacation, so indulge me. I will write about stupid tanks ALL WEEK (aka, until I get tired of it). Yes, there are more than one.

      "Tankette!"

      

      

9/15

      My net went out for good last night, and still wasn't on when I got up. After a frustrating half hour of trying to connect, wham bam, internet ma'am. I guess they fixed it.
      Then I got a call from the tech. He said "Hi, this is Bill." I said "This is also Bill." He offered to come over and check the line anyway, but I said "I'll be leaving for a doctor's appointment by then." "Keep my number; I'm always in the area." I thanked him.
      And 10 minutes later, guess what...
      And 10 minutes after that, it was back up.
      The doctor's visit went well. He said that it was possible that the Prozac kicked in after 2 days, as it shouldn't take longer than 1-2 weeks. So I guess I'm successfully on it. I seem to have more mental clarity and not freak out like I used to. He hugged me goodbye again, because he is awesome.
      And the connection has gone off again. Until it didn't, half an hour later, dammit, annoying. Not sure if Bill should call Bill or not.

9/16

      My new ritual, performed every minute I'm awake, is to see how many green lights my modem has.
      After dragging myself out of bed this morning--more accurately, being dragged out by DJ stomping on me and licking me and Killsy yelling "BREAKFAST NAOW PLEASE!!"--it was all of them. Then I refreshed Gmail, and then BANG! Or whatever the sound is when your DSL goes down--"droop," maybe? Me saying "GODDAMMIT!" perhaps?
      I spent half an hour trying to bring that back up. Then I said "Reboot before you call tech support," and that didn't do anything. They said it wasn't anything on their end, so they'll send a tech tomorrow. Well, it doesn't hurt to reboot a second time...
      GODDAMMIT. Now it's up! This has to be a hardware issue on my end.
      The tech called before I could reach the phone, and didn't leave a number. So I bought groceries. 5 minutes after getting home, I decided I should get some People's Choice Pizza Soviet Hot to Trotsky wings, burning hotter than a panzer that just met an Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik. So hot, it'd be like a Sturmovik dive-bombing my stomach-vik! Then the tech called again, like 9 minutes before I was to pick up People's production quota of wings (Slogan: "Ready in 30 minutes or we all go to the Gulag!").
      I explained, and he said "I can give you a new modem. I'm in front of your place now."
      "I'll be right down," I said, as I was getting wings, and if you're late, People's has a big show trial. "I have let down Great Leader Stalin by my wing-pick-upping negligence, and also once wasted an entire potato."
      Jeff was an affable guy, about my age. He explained how to set the modem up, quickly did the transaction on his laptop, and handed it to me through his truck's window. "It's wifi."
      "I'm not set up for wifi."
      "You are now! Go get your pizza, I'll wait."
      I noted his treasonous assumption that I would get anything but wings, but I was in a generous mood, and ordered only his grandmother sent to Siberia. I hooked up the modem as fast as I could, in my Jerry Lewis spastic way ("The cable goes WHERE oh LAYDEE!"). And it worked. I thanked him and he tried to shake me with the wrong hand--a sure sign of a counter-revolutionary--but so magnimious was I in my kindness, decided to have his children not killed in front of him. In the next room over, sure, but I'm that kind of Stalinist. My wings were getting cold, but I'm not a monster.
      Do I have wifi? Dunno, Copper! That light and the DSL ones are on. It didn't ask me for a password, so I guess not? I went back to browsing, which didn't seem any different, so I guess I'm still on DSL
      OH MY LACK OF GOD-DAMMIT!
      I got an error screen. No connection. And I guess I don't have wifi, as that light stayed on and he DSL went red.
      The never-before seen error screen said "click here," and I did. And did. And did again. NKVD-DAMMIT! Then, BANG! like a firing squad, the connection was back. Well, that's an improvement over the last few days anyway.
      The tank jokes are still coming ("OH BOY SUPAH COOL" says that one reader who sticks bamboo under his fingernails then sets it on fire), but the Fascinating Story, Epic in Scope, Cast of Thousands, of Bill's Connectivity Issues obviously has taken precedence. On the plus side, you have probably seen every "joke about Stalinist Russia" you will see for weeks.

9/18

      Hey, speaking of friends, I got together with one today! You'll never guess who!

      

      TA-DAAA!
      Man, you just keep falling for that one, don't you?

      Okay, that's a bad picture, first time using the new camera. I was supposed to get together and junk shop with Jess today, but she had something come up.

      

      

      

      Yeah, pretty rude of her, asking me to BATHE IN KITTENY GLORY. I reluctantly accepted haha I almost hired a helicopter to get me there as soon as I heard.

      

      The adult cats were gone--they're farm cats and work for a living. They were there so the mothers could nurse the wee tots. And everyone get spayed or neutered, so this doesn't happen again. These are 3 litters, now aged 2 to 4 weeks. "Make sure to wear clothes that can get dirty. Kittens are very messy!!! Especially these!"

      

      I wore a pair of old work jeans that, if the crotch was ripped any worse, would be more like chaps, but I held on to just in case I needed to do something sloppy.

      

      And sloppy it was. These guys had food all over their faces, and their paws, and sometimes their butts, and I don't even know how you do that. Even the youngest could use the litter box by now. Their wet food stank worse than the box. The garage door was open, and the nonstop buzzing of flies made me feel like I was at a landfill. Jess had a tennis racket-sized electric fly swatter, and a lot of flies met their match in her. The Insecticidal Serena Williams. (Her neighbors across the street raise chickens, and ever since they moved in, flies have been everywhere)
      They were super friendly little guys. They ate and played and crawled all over us, then ate again. Two of the wobbly-legged 2 week olds especially, who kept going to their plates and pushing each other out of the way to eat from the same spot, even if this meant lying in perfectly good food. Siblings, am I right?
      "What are they eating?" Jess asked the farmer. "I dunno. We give them cow milk." Jess told me "You can't imagine what kitten diarrhea smells like!" When she went to pick this whole crew up--again, 26!--"It was chicken slaughter day. On the sidewalk was a chicken's head. They had this big dog, and he was real good with all the cats, even the kittens. I turned my back on him and heard 'crunch, crunch' and he ate the chicken head! It's eyeball popped out! I started dry heaving." You may recall a month ago, when this same woman wanted to break into a chapel to take home a dead bat.

      

      The 2-weekers sometimes still need bottling feeding.
      After a couple of hours flew by, I complained about that still smelly, awful wet food. She said "I don't smell the food--I think that's their poop. Kitten poop doesn't smell like cat poop." I was truly getting nauseous at this point, so we went outside for some fresh air, and to let the kittens calm down and sleep. We talked for a while, as her neighbor's rooster screamed.
      It was a long hour's drive home. My clothes smelled like kitten scat. I wish I'd brought a change, and just burned the ones I was wearing in her fireplace.

9/20

9/21

9/22

      Stupidest Things Calendar, "TUNE-A-FISH." Did you not get that? Crimeny.

      Speaking of stupid:
      Coworker, to customer: "Are you going to The Big E"? (This is New England's big harvest fair thing)
      Customer: "I've never been there. But I've been to the Texas State Fair!"
      Coworker: "Where's that? In Texas?"

      I went to the Big E exactly once, 40 years ago. The only attractions I remember besides the stinky cows, gross food and terrible rides were "Bonnie and Clyde's Death Car" and "Hitler's Limousine." Oddly, I found that a car in which two people had been machine-gunned to death and the luxury auto of a guy who had half of Europe machine-gunned to death were not things I wanted to see. My father was very disappointed in me.

9/24

      Yeah, the site was down. I checked at work to make sure it wasn't just me, then got home and, yep, still down. I grabbed the phone to call those lackapates at ReadyHosting again. 10 minutes later, I decided "I don't want to be on the phone for the next hour" and went to the online "Complain Here Yeah We Pretty Much Suck" hotline. I went back to get the exact wording of the error message ("You are not authorized to view this page, and you will never be loved by another human") and the page was up. I shouldn't have to pay for 32 hours of nothing, but whatever.

      At work, the Emergency Alert System came on. A beautiful day, so I thought "just a test" as I went into the beer cooler. When I came out, it was still running. Something about the alert area covering everything from Rhode Island to New Jersey? Whaaa?
      The radio was turned down way low--everyone hates the only stations we can play, how many fucking times can you hear "Rock Me Like a Hurricane" in a week, so I turned it up. Eh, no biggie, it's just
      A TSUNAMI.
      I said "This has got to be prerecorded message they sent out by mistake," and it was. The Morning Loudmouthed Idiot Show for Other Idiots played this all up, once they realized it was a goof. "Maybe a REALLY FAT GUY jumped in the OCEAN HAHAHA" was a typical little slice of wit. Hey, DJs, maybe you've sliced your wits a little too thin.

      Since my every thought--unlike those radio DJs--is as precious as gold or really nice weasels, here I post something I put on Facebook because is funny thinks I.

      Okay, so you're just walking around Bespin, under one of those Cloud Cities, and then you hear somebody scream "You're not my father aahhh" and you look up, and you get hit in the face with some jerk's severed hand.
      What do you do?
      A: Swear an eternal quest for vengeance against the hand! Since it's just lying there on the ground, you kick it. FEEL GOOD NOW TOUGH GUY?
      B: Call Dinkelmush Slud, Jedi Lawyer, whose ad you saw on the side of that Space Bus! He looks trustworthy. He has 13 eyeballs and a walrus head, which is on his foot.
      C: Say "Forcedammit! I should stop walking under these Cloud Cities! I know how they flush their Sky Toilets!" Then dodge some really huge Wookiee poop. To be extra funny, you say "It must have been corn on the cob night!" You then swear an eternal quest for vengeance against Wookiee corn on the cob nights. The first Wookiee you meet kills you with a stick of melted butter.
      D: Sell it on spaceBay. Fuck you, that was in the Expanded Universe. It was in that novel, "Darth Needs Cash." Or sell it on Space CraigsList, which you title "NEED A HAND??"
      E: Hope there isn't a prequel about this.

9/25

      A customer came to the register with a single can of beer.
      ME: "Hi!"
      HIM: "Yes."
      "Is that it?"
      "Yes."
      "Okay, that's $1.05."
      "Yes." He's wearing gloves, even though it's not cold out. He takes off a glove to give me $1.10, then immediately puts the glove back on.
      I ring it through and put the can in a bag. He says "Yes," even though my mouth-parts haven't said anything.
      "Here's your change."
      "Yes." He takes his glove off for his nickel.
      "You have a nice day!"
      "Yes." I thought, Well, you're certainly an agreeable fellow. Then he put his gloves back on, and I notice that they're actually socks.

9/30

      The NOAA weather radio uses a text-to-voice software that keeps calling hurricane Joaquin "Joke-Win." I suppose that it's better than the times it calls Cape Cod "Cape C.O.D."

      Yes, long time no post. Let's just leave it at the fact I had to call Jessica from work while having a panic attack. She talked me down (she gets them, too). It happened Saturday, but here it is Weds and I still have no idea whether I have a job. I didn't burn the store down, it was a fuck-up and nothing more, but this is how my brain works.
      At the end I changed the subject and asked how her clowder of kittens was doing. She laughed, and said she's moved them into the house, as they're less messy now. "Less" of course, is not the same as "not." One tried to vault the child barrier she has set up in the door, and "He pooped himself in midair! This big shart came out, and as soon as I thought 'He's going to land right in it and slip around,' he did!" Kittens are wonderful, but they're also huge slobs.

      Per request, here are some not-kittens, from the first time I tried out the new camera.

      

      

      

      

      

      I suppose I should eat. One would think that 3 yogurts and 4 hot wings over 4 days would be enough food for anyone.
      Yeah, Prozac, you may not be cutting it.

10/1

      I finally worked with the owner after the Saturday disaster, and he said...nothing. It wasn't even mentioned. So, yeah, a day of panic and a week of worry, all for nothing.

10/3

      The best thing about a day of work is leaving it.
      Thursday I got home 20 minutes late on a drive that should only be 20 minutes, thanks to a pointless construction detour. Then, the AC unit I had on the day before due to the humidity had to be wrestled from the window because overnight it was going to drop into the 40s.
      Friday, it took 30 minutes extra to get home because...reasons? Traffic was at a standstill, with no cause I ever discovered. When I got home, the computer had a window saying "You must update your Yahoo software. This will replace your home page with Yahoo and make Yahoo your default search engine and Chrome your default browser." Well, thanks for detailing the utter chaos you were about to unleash. Will Yahoo will also steal my car and set it on fire? Oddly, there was no "Ask me later" or even "Cancel" button, just "Continue." Yeah, fuck you, I haven't even updated iTunes in 6 months because I don't want to spend the next day removing garbage and getting my computer back to normal. I right-clicked the window to close it in the tray, thinking "WTF 'software' does Yahoo have anyway?" I was really annoyed to see that, without me doing anything, it had changed my homepage.
      After reading a comment from Lilly--"Uhm...something has happened...with part of the new News now being ?replaced? by ?last month's? News...time vortex...spinning out of control...must reverse the polarity of the neutron flow...the ship's dilithium crystals are deteriorating...or, y'know, the usual culprit, ReadyHosting, if not a mistyped bit of HTML...?" I checked here and thought "Huh, I don't see what she's talking about," I made it through 90 minutes before the DSL light on my brand new modem turned red. After doing everything I could think of--like I did when the last modem decided to route itself to Valhalla--I called Frontier.
      They have very nice customer service reps. I sure talked to them long enough to find out.
      I spent 1.75 hours with one guy, who tried every possible thing he could and put up with my general cluelessness. I apologized for using so much of his time, and he said "This is a learning experience for me." Yeah, I love to push the envelope of dopey customers. I asked him about the Yahoo ad, and he said that wasn't it. Until he finally said "You have a lot of malware."
      Rep #2 only talked to me long enough to verify that I needed someone to remotely clean up my computer, and of course that costs money ($15, so not a lot, but it probably will turn out to be a monthly fee; they didn't say). Rep #3 just took over. I plugged my iPod into the boombox and watched him move my cursor around for an hour. Nice that one of the main things he did (that I paid for) used "AntiMalwareBytes Free Edition."
      So I was up for about an hour more, then went to bed. I didn't do a lot of browsing yesterday, but missing a few articles on Cracked isn't going to kill me. Unless I missed titled "BILL FALLING PIANO AT 3 OCLOCK!"
      Was it Readyhosting? I don't know. I haven't downloaded anything, so I have no idea where Yahoo's Evil Twin came from.

10/4

10/5

      Rogue, a brewery noted for its odd beers, has come out with the first seasonal beer brewed for "Movember": Beard Beer. It's made from the finest ingredients, including yeast from the brewmaster's...beard. Makes you wonder about the guy's personal hygeine regimen. Might also be some old soup in there.
      It could've been worse! At least it wasn't from his girlfriend's yeast infection. They could call that "Bearded Clam Beer."
      I never said this page was anything but the classiest!

10/6

10/8

      Maybe I've already talked about the new trend in beers, Participation Mystique. This is (what I call it) when you can't get a beer, so you want it. As soon as everybody can get it--you know, not just magnificent you, but some average slob, then no one wants it. Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, Grey Sail's Captain's Daughter, something called Heady Topper or Hedy Lamarr's Torpedo, I don't know. Nobody wants the beers we have from these guys. How are you going to lord it over your equally assholish friends then?
      Of course, we charge what the market will bear. Most beer is sold at a 23% markup, which is nothing much. Sip of Sunshine? Yeah, twice that. $15.99 for FOUR BEERS. (We had a tasting the first time we got that, verdict: 2 "It's okay," 1 "Meh," and 1 "Disgusting!") So everybody's trying for this new market.
      Vermont's Long Trail is getting in on this, with "Space Juice." Which I immediately mentally pronounced a la Space Ghost, "SPAAAAACE--JUUUUUUICE!"
      It's 10.2% alcohol, which is a lot. It also assures us that "Contains No Juice." But I already put it in my 2 year old's sippie cup! No wonder he got aggressive and waved his pacifier at me, squeaking in anger "Does Little Toby have to cut a bitch?!"

10/9

10/10

      Jessica just had another successful feral rescue mission, adding 5 kittens to her already crowded clowder. The current kitten count is now eighteen.
      "Her husband must be a patient man," you may be thinking. Well, no, he isn't. When Ron first heard that Jess was taking 13 kittens home, "he squealed like a little girl!" and blew off his post-work plans to lie on the floor, covered in kittens.

      The store had a tasting for Jack Daniel's Honey, done by the distributor. It's expensive, but tasty. Expensive, but the guy doing it sold a good amount of bottles. Of course, he bribed every potential buyer with freebies, mainly tshirts and some metal mugs.
      It used to be that store employees would get something, usually shirts, but today, that might take 50 cents of off the CEO's $5M quarterly bonus. He left us the stuff that no one would really want, stuff he literally could not give away. This turned out be some giant foam fingers, for people who want to wave "I LOVE BOOZE" for no reason. Some college kids came in for kegs, so I said to them "Can I give you the finger?" And they were actually pretty excited to get them. Dorm decor, or just something to goof around with at the party (they put them on and started finger fencing).
      While we were ringing them up, they discussed other things they needed to get. "Dude, we're totally out of toilet paper!" I wonder in what condition those fingers will be in tomorrow...
      The rep also left socks. Yes, Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks. I just bought socks this week, so damn straight I took all 3 pairs. Free is free! And it's not like I can fit my shoes on with my foot in a foam finger.

10/12

      I am not a morning person. I have to get up at 7AM twice a week to go to work, and I hate that (getting up, not work--okay, I hate that too). But lately, on the days I can sleep in, I wake up feeling crappy, and just sort of hide in bed while hoping it goes away. Eventually, I force myself up, and today I noticed that I always feel better after about 20 minutes. Today I thought, This has been going on for about 2 months--or, since I started taking Prozac. The first thing I do after getting up is to take my meds. Which take about 20 minutes to get into the bloodstream...
      I wouldn't think that waiting an additional 2 hours would matter, but I guess I have something I can experiment with.

      Yesterday, I tried on my Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks. They're...unusual. I thought "These look long" before I opened the package. I thought "These are freakin' knee socks" after I did. They fit my men's size 7.5 feet perfectly. Too perfectly, as if they wouldn't fit any sizes much smaller. They were so tight, it was actually kinda hard to stretch them up my legs. While pretty much the only muscular part of my body is my legs (have a job where you walk 1.5 miles every hour, so will you), they're not like tree trunks. Who are these for? Maybe...they're girl's athletic socks? For something where one wears shorts, but still needs socks being covered to the knees that will never fall down? Like...I have no idea. When I was in high school during the late Pliestocene, the only "girl sports" were lacrosse and field hockey. But I don't think your high school's going to think too highly of your Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks if you're under 21. No wonder the only way the guy could give them away was to abandon them.
      In what I think is unrelated news, I have a big blister forming on my pinkie toe. Unrelated unless Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks come with a free bee packed inside.
      Michael Caine: "But the Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks have always been our friends!"
      General Dick: "My pinkie toe--blistered! Will history blame me--OR THE SOCK BEES?".

10/13

      Yesterday I was talking about one of the greatest movies of all time, depending on what metric you measure it on, The Swarm. (Said metric would be pointing at the screen and laughing) Too bee fair (GEDDIT?), here's Marvel's evil bad person, Swarm.

      

      He is a radioactive Nazi skeleton made of bees.
      In case you missed that, he's a radioactive Nazi skeleton made of bees.
      No, his skeleton was not made of bees! That would be as ridiculous as a nuclear power plant exploding in a mushroom cloud because some guy sat on the giant red "EXPLODE IN MUSHROOM CLOUD" button, with his ass. (It was the ass of Richard Chamberlain)
      The bees made up the muscles on his skeleton. Next time I think negative thoughts about my job, I'm going to say "At least I'm not one the bees forming that guy's glove hands!"
      He had the power of bees. Not like Spider-Man, who has the proportional powers of a spider, so why no one's ever killed him with a rolled-up People magazine is a mystery. No, Swarm...shot bees at you. He could fly, which makes me glad I'm also not a bee trying to carry that jerk's hoodie aloft. Fly, and is made of bees, wow, impressive. They're mutant bees, so why this guy never was recruited by Magneto into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is another question for the ages. They had guys whose powers were based on being a Blob and a Toad.
      MAGNETO: "What talents will you bring to this company--OF EVIL?"
      "I can catch flies with my tongue!"
      "I have the proportional powers of a slob made of cellulite!"
      "YOU'RE IN! And you?"
      "I'm made of bees!"
      "Hmm. If the bees are gone, does your skeleton taste like Jack Daniels Honey liqueur?"
      "I, umm, I've never actually licked my skeleton. I have no tongue."
      "Then...how are you talking?"
      "I have a bee tongue. It's made of bees."
      "Oh, good, I thought that horrible buzzing when you spoke was my tinnitus acting up. We'll be in touch."
      "I'm also a NAZI!"
      "YOU'RE--Well, isn't that interesting. Toad, how hungry are you?"
      TOAD: "MMM, honey barbecue!"

      

      Speaking of mutants, here's a story about the SR-71 spyplane (the X-Men had one, so...segue?) It's entertaining, but not what the clickbait headline says: Most Amazing Story Ever THIS IS GOLD No Seriously, Click Here and Actual Gold Will Come from Your Compooter and I Sure Hope Blackbeard's Ghost Isn't Around When You Do, Hoo Boy! I hate ghosts

      Bee holding up Swarm's hoodie: "Beejus Christ, this weighs a lot! Hey, drones, why are we even doing this?!" (throw clothes off)
      Swarm: "AAH I'm totally naked! Well, except for all the bees on my radioactive Nazi skelet--HEY! Where are you guys going?! If you leave, I'm just a normal, boring old radioactive Nazi skeleton that can talk! You're limiting my job prospects!" (plummets to the ground)

      

      

10/14

      The Democratic presidential debate was yesterday. General online consensus: Bernie aced it, Hilary was a close second, why are these other doofuses even running? I had my own Facebook commentary.
      All the networks would've cut away from it to a story about Trump screaming "I JUST HAD A WET FART!"
      "And just how wet was Trump's fart? Analysis from our experts begins now. Janet?"
      "Bob, we could see it on the back of his pants, dripping down his legs. Another triumph for Trump! His poll numbers among likely Republican voters just jumped 29 points, but slightly less among Republicans who know what the word 'voter' means."
      "Janet, how is he doing with his key demographic of non-voters who pound sticks on rocks while screaming 'KILL THE OTHERS ARRRGH!!'?"
      "They're pounding those sticks on those rocks pretty hard, Bob. I'd hate to be a rock right now!"
      "Ha ha ha!"
      "Yes, Bob. Ha ha ha, indeed."

10/15

      I suppose it's become a cliche to even point this out, but today I heard my first Christmas radio ad while putting away the first Xmas-packaged beer.

10/16

10/17

10/19

10/20

10/22

      Prozac is not my friend.
      I'll just leave it at that--it's supposed to make me feel better, not worse. I wake up every morning feeling sick, I have mood swings, it's given me the clarity to find a brand new reason to blow the back of my head off. ("Jess might still be with her asshole, abusive boyfriend if not for me, and Byron would be dead because everyone else who wanted to adopt him wanted the deaf boy to be an outside cat. I guess my work here is done!" At least I have enough clarity to realize that's fucking insane)
      I moved my doctor's appointment up 2 weeks. I don't know if he'll give me something else, but I know I can't just quit this shit cold turkey.

      That would be a reason for the lack of posts. That and nothing really to talk about. Guy who got carded and was told "1996?! You're 19!" "No, I'm 21! The DMV made a mistake on my license!" Or "I don't have it on me!" and then gets in his car and drives away. YEAH SURE RIGHT NICE TRY GUYS, but barely worth noting.

      One of my favorite comics characters is Captain America. You'd think he'd be a jingoistic asshole with that name, and I avoided his books for that reason, but no. He was written by New York liberals, and he represents what's good about the USA. Here's a look at the latest right wing fauxrage, because now "THE CAPTAIN IS A NI--" (church bell rings) "What did he say?" "I think he said the Captain is near!"
      Sorry, Fox News: Captain America has long been a liberal, anti-nationalist character.
      The article points out that Cap was once a Commie-bashing loonie, but that got retconned into "Yeah, he was a fake and also a loony" and reintroduced as a bad guy. It doesn't mention that comics sales were collapsing in the 1950s, and he also morphed into "Captain America's Weird Tales," in imitation of the popular horror comics of the day. Since "Captain America" is an identity owned by the government, he was fired by Reagan and replaced with a different violent loony. After Watergate, he quit the job. In the Marvel version, that involved the Secret Empire, a bunch of crypto-facists dressed in black versions of the KKK outfit (okay, maybe not that crypto), and their hooded leader was called "The One." Cap finally chased him down to the Oval Office and unmasked him. "YOU--you're THE ONE!" We didn't see his face, but there was an unindicted co-conspirator whose campaign slogan was "Nixon's The One."
      Things could get interesting after the next election, when black Cap faces Trump-Man and his recently unemployed Canadian sidekick, The Harper.

10/23

      Co-worker, to customer: "How are you?"
      "Same old same old."
      "Same shit, different day?"
      "Bigger pile, smaller fork!" Which is a line I've never heard before and I laughed at. As he left, I said "Have a good day, and I hope you get a bigger fork!"

      There's a store called Savers, which is basically the Salvation Army with an advertising budget. Not a big budget, as they only advertise this time of year, and I've never heard the ad more than once a day. Well, semi-heard; I'm at work and busy, so this is not an exact transcript. It involves a little kid, and I mean like 4 years old, asking someone "What are you going as on Halloween?" And an adult begins singing "Turning Halloween, I think I'm turning Halloween, I really think so!" Those of you who owned a radio in the 1980s may recognize that as The Vapors only hit, "Turning Japanese." Which was about masturbation.
      (The band claims it's not about wanking, but they've also never given a really satisfactory answer about what it is about, not unlike the Beatles saying "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is not about LSD, although it was written when they were taking enough acid that Timothy Leary would've said "Whoa, slow down, dudes!")
      "What are you going as on Halloween? I'm going as a Cyclone Ranger!"
      "I'm going as Onan the Barbarian!" (fake Austrian accent) "Taste the meat of mein pork sword!"
      "Jesus! Go fuck yourself!"
      "That's the plan!"

10/24

10/26

      On the commute to work, I saw in my rearview a red convertible sports car with its top down. "Guaranteed it's driven by a late middle aged man who's bald," I thought. And sure enough...Seriously, check that out from now on. "Driving with the top down" has 2 meanings, one for the car, one for its driver.
      The car in front of him passed me, and its license plate was "007 PPK." A Walther PPK was James Bond's handgun of choice. The plate wasn't on a sports car being driven by James Bald, it was on a minivan. Pretty sure Q never gave 007 a tricked-out version of one of those. "Press this button, and sippy cups of juice come out."

      In other automotive news, a distraught woman came into the store, panicking that her car was stuck on the railroad tracks outside. I called the police and was told "We've had a report; there's an officer already on the scene."
      A coworker and a customer went outside with her and didn't see a car on the tracks. "Maybe they already sent a tow truck," I said. "But how does your car end up the railroad anyway? I drive over those at 50MPH, and I can't even tell!" Coworker said "Maybe she ran out of gas?" "Right there?"
      "Your shoelace is untied," said the CW to her. She bent down to tie her shoe, and it took a while for her to do it, and she knocked a bottle of booze to the floor, which fortunately landed on the only carpeted part on the store and didn't break. CW: "She was staggering! I think she's drunk!"
      Another customer came in and said he'd seen her do it. She'd turned onto where there was no road, and drove onto the actual train tracks. You aren't driving too far on those things. CW said she saw her getting helped into the back of a cop car. So she's paying for the tow, and probably bail and a lot of other related expenses.
      Don't drive drunk! Stay at home and sit drunk!

10/28

            Yeah, I got another one of those Daliesque surveys again. What is with their obsession with unicycle riding? Do they get a lot of Yes answers to that?

      Very happy to see a certain BFF today. She was having an awful day--she had to drop some of her kittens off to be fixed, but traffic held her up to the point she was half an hour late. The vet's receptionist was pissed about that. Why, I don't know. It's not like they were going to do the fixing right then. I've noticed that, just as there are guys who blatantly stare at her, there are women who immediately are hostile to Jess. She called her husband afterwards to calm down, and his first words were "Don't worry; the kid's fine."
      "Jacqueline lost a wheel today," she said of her daughter. "What, she had a flat tire?" She swiped on her phone and handed it to me. No, the wheel. Fell completely off, from the axle. She wasn't going fast, but she was going to college, and that means the Mass Pike (aka Fury Road), so it could've happened at 65MPH...
      Just days earlier, Jess noticed one of her tires was noisy. "The lug nuts came off in my hand!" She brought it to a mechanic friend, who looked at it and said "Have you had a tire rotation recently?" "Yes, at the dealership." "They didn't tighten these ones." They just lightly put them on and didn't use the Machine That Goes BRIRRR! (That's the technical term) So, if that tire had decided to go flying at 65MPH...
      She went to the dealership, and the manager condescended to her, refused to do anything, and even called her a liar. She went back with her husband to speak with the owner, who spoke only to him, referring to her as "your wife." She said "I'm right here!" There are also men who think "Beautiful women are idiots," and a lot of them work in car dealerships.
      The owner kept insisting that there was no way it happened, these are how tires work, blah blah blah, and her husband said "Your version of the law of physics doesn't work!" and began hitting the guy with a two by four with nails in it calculations off the top of his head, because having a guy who's literally a genius at math proves handy. The guy said "I'm not risking my business over a $400 [free replacement] rim!" Her car cost $75K, and I know from when Kevin was an RV salesman, they make a LOT of profit. I think losing customers over $400 is a bigger threat to his existence. Apparently there is a thing called "narcoleptic rage," and Jess was getting it. "There were pictures of his fancy boat on one wall, and his fabulous family on the other, and I said 'I hope you and your fabulous family are on the boat, and it SINKS, and your family DROWNS, and YOU LIVE!" I said "Whoa, Jess! I would've pointed at the boat and said 'I helped pay for that!'" "I already did; we were way past that point!"
      Unfortunately, the Cracker Barrel food argued with me, and I felt sick. She was fine, so I don't know--another side effect of Prozac? "You call me so I know you got home safely!" she said as we parted. Right after calling her, I started puking. I felt better a couple of hours later. So, the shortest visit we've ever had, but one of the more memorable.

10/29

      

      

      

10/30

      On today's installment of Words That Have Likely Never Before Been Used In Sequence: "BITE the cheese! Byron, you can't eat cheese by licking it!"
      It is possible Mary Shelley said it once.

10/31

      The Best Worst Sexy Halloween Costumes Of 2015

      Cool or creepy? How common is your last name? "Young" is 590th most common in the world. Most prevalent: USA. Highest density: Pitcairn Islands. You know, the place where the Mutiny on the Bounty guys went. Last I heard about that place, they currently also has the highest density of rapists. With 10% of the people there having that last name, possibly also inbred ones. Yeah, kinda creepy.
      I checked my Mom's rare surname, and it was 909,713rd most common. 172 people in this country have that name, which is oddly specific. The only other result for it is a hyphenated version, with approx 2 people in the world having it. They being my cousin Liz and her husband. It's more like 3, but their kid apparently isn't old enough yet. Yeah, just plain creepy, that someone can index that info.

11/1

11/2

      A coworker called me over and handed me a license. "Is my math right?"
      Yes, the kid was 19, and yes, he was the same one from 2 weeks ago. I assume that no liquor store is falling for his obvious idiocy. If he comes in again, we're calling the cops, and he won't have a license. However, he will have a shiny new arrest record.

      During our abortive visit to the indoor flea market last week, there was a small pile of small boxes I pointed out. "'The Deadly Mantis'!" Jess said. "What are those?"
      "8MM movies. They were silent and took a 2 hour movie and reduced it to...10 minutes or so." What caught my attention was "Godzilla vs The Thing" (said Thing being Mothra), but at $30, not exactly worth it as someThing I'd use as a decoration. I thought "You know what I bet...?" and sure enough, here it is online in its glorious entirety, with a dubbed-in soundtrack. I was a tad off on the length.

      

      If you're wondering why anyone would watch these things, so am I. 1 or 2 of them came with the 8MM home movie camera and projector my parents bought in the 1960s, but I may still have the glossy catalog of the hundred or so movies available.
      They were made by Castle Films. The legendary William Castle, the guy who gimmicked up his cheap movies with a plastic skeleton being hauled over the audience, and "THE TINGLER" in which he basically shot electricity through the audience's asses. Rent the pretty good movie "Matinee," which was inspired by him. It includes the fake movie "MANT!" ("Half Man, Half Ant, All Evil!" IIRC) Note that the first of those awful Sy-Fy movies was "MANSQUITO" and there's no way they didn't steal that idea from Matinee.

      I've started reading "Miracle at Midway," about the pivotal WWII naval battle, and probably the only one that resembled the end of Star Wars. (They made a movie about Midway, creatively called "Midway," and it was actually a confusing and boring soap opera) It seems well written and entertaining. Paraphrasing, as I don't want to go down 3 stories to the car for the book: "After Pearl Harbor, Admiral Nimitz was made CinCUS [I assume this means "Commander in Chief US"]. This was later changed to Cominc. Say 'CinCUS' out loud, and you will see why."

11/3

      A beautiful global warming day, and I voted. I voted Whig. I do not trust the Know-Nothing Party (or its successor, the No-to-Everything Party).
      I was helped by 4 bespectacled teenage girls, and at risk of sounding like a sexist dirty old man, they were kinda hot. I have a girls with glasses thing, okay? Three were women of color; the one by the ballot machine was a blonde who said, after I put my ballot in, "Awesome!" That's the sticker they should give you--not "I Voted Today" but "Voting is AWESOME!"
      It's an off-year election, so it was just for mayor. Since the voters here are usually 95 years old and still mad at that Commie Truman, I can guess which party will likely win. My favorite memory of voting here was when the GOP candidate held out his hand for me to shake (or to pick my pocket and give my wallet to a giant corporation), and then blanched when he saw the vintage 1932 button I was wearing: "WE NEED YOU Franklin D. Roosevelt." The candidate's name was Hoover.

      Via Ernst in The Comments:

      The reason I'm pretty sure I still have that Castle Films catalog is because I pored over that thing obsessively. I'm sure now that the projector for our home movies came with 2 Castle reels. One was a 3 minute Abbott and Costello silent. They weren't funny even with sound. Okay, sure, that first time as a kid you saw "Who's on first?" but that's about it. Know who would've also been funny? The abbot of a monastery and gangster Frank Costello.
      ABBOT: "Prithee, brother, who may currently reside upon the base of first?"
      FRANK COSTELLO: "I ain't talkin'!" BANG! "Tonight, the abbot sleeps with the monkfish."
      The other was almost 10 minutes, and had sound. No 1960s home movie cameras had mikes, but the projectors had speakers, as they were used in schools. I was not of the generation in which turtles exorted us to Duck and Cover, so I think ours were mainly of the "Smoke a dose of marijuana, and the next day--you're on THE HEROINS!" type. However, I knew that this was the other movie that came free, and boy did I want to watch this a lot! The first second of the Youtube I remembered it. It's the finale of the W.C. Fields surrealistic classic, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break." A perfectly choreographed car chase, which was a rarity in 1941. And still funny. It also gave me a crush on Gloria Jean. She is a bit Dawn Wellsish, isn't she?

      

      

11/4

11/5

11/6

      An old lady wanted a bottle of wine. A standard bottle is a 750ml. "That's too big. What do you have that's smaller?" I showed her the 187ml 4-packs. I said "It's just a single glass."
      She started to take 2 individual bottles, then paused. "This looks like more than a glass!"
      "Well, it depends on the size of the glass."
      "I have really small glasses. I'm only going to take one. We're going to split it 4 ways."
      Yes, those would be small glasses. Thimbles, maybe?
      She eventually got an entire 4 pack, each bottle the equivalent of half a bottle of beer. WOO PAR-TAY AT GRAMMY'S 2NITE! Then, of course, she changed her mind and switched it for a different type. This happened during the busiest part of the day during the busiest day of the week, and frequently involved 2 of us, so...There was a lot of work for a $7 sale.
      I expect her to come in soon and say "This was too much wine!" and expect a refund on 2 bottles.

      For no reason--well, other than I work in a liquor store--I thought about Beard Beer, which was brewed using the brewmaster's beard scum. "I hope that 'Movember' isn't followed by 'Decem-butt'," because my brain works that way.
      "Yes, Rogue's new offering is brewed from a fine harvest of our brewmaster's dingleberries. It's a brown ale. It's normal for the bottom of it to collect a lot of sediment. You may detect notes of undigested corn and peanuts."
      "Note to retailers: You'll be flush with success after you have a run on these! You'll sell a shitload!"

11/7

      Human-caused climate change increased the severity of many extreme events in 2014. What's interesting about this article is that it catalogs what science thinks wasn't caused by human activity. Science knows what's a natural variable, and what the hell sure isn't. This is also a bit like saying "We can't blame the drunk driver for this accident, because this time he wasn't driving on the sidewalk."

      "The decor at Ben Carson’s home in Maryland shows that Donald Trump may not have the biggest ego among the Republican candidates. On display are awards, certificates, medals, and a painting of himself with Jesus."

11/8

11/11

      Yeah, I've not been super-talkative. Blew my back out stocking the beer cooler on Saturday, kind've fluctuated between "in pain" and "medicated for pain," since then, which does not make for "funny internet guy" very much.

      The Uninvited, a horror movie about a frequently baffled orange tabby who murderfies people after becoming a terrible Muppet that can shoot a kitten from its mouth.
      
      "Hey, kids, it's me, Count Floyd! Yeah, even I know that's bullshit!"

      Do watch the video clips, but be warned--It's so scary that you'll have to run to the litter box before your pants get all--Okay, I've seen scarier hairballs.

11/12

      Sign seen on the way to work, with most print too small to be read even from a stopped car: "Lil Mo-Ron G." Why you'd want to have your stage name include "Moron," I don't know. Was Lil Dip-Shit already taken?

      

      

11/13

      Latest search that somehow found the page: "ibay wantedto buy electronic no back pain doctor mouth of japan"

      "Oh, you want wine? Ask Bill!" Yes, thanks for that, coworker.
      "What type of wine did you want?"
      "I don't care!"
      "Red or white?"
      "I don't care."
      "Dry or sweet?"
      "Whatever."
      "How much did you want to spend?"
      "Whatever."
      THROW ME A FREAKING BONE HERE, LADY.
      And of course, for this wine that is white red sweet dry, with a price between pocket lint and the end of infinity--My every suggestion was met with "No, I don't want that. Or that. Or this! I used to drink Yellow Tail!"
      "If Yellow Tail's what you like, you should stick with--"
      "NO!"
      Other woman, possibly her sister: "Do you have any wine that's tangy?"
      "'Tangy'? What do you mean by 'tangy'?"
      "TANGY!"
      "I've never heard of a wine described as 'tangy.' Shiraz has kind of a peppery finish--"
      "Oh, you don't know what you're talking about!"
      *I* don't know?! So far, all you've said is that you want "wine" that you can pour down your "food hole." Am I wrong about it going in your mouth? "Have you tried this fine French Chateau d'Enema? It's best served at room temperature whilst bent over."
      This, of course, was during the busiest part of the day during the busiest day of the week, so I was helping Lil Mo-Ron and her sister Dip-Shit as the line expanded. It only ended when the husband grabbed 3 bottles and said "YOU buy this, and YOU buy this, and I'll buy this!" "Why are you buying champagne?! You don't even drink!" He said "For the toast afterwards!" but he also asked me for the biggest bottle possible, and champagne comes in very thick glass, so I think he may've been planning to christen them like a ship with it. On the back of the skull.
      It reminded me of this classic conversation: "Do you have any wine?"
      "Um, yes. What kind were you looking for?"
      "It's made from grapes."
      Well, then I won't show you the onion wines...

11/14

      I admit to not being "hip" to the "jive talk" of the latest generation. I actually just learned that "Netflix and chill" does not mean "Chill while watching Netflix." Glad I found out before I ever said that.
      "Hello?"
      "Hey, Jess, it's Bill! Wanna Netflix and chill?"
      "Do I--what?!"
      "You heard me! I was thinking of a Tim Burton theme."
      "I think my husband might have an opinion about this!"
      "Oh, he's welcome to join in if he wants!"
      *click*
      "Huh. I thought they liked Tim Burton."

11/15

11/18

      Yeah, the bible also says a lot more about not eating shrimp cocktails than it does about your hooters or gay marriage, but whatever floats your Ark, Miss Prejean. Hey, why don't you marry some Levis, divorce them, and become Miss Postjeans? Just don't eat no clams!

      I went to KMart to replace my decomposing hoodie (when you carry as much as me at work, your clothes get very worn. Also, so does your back), and a new coat to replace my filthy, battered trenchcoat. It will be no time before both get filthy and begin to decompose, but hopefully not for a year or two. I've decided to go with the fashion-forward statement at work of "I no longer look like a homeless guy." I hope it will at least keep people from yelling "Hey Aqualung!" at me.

      Of course, since it's in the same plaza as KMart, I'm so poor that I first went to the Salvation National Guard hahaha I came up with that joke 15 years ago, and I will use it until I'm dead. Get used to it! All I bought were 2 CDs, which I was told were 3/$1, so 2 were 50c each yeah whatever. One was by Liquid Mind, which of course I disovered that I already owned, the other titled "Chakra/Brainwave Harmonizer." While it certainly harmonized my whatsits, it also caused an evil monkey to manifest in my kitchen and steal my microwave.
      Fucking teleporting monkeys, am I right?

      The ACROCATS! Not exactly the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater:

      

      I was at Dollar Tree--because no way am I setting foot in any retail store between Thanksgiving and New Years--and saw Mennen Lady Speed Stick deodorant, all pink and glittery, and named "Teen Spirit." Look: it's false advertising if it doesn't smell like a flannel shirt and heroin.

      Hmm. Coulda sworn I bought more bananas than this--
      ...THOSE FUCKING MONKEYS!!

11/20

      There are 2 extremely lame jokes a customer can make. One is "It doesn't scan? That means it's FREE HAW HAW HAW!" If you're supplying your own laugh track, and people who say this always do, it's not funny.
      The other, of course, is hearing the total and saying "THAT WAS A GOOD YEAR!"
      Today, me: "That's 19.12."
      Old lady, maybe in her late 80s: "That was a memorable year!"
      Me, laughing: "I do not believe that you were around to see it!"
      "I was close. I was born in 1915."
      "WHOA!"
      "My hundredth birthday was last week."
      We spoke a bit about the Great War (WWI; it actually was not so great). Her father and my grandfather were both in the British Expeditionary Force to France. I offered to help her out with her wine, but she shook her head. "I'm a tough old bird!" and took them out herself.
      Just think about that. When she was born, cars were a rarity, planes were made of wood and canvas. Now she's buying wine in view of giant cell phone towers.

      Other customer, about my age, paying for his beer with a 50: "Hey, can you get me a joint?" I went to take the 50 for his beer, but he said "No, that's for the joint! I'll pay $50 for one joint!"
      He wasn't kidding. He was asking 2 people who just were, ya know, not his close friends, to get him weed. And he kept going on about it. I decided to say nothing, but my coworker said "This is my job!" because who the fuck's so stupid as to offer buying some random guy some drugs?
      As he persisted--as if we carried joints around us at work--another customer came up. Coworker said "He works in a restaraunt; those guys are always lit up!"
      "$50 for one joint!"
      "If I wasn't going right to work, I might take that offer!" And the negotiations continued, well into the parking lot and a handshake.
      Dang, I remember when a joint was one dollar. (This was in 1915) But ya know what? If it gets this blatant, LEGALIZE IT ALREADY. Washington state made a billion dollars in tax revenue after legalization. If little Connecticut makes 1/10th of that, the budget is balanced.
      And of course, it's only a matter of time. Massachusetts will be the first in New England, followed by the rest of New England. It will still take a while, because this is AMERICA, and pot isn't guns. You can't shoot people with weed!
      And as you no doubt are wondering--Yes, I bought a quarter over 2 years ago, and it's now an eighth. Just not a thing I do that much anymore. This crazy weed the kids today smoke, one hit and I'm awake for an extra 2 hours. I'm at the age where 2 hours sleep is more important. As I was born in 1635. Those fucking Salem witch trials, am I right?

11/21

11/22

11/23

      In Which John Scalzi Selects a Current GOP Presidential Candidate to Vote For, 2015 Edition: "Sadly for Santorum, there’s only room for one smug and awful bigoted fossil at the bottom of the GOP polling charts, and that’s Mike Huckabee, because he’s got seniority. I rank Santorum slightly higher than Huckabee in my preferences, but that’s like ranking “puke on your shoe” slightly higher than “bloody puke on your shoe.” It’s still puke on your shoe."

11/24

?/?

      Thanksgiving Eve--the 2nd busiest day of the year in the Booze Biz. I had the day before off, so I asked the Owner if he'd ordered any beer. "Not much," he said, "like 20 and 20 cases each." "That's nothing!" I said.
      Somebody's math was wrong, as I'm pretty sure 60 + 90 does not = 40, and is certainly far more than nothing. Especially as 300 cases had come in 2 days earlier.
      So I was glad when that day ended. I got home to relax, and the DSL was out. I tried everything I knew to try, then called the phone company. I was hoping for a local outage, but it's worse. Something on my end, and they have to send out a tech. Not until Friday, of course. This couldn't have happened one day earlier, when I was off, and I went no farther from the house than the mailbox? And by "worse," I mean I had to call support 3 seperate times. The 1st 2 I could understand them, but they could barely understand me; the 3rd, it was vice versa. The connection was so bad I'm not sure of the sex of the operator, or even the species. He/she sounded like Donald Duck had inhaled helium.
      I have to work, and the latest appointment I could get was for 430. I'm scheduled til 5, but it'll be a really slow day, and work will be happy to not pay me for an hour. Hopefully this will be a quick fix and outside my condo, and not a multi-day affair of them ripping wires from my walls. That's why I gave this the date of "?/"? as I have no idea when this will post.

      HOLY SHIT IT JUST CAME ON THIS SECOND! I guess I don't have to play Solitaire any longer! I'm guessing this affected a lot of people who were too busy traveling or cooking to notice until today, when they made a phone call and wondered "Why does Grampa sound like a Munchkin on PCP?"

11/27

      Thanksgiving was interesting. It was to be the smallest gathering ever, just 8 of us--me, my Mom, 2 sisters, 2 husbands, 2 nephews, 1 dog. Twice that is the usual amount, sometimes 3 times that.
      Two of my sisters have very distinctive houses. This one is the biggest, but also a 1970s Colonial on a street full of them. I have a rough idea where it is, but I'm there once a year, so I always go online to check the house number. That was not an option this year. I went to where I thought it was, but it was deserted, not a car in the driveway. I rang the bell, nothing happened. So I went to the nearest one with cars everywhere. Yeah, not theirs,"It's 2 doors down! It's the brown Colonial!" Oh, not the not-brown Colonials here in suburban Williamsburg. I saw my brother-in-law cooking on the grill on the back deck. "Yeah, there's not a lot of people this year. I think everyone's coming with Pat and John. They're always late." I said "Good point."
      A UConn basketball game played in the background, and there were some unhappy viewers, the only exclusion being me and the dog, equally disinterested. There was enough food for--the normal crowd, even if one of the stuffings got a bit burned. I had turkey, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, corn, and caramelized Brussel sprouts, followed by Mom's apple crisp, all of which were delicious. The conversation turned to bacon jalapeno mac & cheese, in the off-chance you haven't seen it. Hey, he just went to court 2 miles from me! There's another, rather tenuous connection between me and that privileged little shit, but I have been told not to share it, even though it's not remotely bad.
      "What is with this music?!" asked Pat. It was Xmas music. "'Rum-pum-pum-pum!' Can't you play something more upbeat? Like Harry Connick?" I said "Whoa, let's not get crazy now!"
      The brother-in-law said, repeatedly and slightly smugly, "It's the Christmas season." He's the Fox "News" guy of the family (his son once said of a news story, "If it's not on Fox, we don't hear about it.") "No," she said, "it's Thanksgiving!" I jokingly said to him "Why are you having a War on Thanksgiving?!" Which he had no reply to, and, umm, no one laughed at. Possibly it was because everyone else there was a liberal (including aforementioned son).
      Oh well, I still got a ton of turkey to take home, and also a drumstick for Killsy and Big B to nibble at.

      

      

11/28

      The permanent tag sale I drive by on the way to work--he doesn't bring the stuff in at night, just throws a tarp over it, because you might want to buy furniture that hasn't been directly in the rain--now has a side gig. Here's my best approximation of the sign advertising it:
      D U M P
      R U N S
      And, scrawled to its right:
      f
      i
      s
      h
      Look. I used to do this, it was called The Inedible Objective or something. I'm at a loss. I really have no way to decode this sign. Does he only do dump runs of fish? Does he sell fish he finds at the dump runs? Does he take a dump in rivers when he has the runs, then fishes there? What will the sign say next time?
      "OIL PAN DRAININGS mascara"
      "SEPTIC TANKS hot fudge sundae"
      "FREE PUPPIES rabies shot"
      "POLONIUM-110 REMOVALS back rubs"
      "UNEXPLODED BOMBS rodent control"
      "SHRIEKING CANNABALISTIC HELL DEMONS babysitting"

11/29

      C'mon, Stupidest Things! That guy was probably joking. Me, I would've said "In the beginning, God created...the number 2 pencil. He wanted to start small. On the Second Day, he created the eraser, because he knew he was going to make a lot of mistakes."

      I was listening to the news on the commute home the other day, and gripped the wheel tighter, at the words "Colorado Springs."
      

      "HI! I'm the Republican Base, BASEY! Me LOVE Colorado Springs, home of CHUCK ASAY!"

      Or, as you may better remember him, the much-unloved Upchuck Asswipe. And then, the word "shooting."

      
      "YAY! BASEY LOVE GUNS!"

      And then "Planned Parenthood."

      
      "BOO! BASEY HATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD! ALL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES HATE EVIL IMAGINARY BRAIN HARVESTERS!"

      And gritting my teeth in anger, I thought, "In this country, a massacre was inevitable."
      The Deafening Silence of the Republican Field in the Wake of the Planned Parenthood Shooting

      

      "BASEY HAS NO COMMENT AT THIS TIME"

      This Guy Inserts Pop Culture Characters Into Old Thrift Store Paintings. I'll bet you can't guess my favorite! If you can, "OH YEAH!"

11/30

      Well, the Republican candidates have finally started talking about the Planned Parenthood shootings: Ted Cruz Describes Alleged Planned Parenthood Shooter As ‘Transgendered Leftist Activist’, because who else would shoot up a clinic? The article also shows the gymnastics right wingers will go through to pretend that their eliminationist rhetoric has no collateral damage.

12/1

      Rump, Trump, what's the difference?

      It's December! So it's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Yes, it's time for Kirk Israel's Advent Calendar!
      I've linked to this almost every year, so you know the drill: Every day, a different little game or gizmo. Worth the Click! (TM)
      Today's is a game. Keep the penguins from going in the water, which is about as guilt-free a concept as possible. They're penguins, they're not going to drown! (Probably better than my game concept, "Keep the baby orphans from the vats of acid")

      The 'snunkoople' effect: "How do you quantify something as complex and personal as humor? Mathematicians have now developed a mathematical method of doing just that -- and it might not be quite as personal as we think."

12/3

      Killsy has developed a demand for people food. I indulge her very little. She has discovered that turkey burgers mean cheese, and man o man does she want some. I opened a slice and thought "This has these few, tiny spots on it; nobody's eating this!" And she went insane, crying and even climbing my leg. To get it away from her, I threw it in the toilet. And she tried to figure out how to get it out. I had to carry her away. She got some unspotty cheese. The weird cheese now sleeps with the fishes, or at least the turds.

      Second-hand, as it happened on my day off:
      The owner ran downstairs, as there was a big line at the register. He asked "Where's K?" "In the bathroom, I think."
      15 minutes later, another line. "Where's K?!" "I haven't seen him since he went in the bathroom."
      At the 45 minute mark, they called 911. He was passed out on the floor.
      He's on a multitude of meds, due to his high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, etc. They already took a couple or more yards of his intestines out, and he had a colostomy bag for 2 years. And he drinks a 1.75 liter of the cheapest vodka we sell every other day.
      Apparently, he's okay, according to his brother (who was in buying his own mag of Captain Morgan). Fortunately, his hours can be covered by an ex-employee. Unfortunately for the store, he's a landscaper and is only working in his window between "leaves all raked" and "snow."
      We have a key that will pop the bathroom door open from the outside, so why the geniuses at my job didn't try that before calling 911...whatever.

      Sandy Hook Senator Just Summed Up the Reality of Sending "Thoughts and Prayers"
      After ignoring the Planned Parenthood shootings, suddenly the Republican candidates are falling over themselves--doing nothing. Thoughts and prayers! Maybe it's "They're Muslim! I pray that this isn't a workplace shooting, because if I can make it look like Islamist terrorism, I think it will help my campaign!"
      Thoughts and prayers, wow, helpful. Do you think that people there weren't praying not to be shot? Do you think that the PP shooter didn't pray to his perverted version of G*D before he attacked?
      If there is a god, he's as psycho and unempathetic as those people.

12/4

12/5

      We have a wonky scanner at one register. Of course it's going to fail completely, and probably on Xmas Eve, but remember that this is the place that just updated their software to Windows XP.
      The customer took it in good humor. "All these things break when you least want them to!" I said "Thank you for not saying 'It didn't scan, I guess that means it's FREE!'"
      She rolled her eyes and laughed. "I clean apartments! You know what I get all the time while vacuuming?"
      "You missed a spot!"
      "Well, yes, but people will unplug my vacuum and smile. They think it's funny, and I have to go and plug it back in. This is why I like cleaning unoccupied arpartments--there's no people!"
      Yeah, non-service workers: We've seen or heard your Supah Great Joke, like a hundred times. Come up with something original, or stop being a jerk. And, as I've said before, do not supply your own guffawing laff-trak to your halfwit-ticism, while looking at the other people in line for approval. They're all thinking "Shut up, asshole. I just want to buy my stuff and go home." If the clerk you dropped your joke-bomb on doesn't laugh, no one will.
      Also, unplugging a vacuum cleaner while it's being used? Try that on your significant other, and see how many times they think it's funny. Pro-Tip: It's a number less than one. Hey, go to Grandpa's hospice and unplug his IV! Guaranteed to stir up some conversations at his wake!

12/6

      It must be interesting to be a Republican voter right now. Their leading candidates are a screaming racist egomaniac with a long-haired guinea pig squatting on his scalp, the world's dumbest brain surgeon, and as for Ted Cruz--it certainly pains me to say this after the last 8 years, but he can't be president because he wasn't born here, but in that distant land full of not-Americans called Canada. He's probably a secret Frenchman, who locks his doors and then drinks Labatts and eats poutine while rooting for the Leafs. The Leafs, sheeple! When they score a goal, he probably says "OOH LA LA, eh?" Then he does a bizarre version of the Mexican hat dance while singing "Frere Jacques." For he's two types of foreigner we need to be xenophobic about, like a Combo that's flavored with back bacon and mole sauce! Who wants to eat a sauce made from MOLES? What's next, shrew syrup?!
      Oh, laugh at me now, but when the black helicopters land, disgorging Mounties wearing body "armour" who throw everyone into the secret FEMA camps hidden under every Tim Horton's, then you'll wish you'd listened!

12/7

      Hey, Stupidest Things Page-A-Day calendar, know what else is really stupid? My Cat-A-Day calendar jumps from 9/6 to 11/27, and stays on repeats until 12/21. Pretty stupid!

      In much better calendar-related news, Kirk's Advent Calendar in full. You still have wait until the day to unlock the next one, you greedy monsters.

12/8

      You know what's a bad way to watch MST3K? When Shout! Factory TV annotates them. I'm watching "Werewolf." The captions pop up like pop-up ads. These explain the most obvious of references, and continually. "Pop-up ads" were a type of "ad" that would "pop" "up" on your computer. Here, 3 captions can be on the screen at once. 3 is a prime number and the most hot dogs anyone would want to eat in one sitting. "Sitting" is a physical state inbetween "standing" and "lying." At one point ("Point Break" was a 1998 movie in which Keanu Reeves wore a Nixon mask, unless he didn't) (they actually did not mention Point Break at this point), the captions ("captions" are really annoying) inform us that Nikes are sneakers, and that Craftmatic Adjustable Beds are..."CRAFTMATIC WAS AN ADJUSTABLE BED." Those last two are not a joke.
      "Sneakers" are "shoes" which one wears on one's feet. "Feet" are at the end of your "legs." Glance down! Perhaps you have one or more of these "feet" yourself!
      I'm only 22 minutes into this, and I'm about to beat my head on a rock.
      ("Rocks" are rather hard)

      Okay, so sue me: I think that Something Awful's long-running Dog Classified Ads series is pretty funny. Maybe you disagree, but "Humor: it is a difficult concept."
      (Said in "Star Tek II" by "Sarek" to "Kirk" in an elevator. "Elevators" were made by the "Otis Elevator Company," which was a "company" that made
      SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!
      ("Shut up," if you think about it, actually means "Shut down")
      AAAUUUGHH!
      ("AUUGGHH" was said when "Lucy" grabbed the "football" before "Charlie Brown" could
      PA-RAAAANG!
      ("PA-RAAAANG" means...I think it was a breakfast cereal? Possibly some form of lozenge, which was invented in 1822 by Lorenzo "Lozenge" Sucrets?)
      No, it's the sound made in cartoons after a grand piano falls from a great height onto someone's head.
      (Thank you! "PA-RAAAANG!" is the sound made in cartoons after a grand piano falls...
      [glances up]
      (Oh, dear)
      PA-RAAAANG

      I'm now another 5 minutes in, and the caption just explained what "Pearl Harbor" means. I think it means that Shout! Factory thinks that MST was a popular show among people who didn't get the jokes.
      It just hit me that I was making fun of the stupid captions on an MST that was making fun of a terrible movie! Try to OUT-META THAT, JUNIOR

12/9

      The least essential albums of 2015

12/10

      Twas a day fraught with danger! On the commute in, I almost got hit by some dingledome who tried to change lanes at the last second without checking his blind spot. I hit my brakes so hard, it disconnected the iPod. Mere minutes ago, I gave myself the Heimleich when a piece of chicken got caught in my throat. And inbetween, I had to listen to Christmas music.
      Okay, we have an entente at work: When J. works, it's Xmas music. When she's gone, it isn't. Thursdays are kinda the DMZ--She leaves at 3, I leave at 4, so there's no point in me changing the station. Instead, I try to imagine new lyrics. These are generally about my cats. Since I hear "Winter Wonderland" like 60 minutes every hour, here's the version you may have heard before. It was from 2003, so I'm guessing you forgot it. I like to picture Frank "I suck" Sinatra singing it.

Okay, I hear you whisperin'
"Should I go Pagan or be Christian?"
Be a Christian or fry, & I'll tell you why,
Cause Sodom & Gomorrah went buh-bye!

Sodomites, they were sleazy,
And Gomorrans most disease-y.
Each place was a sty, so they had to die,
And Sodom & Gomorrah went buh-bye!

They're an awful pair of sinful cities,
Not a single holy lad or lass;
All the ladies showing off their titties
While all the boys would take it up the ass.

God looked down, started pukin',
Said "Those places need a nukin'!"
Their sexual toys are now null & void,
As Sodom & Gomorrah got destroyed!

So be a Pagan at your own risk,
And be toast when God is all pissed.
You'll learn too well, that flesh-burning smell
When you're roasting in the firey pits of Hell!

      And now it's stuck in your head. MERRY FUCKIN CHRISTMAS

12/11

      I asked "Are you all set?" to a customer at the register, and he silently pointed at some undefined point above my head.
      "I...don't know what that means."
      He continued to point, this time a a little more specifically.
      "Cigarettes?" I said, holding up a pack. No. He continued to point skyward. By now, I was thinking "What, do you want to buy a cloud? The Moon?"
      But then I got that he was pointing at the display of fake lottery scratch tickets., which are nowhere near the actual tickets. I walked around to see which one, and even that took some asking. I guess he didn't speak English, or even write it--I've had deaf people write things out--and once I finally sold him his ticket, with an Xmas line growing ever longer behind him, he tried to buy some cashews. The cashier said "It's $1.05. A dollar five! There's tax! A DOLLAR FIVE!"
      Yes, I speak exactly one language. I'm not mocking the guy for being the same as me. When I see this, all I can wonder is how much someone doesn't speak the local language gets ripped off by people who don't care. "It's...TEN DOLLAR AND A FIVE!"

12/12

      

      

12/14

      
      "This was my gig, asshole!"

      Some spam:

      Why, how thoughtful of you! And I only have to pay you a delivery fee.
      Since a million is a thousand thousand, what's an "illion"? A thousand? A thousandth of a thousandth, so, a dollar? Is "illion" a denomination used on the Planet of the Beastie Boys? (Ha, my finger slipped and spelled that "Beastie Goys"--"YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT--TO EAT BACONS!")
      I'm assuming that "usd" means "US Dollars," and not Australian ones. But it could certainly stand for "udder-sucking dingos," because a cow adopted some dingo pups? I do not want an illion dingos! Six or seven, sure. Not a damn illion.
      "Unearthly Space Dildos"
      "Unbelievably Stinky Dogshit"
      "Urine Soaked Donut"
      "Unmistakeable Stench: Diaper"
      "Unicorn Shitting Diamonds"
      "Urethra Stretching...umm...David Hasselhoff"?
      Yeah, I think I'll give up now.

12/15

      "Between work and eating nothing but meat, he's become a grumpy caveman! On the weekends, he'll go off his Paleo diet and eat 5 pieces of fried dough, and says his bad mood is because 'This happens every time I go off Paleo!'"
      "Maybe it's because he just ate 5 pieces of fried dough."
      "He'll dig into a bag of Cheez Doodles, and take out one that's all Cheez and no Doodle."
      --overheard before the start of "Rifftrax Live: Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny."
      I really can only fit the second Tuesday showings of these into my work schedule, and my local Cinemark shows those seemingly at random. Too bad for me, as the live shows are the best. This one had 3 shorts: The first, Santa with a serial killer laugh (note: all the Santas in this show had serial killer laughs) tells some weird "story" about Christmas monkeys which had a lot more to do with 1930s stock footage of monkeys fighting for pretzels than it did Christmas; one about a girl, a cat, a dog, and a mouse (played by kids in costumes/bad footie pajamas) fighting off a pirate stealing their Xmas gifts and who is killed and eaten by a kid dressed as a "dragon," as I guess dragons have bricks on their faces; and, quite coincidentally, one involving that InExOb that I used a picture from yesterday. No Satan, but yeah, Merlin and some of the worst furry costumes available. I think that Mexican Merlin was just spliced into this USAican bizareness, which was set in Santa's Village, Illinois. It didn't need Satan, not with the Wolf and Stinky the Skunk. Satan was probably the costume designer.
      "Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny" involved Santa's sled getting caught on a beach outside a crappy Florida amusement park, and some kids (because Santa is omniscient, he calls all of the kids by their names, one of which is "kid") try to tow him out with various barnyard animals. The first is a guy in a gorilla suit, because you want to work your way up to the big reveal of a horse. These all fail, so Santa tells them the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. A community theater musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk, with clothes that go from "fairytale" to "awful 70s pants," frequently in the same shot. The "movie" is about 85% Jack and the Beanstalk. 10% is Santa complaining about how hot it is, and then the Ice Cream Bunny comes in his fire truck to drive him away The End. No, really, and the Bunny is in 5% of the movie.
      Well, there was an Ice Cream Bunny song to end it, and the early bailers who leave before the house lights come on missed it. They had a weirdly hilarious bit about the silent Bunny laughing "HURR HURR HURR!" in its few closeups, and that was the song's chorus.
      Then I got my mail, and there was an Xmas card from Jess, and now there's glitter all over the place. What is with my gal friends and the glitter?
      And just now, the computer plays "Go Go Kitty" by the New Bangs. I expect my computer to crash from so much glitter.

      One of the Xmas tunes played before the movie is the Greatest Xmas Song EVER:

      

      

12/16

      I was thinking of replacing "He's all sizzle and no steak!" with "He's all Cheez and no Doodle!" but I realized that "He's all Doodle and no Cheez!" really doesn't sound that much different. Like, "He's all Trump and no Carson!"

      A Great Dane, a movie studio executive, a producer, a writer, and Keanu Reaves leave a bar. The Great Dane takes a massive, steaming dump on the sidewalk.The executive picks up the dog shit, and says "This feels like dog shit!" and hands it to the producer.
      He takes a big sniff and says, "It smells like dog shit!" and hands it to the director.
      The director takes a bite out of it, and says "This tastes like dog shit!"
      He hands it to Keanu, who says "Then we'd better not step in it!"
      Keanu smears it all over his face and says "I should STAR in it!"
      And that, my friends, is how Point Break was made.
      Yes, I finally saw that MST fave, at least in refs right up there with Gymkata and The One With The Title I Forget. Citizen Kane, I think? Hey, spoiler, we all know that "Rosebud" was the name of that biker Orson Welles shivved in a bar fight.
      Then the Great Dane turned around and said, in a perfectly posh English accent, "No one could possibly make a movie dumber than my dogshit!" and the other 4 high-fived each other, screamin' "SURE WE CAN! OWWWW!" because they high-fived each other in the throat, solar plexus, or earlobe (they had terrible aim).
      Road House! That was the other one! Which also featured Patrick Swayze. Also Nick Nolte, or maybe Gary Busey, or some random hobo who worked for cig butts. If, like Road House!, you like movies that are basically pre-internet fanfic written by 14-year-old halfwits who have a sorta kinda vague idea of how the adult world works, this is different. It's written by a 15 year old who's watched a year's worth more of Cinemax and thinks you can modify any word with "fuck."
      If you liked--okay, "liked"--Road House, try this one out. It's half an hour too long, or even longer than that, as it should end with the first time Johnny Utah runs screaming at the bad guys with gun a-blazing and a-missing every target, and should still end waaay before the "fake-Australian-accent police" catch up with Swayze, it's worth a watch. If your bucket list includes "every terrible movie EVAR," anyway.

12/19

      Stupidest Things, it's really kinda stupid when you make fun of people making mistakes in their second language. Give me some examples of your fluent Spanish while speaking in front of a worldwide audience, and we'll compare.

      Spam!

      Outside of a form I was supposed to fill out, there's where it ends. Yes, I did just make fun of somebody making mistakes in their second language. But Miss Venezuela wasn't trying to rip me the fuck off because she assumed I had the cranial capacity of a canary.
      Also, ($2.500`000`00USD). Usually USDollars are represented with commas, and not a period, some apostrophes, and a zero missing at the end. Possibly this is what an "illion" looks like!
      "There are ILLIONS and ILLIONS of stars in the Universe!"--Professor Carl Sagan, PhD and Nigerian Prince.

12/20

12/21

      New and Exciting SPAM!
      On my answering machine. The "US Treasury" says I'm going to be charged with a "Federal Crime" and get hauled before a "Magistrate Judge" because this is my "Second and Final Notice" before I go to Devil's Island or Moon Alcatraz or something. Because that's what the Feds do--leave voicemails to counterfeiters, asking them to please return their call, or you will be SO sorry, young man! No dessert or video games before we send you to Sing Sing!
      Also, "Second and Final" is more of a threat than "OK, it's the First and Only Message. Expect More in the Days to Come!" YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE, PRETEND COPPERS!! AND I DIDN'T WANT DESSERT ANYWAY!!

12/23

      Today is a normal day off for me, but at this time of the retail calendar, "normal" isn't happening. Neither is "sane." I volunteered to work it, because there would be some small orders coming in. And the liquor and wine orders were small. Two days ago, I had 300 cases of beer come in. (This is a lot) I knew that the Owner would order some beer for today, but how much could it be, 40 cases tops? I looked at the order sheets and said "Holy shit."
      220 cases. (This is also a lot) I was told by the Owner's father "Only order what you need!" His son is more "We'll sell it eventually anyway!" Apparently he thinks that the Death Star will be stopping by for provisions soon. Five cases of Corona 6 packs, when we have 3? I know that this is the warmest year on record, but it isn't Cinco de Maya warm. I guess that this year's hot Xmas gift is Genesee Ice 30 packs. I know most of you readers fall on the "creative writing" end of the spectrum than the mathy "people who can do that with a marketable skill" end, but here's math: We have 3 Genny Ice 30s. We have sold 3 Genny Ice 30s in 3 weeks. Do we need 3 more, giving us 6 weeks worth? (You can use a calculator if you want)
      Fortunately, all the deliveries came early, and unfortunately, all at once, with one being split between 2 trucks 5 minutes apart. As we sing in retail, "Tis the season when things get fucked up." Over the stock I went, panting all the way. One more day, and it's all over, fa-lalala! I have it on good authority that Batman smells, and Robin laid an egg. ONE MORE DAY OF THAT TOO

12/25

      One of my coworkers gave me the gift of Sick, so I've been more asleep than awake. It's at the point where DJ doesn't bother to get out of bed when I do--"He'll be back in half an hour." Here's some things, I don't know what, that were already here. I'm going back to bed.

      

       The 2015 Right Wing Watch War On Christmas Gift Guide

12/31

      Huh. I went a whole week without posting and didn't notice.
      It was the busiest week of the year, I was sick, which was followed by a possible concussion that OF COURSE I worked through and made myself feel worse.
      The only non-health related news--except maybe mental health--is that I was at the computer, and glanced down to see--Byron! Yes, for the first time in over two years he touched the floor, jumped in my lap and began exploring a room he hasn't been in in all that time.Then he went down to the floor, and his dopey brother chased him. He hasn't been down since. But if it happened once...

1/1

      

1/2

      If you want a flurry of emails and phone calls from your Mom, I guess say "I think I may a concussion."
      Byron came down 3 times on New Years Eve. Briefly, as DJ decided to chase him. The next day, only twice. But I could see him getting ready for one visit, so I gently put DJ in the bedroom and shut the door. I wrote my Mom about his sudden reappearance, and she said      I wrote back:      Will he finally cure himself of his self exile? Time will tell. But he came down briefly today. We may be on the road to recovery.

      The only thing I did (besides sleep, and hope Byron came down) on the first was to watch a movie that fans of cheeseball cinema will enjoy. As I wrote to Kevin, titled "Charles Bronson is--THE GOLEM!":

      Sadly, many of the films I wanted to watch aren't on DVD. But I do have a double feature of Hercules at the top of my Netflix queue.

1/3

1/4

1/6

1/7

      Yes, I haven't posted. I've been sick, and either I'm working or sleeping (and occasionally making weird posts on Facebook). After 2 weeks, I'm going to say that this isn't a cold, but the flu. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, because we both had flu shots and want The Autisms. The guy who likely gave it to me reached the same conclusion seperately. This is the first "cold" that's ever made my abs hurt. From coughing.
      And since is the question you're asking: No. No real progress with Byron. He's closer to the floor, but today stopped coming into my lap. I'm not forcing anything. I'm working at his pace.

1/8

1/9

      The house on my way to work no longer offers "DUMP RUNS fish." Now, it's MOVING DUMP RUNS.
      I hope you're not MOVING and they get that confused with DUMP RUNS. I suppose seeing all your furniture in the landfill would be moving, in a negative way.
      But the biggest part of the sign--and it took me a while to read it, because it's parallel to the road, not at an angle--says
      7 YRD'S-$190
      If I only have 6 YRD'S, do I get a discount? Do I have to find 6 more people with yrd's? Does 7 YRD'S mean 21 feet? Is YRD'S some new weird internet slang? It sounds like a verb from the original Beowulf. "LO, I shalt yrd thee, Grendel, yrd you most grievously! I shall yrd the YRDING YRD out of you!" (Oh, go reread the whole of Beowulf and make your own two-sentence parody, as I sure ain't)
      Okay, I'm sure "YRD's" means "yards," as in lawns. But that just makes it more mysterious. What is he doing to these yards, and why must there be SEVEN?

1/11

      I had Christmas lunch with my Mom. Christmas as far as we were concerned, anyway. She made Ted burgers. Ted was this guy who gave TED Talks that Mom didn't like, so she beat him to death with a Teddy Ruxpin and we et him. The Teddy Ruxpin I mean. Lots of fiber!
      Haha no, Ted Turner has a restaurant chain that my Mom goes to, so she duplicated the spices in his burgers, and they were excellent. She also made spinach salad and little apple pie tarts. Too bad great cooking skill is not an inheritable genetic trait, as I consider "cooking" to be synonymous with "thawing."
      I'd already given her a $100 Amazon card, and before you say "Wow, you must've put a lot of thought into that" she loves her Kindle.
      She said "Open that gift first; it's not very interesting." It was LL Bean flannel dorm pants, and flannel jammies were on my personal shopping list, so I was quite happy. The other gift was anticlimatic, as I already knew what it'd be: a Kindle Fire. That super-cheap ($50!) WiFi tablet that even Consumer Reports loves. My DSL went out over Thanksgiving, but the WiFi that I had no devices for stayed on. I'm a desktop guy, but this is my new emergency backup.
      And boy howdy, will it ever be only a backup. The touchscreen is touchy, either too sensitive or too random. I logged into my WiFi for the first time, then thought "I'll bet that was supposed to be in all caps. Eh, it'll just say 'incorrect password' and I'll start again." Nope, it said "Authenticating" and my options when it decided to stop were Retry, Cancel, and Forget. When the hell did Forget become a command? Does it mean "Ignore my WiFi forever"? I eventually gave up and hoped it meant "Forget my wrong password," and I got it to work.
      Before that, I saw every WiFi connection in the area. One was named "FBI Surveillance Van." Haha, you gave your home WiFi a funny name. I'm still not clicking on it. Then, with the Fire in my lap, DJ said "HEY WHATCHA DOIN'?!" and jumped onto it, pressing the screen. "Deej, whatever you do, do NOT click on--" and he jumped down and of course he clicked on FBI Surveillance Van.
      The dorm pants are awesome. Mom said "You may have to cuff them," as most mens pants aren't designed for a 30" inseam. So I hiked them up high, then discovered that they had no pee-hole, so I have to pull them down to urinate. Then pull them back up. I look like this guy:

      

      "We can only defeat Global Communism by hitching our trousers up to our NIPPLES!"

1/14

       As Henry Fielding wrote in his play The Lottery (1732): “A lottery is a taxation upon all the fools in creation; and heaven be praised, it is easily raised, for credulity’s always in fashion.”
      I don't care who won the Powerball jackpot, just that somebody won it. Now I don't have to sell the damned things for a while.
      Although I will take "Give me 5 Powerball quick picks" over the losers who get $60 worth of daily numbers.
      LOSER: "1...2...3."
      ME: (punches in numbers on play 3)
      "...4."
      (starts all over again on play 4) "Mid-day or night?"
      "Mid-day."
      "How do you want tp play it?"
      "MID-DAY!"
      "Sigh..straight, backup...?"
      "Oh. A dollar straight 14 times, box 50 cents 3 times, 50 cent combo one and a half times, and supersize it for a dollar."
      I didn't buy a ticket. I don't want to be the guy who wins a billion dollars. There are guys in Russia with their fingers hovering over their keyboards, ready to hack into that guy's accounts as soon as they learn his name (And I hope Hedge Fund Asshole who bought $30,000 of tickets is their first target). Plus, I won the lottery anyway!
      Byron is back among his family.
      Like nothing ever happened. He's the Grey Ghost no longer. This is his first day completely on the ground and in my lap. I've already wept tears of joy. You have no idea how happy I am right now!
      Who needs a billion? After over 2 years, my son is back!!

1/15

      "Toilet Pet Boy!"
      Not a phrase heard in most households. And not heard in this one in over 2 years. The shower is one of the few sounds Byron can hear, and he was always sitting on the lid when I got out.
      I knew if I saw TPB 2 days in a row, things should be permanent. So I called up Jess.
      "I want to share my good news! BIGFOOT BYRON'S BACK, BABY!"
      "Wait, what?"
      "He's on the floor, he's in my lap, he's touching noses with his brother!"
      "Just like that?!"
      I apologize to DJ for ever calling him "the Surfer Dude." He is a laid-back, sweet guy, but he's not dumb. He's certainly the expert in interpersonal relations here. He's giving Byron some space, some time to adjust. His sister, OTOH, ran up to him and smacked him, obviously trying to initiate play. He just blinked at her. Give him some time, honey. We're most of the way there.

1/16

1/17

      The Dumb and the Restless: "Ammon Bundy and his band of weeping, self-pitying, gun-toting, wannabe-terrorist metrosexuals are America's most ridiculous people."

1/18

1/20

      Sarah "LOOK AT ME!" Palin has endorsed Donald "LOOK AT ME!" Trump for president, or maybe declared War on the Moon because that's where all the hamsters come from: "You guys are sounding angry is we're hearing from the establishment. They stomp on our neck and tell us to chill. Just relax. Well, look, we are mad and we've been had. They need to get use to it. This election is more than just your basic ABCs: Anybody but Clinton. It's more than that this go around. When we're talking about a nation without borders, and bankruptcies and our federal government, debt our children and grandchildren will never be able to pay off. When we're talking about the power that comes from strength, power through strength, well then we're talking about our very existence. No, we're not going to chill. It's time to drill, baby, drill down and hold these folks accountable and we need to stop the self-sabotage and elect a candidate that represents that and America first, finally. Pro-Constitution. Common-sense solutions he brings to the table. Yes, the status quo has got to go. With their failed agenda, it can't be salvaged, it must be savaged and Donald Trump is the one to do that. Are you ready for new and are you ready for the leader who will let you make America great again? It's going to take a whole team."
      Fuckin' Moon Hamsters!! Her son then beat up his wife and drunkenly waved a gun around, which she blamed on Obama's parenting skills.
      Satire is dead. Reality, or someone's version of it, has surpassed it.
      "My son. PTSD. MOON. HAMSTERS. OBAMA. Am I a picture to draw you here?! Thank you, and may God super bless!"

1/21

      The all-white cat's feet fell off, and it tumbled over Jessica's head into my lap.
      I love writing sentences that are 100% factually true, yet are made of words never strung together in that order before. Like Sarah Palin! (Except hers aren't factually true, Moon Hamster!)
      Progress report on Byron's first full week with his family: He's still acting like he did before, and acting like nothing happened. This, of course, means the unbridled and unending path of the Byron Cyclone of Destruction. I got home after less than an hour yesterday, and he'd Hulk-Smash!ed his way through the computer area, causing the white cat statuette Jessica had made for me to break off at the feet--before The Episode, he'd already broken its arm--and tumble over the little photo of her I have on the monitor. He also smashed another of her creations, but not too bad, and knocked a bunch of other stuff to the floor.
      (smiles, shrugs) Hey, I wanted my old Byron back, and I got him! And I couldn't be happier.

1/24

      Saturday a customer wanted to know if Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix was gluten-free.
      She did not ask if there were any health risks associated with drinking tequila or driving to liquor stores during the worst part of a blizzard.

1/25

      I've almost told Jess about participating in Cracked's interview articles about her misunderstood condition. They just did it: I've Got Narcolepsy: 6 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About It. I know from her that it's all true.

1/27

      "GOV. MALLOY'S DECISON: DESTROY WILLINGTON/SAVE WILLINGTON"
      Wait, what? It's about...taxes or something?
      "DON'T MAKE WILLINGTON A WAR ZONE"
      WTF are these expensive billboards about?
      "WILLINGTON'S FUTURE: NONSTOP GUNFIRE FROM 9AM TO 8PM"
      Nonstop gunfire--on a schedule? Doesn't it stop from 8 to 9?
      The next was handwritten and tucked away too far to read clearly, but it was "[3 letters] MILITARY COMPOUND." Wait, were the 3 letters...POW? Prisoners of War in fucking upscale eastern CT? Can ONE of these signs explain the fuck what's going on?!
      "Stop the state gun range."
      Thank you! I'm guessing that it's at the state police barracks that's been there since...forever, as far as I know? I think that's one of the reasons that Willington's so upscale--dial 911, you get the state police to chase that racoon off your back deck.
      I saw that on my way to see That One Person at that One Other Place where we do Our One Thing. (Jess, Putnam, junk shopping) I gave her a box and said "When I saw this, I thought 'Jessica doesn't want this, Jessica NEEDS this!'" And it looks like:
      Use your imagination, because their website refuses to show me a picture. It's a clock with 4 black cats in windows. Jess loves black cats! One frame has a mouse holding a cat on a leash. I suggested taking a Dremel and removing the mouse and placing it so it looked like the cat was eating the mouse's intestines like spaghetti.
      "If this is global warming, I'll take it!" is not a thing we said. Our freakishly warm winter has led her feral cat colonies to not grow in their winter coats and put the cats in early heat, so when it does get really cold, as it has, she has deaths.
      Wow! On Tuesdays, half the damn town is closed. The big place was open, so we went around, talking about the return of my prodigal son Byron, the new conflict between 3 of her cats (it's like whatever demon Byron self-exorcised moved to her place), and the state of my health (something's wrong with me, and it coincides with my getting on Prozac, and worsened when they doubled my dose). She bought some Disneyana, some oddball stuff, and a couple of purses, one of which was patent leather and cost a whole dollar. I got a various artists CD of prog rock on the Cleopatra label, thinking "Cleopatra or Caroline, which was that 90s compilation label that sucked?" (Cleopatra. They did comps of music that the bands were happy to get paid for, because the songs were crappy. iTunes spit it out, importing no more than the first few seconds of each track)
      At lunch, she got her "small" calzone, the size of the purse she bought, and I got the buffalo chicken pizza, saying "I hope I don't throw it up." Yeah, I have exciting new health problems, and the return of Young's Syndrome is one.
      And my palsied hands. They shake all the time since the Prozac. There's the nausea, the difficulty sleeping, the lack of balance. Say anything about some odd symptoms to a person with the little-understood condition of narcolepsy, and then say "I googled Parkinson's disease" will lead to somebody trying to find out what the symptoms of that are. I had about...half of them? "Sleep problems?"
      "Yeah, I told you that."
      "Do you have [whispered voice; shows me her phone]...this?" Her phone said "Constipation." We were in a restaurant, but Jess is usually about as much "a delicate flower of womanhood" as is "a tank driving through a house." "No. Believe me, no."
      "Is your voice lower?" In my standard voice I croaked "Well, yeah." "Oh my god, that's right, your voice has gottten deeper!" "After a long day of work I sound like Darth Vader with a chest cold."
      Do I think I have Parkinson's? Hell no. That would be awful, and also cooler than "side effects of Prozac." The doctor's appointment is next week.
      We parted with a couple of stories from her. The pizza place that gave them free, unasked-for little baggies of weed with every purchase. The time her 19 year old daughter went to pick up their usual purchase: "If they give you a little bag of something, do NOT take it." "What? Bag of what?" "Just refuse it!" When the kid got home: "They tried to give me a bag, but I said 'My mom says no'!" Apparently, they were shut down soon after, I wonder why, and also wish I could've gone there.
      There was a flock of sparrows on the sidewalk (I think--black-capped tiny grey birds that are obnoxious are sparrows, right?) and apparently, one writhing around with a broken wing. As we got closer, no, it was 2 little shitheads trying to murder each other. They broke it up and flew away as we got closer. There was birdseed on the ground, so she thought they were fighting over that. She told me about a bird's nest in her yard, and a baby bird fell out. As Jess is Jess, she tried to get it back into the nest, as the momma bird dive-bombing her head. When she got a ladder and did it, she thought "No wonder you fell out; you're so much bigger than the other babies!" She then looked it up, and this was because it was the child of one of those evil birds that lays their eggs in other birds' nests, so that someone else can feed them. The real kids try to push the invader out before they starve. "That's the last time I do anything for a bird without looking it up first!"
      We parted with our usual Massive Hug. Oh, and the dystopian hellscape of Willington, CT? I'll just leave you to poke around UnWillington.com and wonder if it's Fury Road or Operation Jade Helm.

1/28

      A salesman for a new local beer company called today. My first question was "Is it shelf-stable, is it pasteurized?" Because our beer cooler is filled to capacity, and unpasteurized product needs to be chilled. He said "No, it's not, but if it gets warm and you drink it, it won't kill ya."
      Make that your slogan! "It won't kill ya*!"
      "*probably"

      I stuck my hand in my coat pocket and thought "What's this piece of paper?" Oh, it's the receipt from that evil CD I bought. It read "Clerk: Cthulhu." No wonder trying to import or even play it drove me to gibbering madness.
      If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall during one of my visits with Jess, eww gross! Not even Jeff Goldblum liked being a fly! We came upon a box labeled "HAMMERS $1.50! Guaranteed as smart as a Trump voter!" She lifted a claw hammer and said "This has only been used in one murder. Still plenty of murders left in it." Then she picked a mallet and said "2 or 3 murders. Hmm, it's a bit wobbly. Use a different one."
      I lifted a claw hammer that was basically a lump of rust on a stick. "If this doesn't kill them right away, it'll give them tetanus. 'Ha, you can't testify against me, you've got lockjaw!'"
      In other words, a pretty typical conversation.

      I had a buffalo chicken pizza on our visit, which sadly did not come with a complimentary bag of weed. I just had some of the leftovers, leaving the crust because pizza crust, eww! I'm not Jeff Goldblum! Byron then decided he wanted pizza crust. "You don't want that! It's got hot sauce!" but he gnawed a bit. Then did the cat "open mouth with the whole tongue extended" thing I haven't seen done since KK ate an ant. He ran off for water. Crazy cat!

1/29

      I started out this New with a promise to make fun of dumb tanks. Then I realized that I had to address the fact that "old-timey tank guy" is not a job you should seek out. They did not have a long lifespan, and the usual reason was "very horrible death." I really couldn't do jokes about anything except tanks that nobody died in, because they were too shitty to use.
      That said, here's waaay more than you want to know about the never-used worst and least tank-like tank ever, the tool shed on a farm tractor:

      

      It goes on for 13 minutes and repeats itself, so feel free to abandon the video as if it was a Bob Semple itself.

      The Battle of the Scamperbeasts: An Epic Poem, Translated From the Cat Tongue

2/1

We North Americans we come from the stock of our ancestors.--politician Sarah Palin

1/30

      Saturday I thought "I hope I'm not coming down with a cold." Sunday I thoought "I'm coming down with a cold."
      This was a day off, so I had a chance to burn it off. I spent all day sleeping. And peeing; I drank a lot of water to flush it from my system. I awoke feeling not great, but as if the cold was dodged. And I couldn't find my glasses! I was so sick and tired Sunday (because I was sick, and tired) that I must've left them somewhere weird. After searching every logical place, and some illogical ones, I remembered something. And there they were, on the floor outside the drawer I keep them in. What I remembered was that I'd heard Byron playing around there early, so he likely fished them out with his thumbs and flung them.
      Yep. Things are truly back to normal.

2/2

2/3

      For those wondering about my health, I saw the doctor. He lowered my Prozac and gave me a low dose of generic Wellbutrin. The pharmacist said to let 2 weeks to see if it works.
      My doctor ruled Parkinson's out. "Those tremors are more like this," he said, making a closing fist movement. "Or like this!" and he did an air guitar. "Oh, wait, that's heavy metal." No, that's my doctor.

      "They rise from the muck and mire, and hold you by suction!"
      For those of you who like movies that are goofy, awful, near-incoherent, with hilarious special effects and yet never boring (that'd be all of you), I heartily recommend Netflixing the Lou Ferrigno early 80s Hercules double feature. Every cheeseball "special" effect form that time is used, often every few minutes. It includes Hercules punching a guy in a bad bear suit into outer space, where it becomes the constellation Ursa Major, sure why the fuck not. He soon throws a big log at the Moon, where it becomes--we're not told. The first involves the Seven Labors of Herc, including the "clean the horse shit up" quest. The second movie involves Herky retrieving the lost 7 thunderbolts of Zeus, which are rendered as in one of those 80s Nintendo games K-B sold for 50% off. Hanna and Barbera would look at the animation and say "We were better!"
      Maybe my Greek mythology is a bit off, but I think Daedalus was not a babe in her 20s and a codpiece and bustier making ludicrous stop-motion clockwork monsters, but that guy James Joyce wrote about.
      It is a good movie if you like people walking around in their underwear. Including Lou, who goes through 2 movies wearing a loincloth and lots of baby oil. 14 year old boys watching this on Cinemax circa 1986 will enjoy the women walking around like lingerie models ("I swear, dude, in one scene you can totally almost see part of Sybil Danning's nipple!"). But it's the special ed-fects that make this one for me. They're all hilarious. I'm guessing that if they had a target audience, it was little kids and stoners. I'd also say MST3K lovers, but it predates that. You should rent it, but be warned: It holds you by suction.

2/4

      I wonder if this is spam:
      "Dear Beneficiary,
      I am Mr.Charles Briggs, Director of Claims Department with a bank here in London, United Kingdom. I wish to notify you that you are clear to claim the total sum of Twenty Million Five Hundred thousand British pounds (GBP20.5M ) in the codicil and last testament of a deceased costumer."
      Wow! Sewing for theatrical productions sure pays well! Let me contact you at a bank there in London, United Kingdom!

2/5