NEW 120

"If the universe is bigger and stranger than I can imagine, it's best to meet it with an empty bladder."
--John Scalzi

Jump to the Newest of the New


      Well...I guess I should write a something.
      I received this heartfelt email greeting:      Well, that's great. Also, "kapptur," who the fuck are you? The people who got to the copyright office 5 seconds after the guy who came up with Captcha left? "Kapptur," sounds like a villain from a lame late-90s X-Men comic. Did he capture your bone marrow and draw it from your pores in a big gush, and have tiny feet because he was done by Liefeld? (He would keep your bone marrow in his many leg pouches to power his big guns!)
      Also, a sweet pear becomes mushy rotting fruit after about a week. I hope 2015 goes better than that for me.

      You may or may not get a free can of Red Bull via telling them your New Year's resolution (I got all the way through, but it never said I was getting a can). I said "MY RESOLUTION FOR 2015 IS: to pick the right week to stop sniffing glue." In retrospect, maybe I should've said "to not be a rotting pear."

      This New Year's Eve was probably the busiest I've seen in a decade. Also, the most times I've been asked "Are you closing early?" followed by utter disbelief when I said "No." One, why would we close early on the day when the parties start the latest, and 2, why did you ask if you thought you already knew the answer? 3, why are you asking while you're in the store buying? To know that you can't buy later? 4, why buy on the third busiest day of the year and ask "Do you have any cold champagne?" when you could've bought a day early when it was slow and just stuck it in your fridge? Of course it's cold, everyone's buying it nonstop and we put it in the cooler 5 minutes ago! We lowered the temperature to Kelvin. Do not lick the bottle.


      Coworker: "Did you expect it to be this slow today?"
      Me: "It'd be almost as slow if it wasn't snowing."
      Maybe it's just me, but it seems to snow on Saturdays and Wednesdays a lot. Wednesday I have off, but Saturdays...also a day when most people don't work, so plowing tends to be minimal.
      It was to snow only 2-3 inches, but heavily and all at once, then become freezing rain, then rain as it warmed from the 20s into the 50s NO CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENS, IS TOTAL SANE WEATHERS!!
      The worst part is just getting out of the town I work in (20 miles from home). They never plow until the storm's over. There's a commuter parking lot at the exact border with the next town, where the plows turn around. The road goes from 6 inches of frozen sludge to perfectly clean right there.
      Driving home yesterday, I saw that the town had pre-treated all the roads. Even the very minor residential backroads I drive on. Crap! They're not planning on plowing at all, are they? Just wait for the rain. Well, the rain comes after midnight, I drive home at 9, that's awesome, thanks.
      The Store is inbetween the fire house, the police station, and the emergency clinic. 30 minutes after the light wet snow began to fall, we were surrounded by constant sirens. A part-timer who is also an EMT said "There are 3 accidents, one major. And a chimney fire." (I'm guessing that was unrelated) And an hour later, we finally saw the plows. Guess the town didn't want any lawsuits.
      Leaving, I scraped the ice off my windshield, then lent my scraper to the coworker. He goes to college in Mississippi, but crimeny, scrapers are sold in dollar stores, keep one in your car in CT. In the 2 minutes he used it, my windshield completely iced up, and I had to pull over and scrape again. Guess I should lend it to him first next time.


      Not because I think slowly or am easily distracted, but I was thinking about Christmas at my sister's and doesn't Halloween shopping seem to start earlier every year, and do gerbils eat french fries? I mean, a french fry would be like the size of a Duraflame log to a gerbil. If you crossed a gerbil with a grumpy hamster, would it be a hermit crab, or a crabby herbil?
      That last sentence proves nothing about my inability to self-edit. On Xmas, which was like 3 weeks ago or maybe in the 1890s, I met my sister Judy's pony. I mean "dog." What kind was he? The big kind. The fucking 90 pound kind. I imagine there's a more specific breed, but "Jesus Fuck, it's the Leviathan!" also works.
      "We're his fourth family," she said. "He started in Indiana, ended up in Connecticut. No one ever said why they gave him up! Well, his last owner was a single mom, and I can't walk him by myself. I don't walk him, he drags me!" I said, "That would be why. Uh-huh." (thinks to self: "Probably nothing to do with the fact that in 4 months, he's sent both your kids to the emergency ward")
      "Jimmy," as the behemoth is named, likes to half-lie in laps. His mighty girth would take like 3 laps at once to fit. There was a noise, and Jimmy jumped up while in her daughter's lap. His massive head smashed into her jaw and gave her a concussion. Jimmy was unfazed by her injury, possibly still focused on the threat of a cloud moving across the floor or a squirrel farting outside.
      Judy's son was playing with Jimmy the Impaler, and he decided to have a staring contest. I've never tried this with a dog. I have with cats, but as they have 19 different eyelids and one is an unblinking "LOOOOK into my EYES!!" one said in a Bela Lugosi voice, humans will always lose. Apparently, Monster Dog Version is "GARRRRHHH YOU DIE JOE!" and Jimmy jumped and tried to eat Patrick's nose off. So Patrick celebrated Xmas with 10 stitches.
      DJ cut my ear last month. I used up like 2 Kleenex!
      Adopt cats, people. Or maybe small dogs. Or just go ahead and adopt a sloth. When it goes for your face, you'll have 2 days warning. "Oh no, I'm being attacked by a sloth! Sorry, Slothy, but I have to go to work." (gets home 8 hours later) "Slothy honey! Oh, wait, you're still attacking me. Okay, I'll stand here, but I have to go to bed in 5 hours."



--on screen, Fox 23, Tulsa



      "COLD ENOUGH FOR YA?!" Sorry. I work in retail and hear that a lot. To be accurate, it was more like "Oh god oh god never warm again"
      It was actually worse yesterday, with no sun and more wind and WTF, it's 5F out an hour after sunset. My road had a utility crew on a cherry picker, and did I pity them. I briefly thought about driving my car the 1/5th of a mile round trip to my mailbox.
      My car stays in the garage, which is built into the side of a hill, so it's about as well-insulated as it can get. I'm the only one of the 4 units in my building that puts a car in the garage. One guy has a workshop in his, the others use theirs for storage. Reasonable. One garage is full of big plastic storage bins stacked to the ceiling, and also 4 deep in the back. They also have packages from the Home Shopping Network outside their door 1-3 times a week, and that's just when I see them. They have issues, or maybe they're storing stuff for other people who maybe can't leave a box outside their door when they're not home or in their garage-less place without it being stolen?
      OK, a little far-fetched, but the people I share half the garage with...Why you would have a complete kitchen and laundry room in your garage, I don't know why you'd keep that as a backup. The washer and drier are gone, but were replaced with a table covered in big, taped-up boxes of whatever. Unless they're full of what it says on the big boxes, "Single-Use Disposable Vaginal Speculums." Hopefully unfilled with things that have had one use.
      Last night before bed, I shut the inside storm windows. Miss Killsy immediately ran up to the first one and yelled what I guess was "But I LOOK out of that!" Then I closed the other, and she ran up and said "But I look out that one, TOO!" I don't think you'd wanna for the next few days, dear heart.
      I should say that I turned the heat up to 80 nearly 4 hours ago, and the temp has gone a whole none degree. It was at 70, but 70 in the spring outside is "Shorts weather!" 70 inside in the winter is "OH GOURD FROSTBITES"


      My heat is still set at 80, and the house went all the up to 72.
      I don't want to make this a blog about the weather, but don't pretend you don't talk about it, too. Today's forecast called for an 80% chance of snow during the morning rush hour, and also a 70% chance, or a 50% chance of just snow showers, depending on which part of Weather Underground's page you looked at. A few flakes fell as I left the garage full of speculum boxes. Ten minutes later, it was just light blowing snow while I did 70 on the highway. I took the exit for the next highway, and I didn't even reach the end of the quarter-mile ramp before there was an inch of snow on the road, a whiteout, and I was doing 15MPH. The fuck? Where did THAT come from?! All the delivery drivers had a similar story "It just came from nowhere, right as I reached [place name]!"
      Then it stopped and 3 hours later, the sun came out and melted it all. This crap the liberal media spreads about "Global Warming makes the weather insane" must be wrong! It SNOWED in WINTER!

      Much later, my rib hurt. The one I fractured like 13-15 years ago. It still does that. Maybe I lifted something wrong, maybe it's the weather? (Okay, I'll stop talking about the weather) Then a customer came up from behind me and gave me a friendly punch in oh, guess where exactly. I gasped in pain, told him "Maybe you just numbed it!" and said as soon as he left "Maybe you didn't" and took 3 ibuprofen. Next time he's in--well, the store does have a tire iron behind the register...


      Via the only thing I read on Daily Kos anymore:      No one remembers that we also invented the Wiffle Ball! And comic books! The helicopter! The first female governor who wasn't the wife of a sitting governor! A really weird/ugly state flag, and were founded by a guy named Hooker! Hamburgers! And Preppies!! Several men named George Bush!!! Okay, maybe I should've stopped 2 points ago.



      Here's a Fleischeriffic video! Why, it's even Cab Callowayeriffic!


      Which reminds me of this! It's also Muppeteriffic!!






      BFFs! Snuggle buddies! Friends to the End!
      Actually, see that cascade of CDs? Killsy was being bugged by DJ 2 days ago, and she very deliberately dumped that stack onto his head. Siblings, really.
      If you're wondering why he has that pink spot on his nose, when gets in my lap he sometimes likes to rub his nose very vigorously against my short, rough beard, to the point he rubs himself raw. He doesn't mind.

"Cy-Kill 1 to Rock Lord 3! Abort mission! Abort, abort!"
      (long pause)
      "Cy-Kill 1 to Rock Lord 3! Urgent, urg--"
      "I told you at the start of the mission, I am not responding to any code-names based on Go-Bots."
      "Okay. Papa Smurf to Snork. Can you receive through your head funnel, or is it full of, how should I know, Scooby Snacks?"
      "Tarantino. I told you before insertion."
      "sigh Mr Black, this is Cy-Kill 1--"
      "Not responding."
      (grits teeth) "Okay, this is Mr PINK, are you happy?"
      "Roger, Pinky! What's the status?"
      "Jesus! ABORT! Did you miss that part?!"
      "Why? Am I stuck in the middle with you?"
      "Christ! Christ almighty, ABORT! The CAT is out of the BAG! ABORT MISSION!"


      "Nah, she's still in it. Now, if it was a little green bag--"
      "Hey, The Gimp, this is Royale with Cheese. Oops, signal breaking up. You are requested to begin self-extraction. Start with your head and your ass."
      Small cat in bag yawns, stretches, says "Mew," and 10 big burlap bags rip open, each holding a Bengal tiger.
      Small cat goes back to sleep.

      Developers of Glorn FAQ, "The Ultimate German Strategy Board Game for 16-32 Players."


      Around 3AM 2 days ago, I was laying 10%-awake in bed when DJ came in and laid on my chest. Wait, it's not DJ, it's Kill Kill! She's never in the bed! And never a lap cat. So I petted her for no idea how long, between 10 minutes and an hour. It became apparent that I wasn't going back to sleep, so I got up. And Killsy was still hovering around me!
      Because she'd swallowed one of my 2 foot long ponytail hairs, and now an attached piece of her poop was dangling half out her ass. I'd spent some long amount of time blissfully in bed petting the Patty Deuce Show.

      I don't know if "the Patty Deuce Show" is funny or even coherent. I awoke between 3 and 4 this morning feeling awful, as awful as, I don't know, a cat with a cold piece of shit waving out her butt. I thought "I should call out of work," but I said that while on my hands and knees in a fetal position in the shower, "but I can't go back to bed for 90 minutes when my hair's wet." Apparently all my current problems are related to my long hair.
      I got to work, I guess, as I was at work. I guess. It felt like I wasn't there, just dreaming it. I held together for 4 hours and went home (I guess, as I'm at home). I fed the cats, then slept until 6, then ate the last of the homemade chicken soup Mom gave me for Xmas. With another million hours of sleep, I should be ok to go to work tomorrow, because otherwise (INSERT PUNCHLINE HERE TOMORROW)

      I guess "Mysterious Mose" was a thing once, because here's Betty Boop covering the song during her "I took the brown acid" phase:





      Wow, Stupidest Things Calendar. I bet you wouldn't do that joke if it was "He's gay." I guess transgender people are still okay to mock.
      I think this is where a lot of religious and racial tension comes from: If the people at the top can keep the people at the bottom fighting with each other, they can't band together and fight the people at the top who are their real threat.
      Sit at the back of the bus, and we also don't serve the Irish here.



      The weather wasn't great, cold and very windy, but the company was awesome.
      Jess and I in Putnam on a Tuesday. We usually come on Wednesdays, but she had a feral rescue scheduled. We hurried to the art gallery through the cold. It was closed. We dashed off to Jeremiah's Antiques--it was closed, and they only close on Tuesdays. We started towards Cosmic Cat, a New Age store that had Phantom, a lovable store cat. "Why are we going?" I said. "They're never open!" And they were.
      Jess asked about Phantom. I cringed. We haven't seen him a long time, and she forgets how long we've been seeing him--14 or 15 years we've been coming here. He died 2 or more years ago. Jess and the owner began talking about cats, cat health, ferals, Jess' husband's cat Bogart getting renal failure after peeing blood two weeks ago. My look of shock and sadness was not discussed but obviously noted. "You know what works?" said the New Age store owner. "Reiki." I kept a poker face (as I was still internally screaming "BOGART? RENAL FAILURE?"), but if I was the other person in this conversation, I would've ended it there. If you don't know, Reiki involves hand waving. Literally just that, without touching somebody. I think it balances both your chakras and your chi and possibly your feng shui, maybe also your orgone energy, your vitreous humours, and the Force. She said "It can also be done remotely!" Suuure it can, it's not like you're touching anybody anyway. The store had an unsold copy of the book 5/5/2000: The Ultimate Disaster. What bullshit! We all know the world ended on 12/21/2012!
      The owner has a feral visiting her porch that she's feeding, so the conversation turned to that, as that's what Jess does. "I spend so much time doing it, I don't even have the time to see my friends!" Jess said, turning to me. The owner said that she was thinking about rescuing him, and a very long talk ensued. The owner repeatedly said that she worked as a vet's assistant, but also made it clear that she trusts not the demon vaccines. This is not the point that I would've left, this is the point I would've stabbed the woman with a rusty nail and yelled "Don't get tetanus shots, they cause the autisms!" Jess tried to discuss this--"I've seen cats get distemper, and it's the worst way to die!"--but Ms Pro-Whooping Cough waved it off. Maybe she was using Reiki! Or the Force. "These are the diseases your children are looking to get!"
      Jess left her contact info. Outside, I said "It's a good thing they were open!" meaning that she'd rescue the feral, and not New Age Lady (I like to pronounce "New Age" as "newage," so that it rhymes with "sewage"). "Bogart" I said, and she said "I don't want to talk about him. I'll just start crying." But she did anyway, swallowing the lump in her throat: "We almost had to make a hard decision last week." But Bogie is a fighter. He's had a heart murmur since he was a kitten, and has had many close calls. As she told the newage lady, "Every year it's like he thinks we need to spend $2000 on him!" (Which was followed by "think magic thoughts" words by the lady, and I could see Jess' patience fraying) And now he has a cold, which actually is a big deal even to humans when they already have a compromised immune system. But he's a trooper who probably has at least 2 lives left. She said "He's going to be pissed if it's a cold that gets him! 'Are you kidding me? I'm tougher than that!'" Bogie is a cat who should go out defeating a supervillain and saving the world for all Catkind.
      We were silent for a bit, then she asked about my kids. I told her that Byron had snarled at DJ for the first time in months, as he had one paw on Byron's tower and the other on his head. Yes, B has been much less hostile to him lately, but that isn't the way to make friends and influence cats, buddy.
      Jess gave her opinion of newage. "I believe in some of that stuff, so if I don't, it's really nuts!" She went to a New Age con with a friend who needed "food." She believes whatever crap someone wants to sell her, all this "cleansing" stuff. There was a toilet for cleansing she wanted to buy, because when one drops their special snowflake deuce, not all the evil doody ying-yang comes out. There is something to this--humans didn't used to sit on chairs to make yule logs, they squatted out their Chocodiles. So you could, umm, maybe just raise your legs when making a Dick Cheney's Soul Loaf when you're doing the Dying Elvis? "You sit so your knees are basically in your armpits!" laughed Jess. I said "I'm sure it was reasonably priced." It was basically boxes that spread your Limp Bizkit Music Maker and we end now as I run out of heretofore unknown poop synonyms.
      Her sister--who is basically more the opposite of Jess than Bearded Spock ever was of his--is into dopey crystal shit. "We need to go to the beach in January!" she said, "to recharge my crystals! I can't use them until after the full moon! OH GOD, don't touch them, you'll transfer your negative energy to them!" I said "I'd think the only crystal your sister would care about was crystal meth." (This is funnier when you know her sister. Also truer)
      We poked around, somehow mistiming our poking with 2 old ladies who poked at a much slower pace, and who were always dominating whatever booth we wanted to poke in. We eventually took a different route, and they still somehow ended up booth-blocking us. This trip's theme was militaria. Just booth after booth of helmets and bayonets. One was a 60s jet pilot helmet with a mouth mike. I want to wear that to work. While making jet noises with my mouth. If I get pulled over--"But officer, it's handless!" Jess said that I'd be safer in a crash, as I'd be wearing a helmet.
      Since I need a new work coat, I tried on a wool Marine wool coat. The sleeves were longer than my arms, and since I've entered the "Incredible Shrinking Bill" phase of my life, I kept looking for one less orangatangy. One was a Royal Navy coat. Jess held my coat while--goddammit, Old Ladies, you're looking through that very coat rack! When they left, I took it off the rack and said "Holy Shit!" That fucker was for a ship's deck in the North Sea in January, and must've weighed at least 40 pounds. Again, the sleeves were too long. Just as well, as I can imagine walking up 3 flights of stairs with that monkey suit on my back. "I bet I'll regret not buying that if I ever get a job a battleship." "Don't worry," she said, "If you do, I'll make sure to keep reminding you."
      "Lots of purses," I said of one booth. She said "Yeah, I'm pretty much done with purses, I have so many." Her purses are always cheaply bought but very cool and odd ones. Then she said "Look at this!" She found a big, circular wooden purse, with a mirror inside and lined with velvet. Five bucks! "Won't that hurt your legs after carrying it for a while, banging against them?" "No," she replied, "I hold my purses like this," and she crooked it on her elbow, "like a lady!" "The only thing ladylike about Jessica." She laughed and said "That is so true!"
      I pointed and said "Baby hands." Jess said "OMG BABY HANDS!! A DOLLAR!!" A tiny package of 2 baby forearms. Plastic; we weren't at the Lecter Emporium. She told me that she has a big jar of dismembered doll parts at home, because Jess.
      I looked at CDs, because I want to fill up my 160GB iPod, and because I need more things to stack so that Killsy can dump them on DJ's head and I can slip on in the middle of the night while trying to reach the lights. I would've finally bought Deee-Lite's first CD if it didn't look like someone used the disc to sand wood. I bought 3 generic New Agey CDs (I don't dislike the music when it's $3, just the philosophical "wishing makes it so" idiocy behind the movement's beliefs), "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" soundtrack because Morricone, a Drum & Bass CD that I may regret, even at $3, and a didjeridu CD. The insert has no info on the CD, just ads for 2 "HARDCORE TECHNO" CDs, because I guess this for when the club crowd's MDMA was wearing off around 5 AM. In the next aisle, I heard some girl whisper "That guy's looking at--CDs!" He turned out to be a boy 10 or under, possibly horrified that I wasn't downloading them for 3 times the cost.
      Man oh Morricone, I didn't check the CD good enough! It looks bad and ugly, with what looks like a fucking Magic Marker stain over some tracks. This won't burn well. What a waste of $3! Shoulda downloaded!
      Her haul: purse ( handmade in 1973 by "CJK"), a ceramic tiger cub (or maybe orange tabby kitten), a Huskies bracelet she's going to alter for her UCONNy mother-in-law, and dismembered hollow baby hands. After we goofed around with them like little kids, she realized "Oh! I could make this a pin!" holding it against her lapel, "with little flowers in it!" I said "I'd expect you to put a forearm bone sticking out of it." She's decided that she's going to make it with a bouquet of tiny forearm bones sticking out of it.
      And Antiques Marketplace was pretty much the only place open. We went to "small cheese pizza," which we call that restaurant because that's what she's ordered since we first came there before the Apollo Moon Landings. She always gets a pizza, I always get a wrap. "I think I'll have a pizza!" I said. And she said "I think I'll have a calzone!" And we did, because WE ARE SO CRAZY.

      That calzone is about the length of a normal loaf of bread. "And I bet you eat it all," I said. And she did! My buffalo chicken pizza was so wicked awesome, I see why pizza was what she always bought. I took 2/3s of mine home. She can eat as much as she wants, as she has the body of a bikini model and the metabolism of a hummingbird. I can eat whatever fits in my small stomach and feel fed, and have the metabolism of a tree sloth and the body of a 55 year old man.
      She's decided to stop dying her hair black and go back to her natural color. I'd describe it as auburn/reddish brown, she describes it as "cherry cola." Here's a pic that kinda exaggerates it because of the window behind her, but it's really here to show off her handmade handbag:


      From Cracked yesterday (when I was too busy typing to read it), 5 Awful Lessons I Learned Living With a Mystery Illness. It took 2-3 years for Jess to be diagnosed with narcolepsy--it was only discovered a few months ago that it's an autoimmune disorder, which kinda makes sense. When you're sick, the first thing your body tells you is "Go to sleep." And you remember Young's Syndrome, with my involuntary, random puking before it disappeared as weirdly as it started. So of course I read it. And the guy has involuntary, random puking! Maybe I had some very, very light version of what he had? And by "light" I mean worse things happened to him in item 1 than ever happened to me, and I had it for years.

      Like yesterday's post wasn't verbose enough, here's some addenda:
      When we met, I gave Jess some Funny Times that I'd read, and she gave me a wrapped Xmas gift, obviously a book. It was The Cat and the Curmudgeon by Cleveland Amory, a sequel to The Cat Who Came For Christmas. I own that already, so good educated guess on her part. It came with a button that, based on the font, I say was from the early 80s. "I (heart) Connecticut ___" it reads. It has a knob one can turn to add a phrase in a little window. "I (heart) Connecticut Charm" is what it was on, but she turned it so it read "I (heart) Connecticut Ladies." I said "Oh yeah, the ladies!" forgetting that she's lived in Mass for a dozen years.
      Other phrases are "I (heart) Connecticut Hospitality"--HAHAHA, the famously friendly New Englanders! "Nightlife"--New York is the city that never sleeps at night, Hartford is the city that closes at 5PM workdays. "Comfort"--at this time of year, that means "indoors with the heat on," but we're only 6 months from it meaning "indoors with the AC on." And "Ladies" is followed by "Gentlemen," so maybe they're talking about our public restrooms. I do find them to be very clean. I should ask the CT State Tourism Board to consider "Our toilets ain't encrusted with Shit" as a slogan.
      "I'd buy this hat!" she enthused, "If not for my phobia." I said "I was thinking 'She's actually touching that?'" The phobia would be from at least a decade ago, when we were in Pink House Antiques, and Jess browsed a rack of vintage clothing. Until a swarm of tiny white moths flew out. She's enough of a germophobe that I quickly learned to not even reference that. We walked by the long-abandoned Pink House storefront and she noticed that the windows were dripping with moisture. We hypothesized about this on the way to the restaurant, her theory being "Maybe they have steam radiators?" On the way back, we stopped and took a closer look. Water wasn't just coating the windows, it was running down them in rivulets, and it was 32 damn degrees outside. She noticed that the walls were covered in mold and mildew, and I saw her guess was right: a steam radiator, rusted out on the side facing the windows. Then we saw that the entire inside storefront was rotting. This had been going on for a while. They'd have to gut the whole thing to make in usable for humans again. Does nobody own this place? They're totally renovating the building next door into a YMCA, so maybe that will eventually be part of that. Or maybe the whole YMCA will get mold-sick.
      Things I should've stopped and photo'd: The Concrete Factory, which has lampposts with giant ice cream cones on them. I've never seen anything in that storefront, and I'm never more than 2-6 months between visits there with a certain leggy knockout. Which would go out of business quicker: A store that sold ice cream made of concrete, or a contractor who made concrete out of ice cream? The former would be gone after the first chipped tooth, the latter as soon as spring warmed the temperatures and the buildings began to fall over.
      I guess it was in the middle. According to this post, it was an ice cream store from 2008 at least 2013. Wow, how did I miss it? When a giant chain of stores goes out of business, even my beloved Lechmere, I'm "Who cares?" When it's a small business, that's someone's lifelong dream failing. That makes me sad.(Although naming your ice cream store "The Concrete Factory"...)
      Also, a billboard for Zoe & Co's bra-fitting service. The picture was of a buxom lass waving boxing gloves, with the tagline "PUT 'EM UP!" I guess they're called "dukes" now.


      Jess recommended Rescue Remedy for Byron. She just used it on her ex-feral/still kinda-psycho cat Paul, and it worked. It's possible that I'll get mine tomorrow. I doubt it can hurt.
      With the not-good news about her 14 year old Bogart (who I still bet will be the first cat with 11 lives), it was good to see my nearly-16 year old Killsy find an old toy mouse, and then go nuts on it for 5 minutes. She might've go on longer, except that I kept giving her encouragement. "Good girl! Mighty Fighty Bitey Hunter Cat!" which distracted her from her epic battle. She snoozes now after her workout, but what human at the equivalent of age 78 wouldn't?

      Your Pledge Week PBS lineup: "8 p.m.: Who’s the President? Dr. Niles Rakoff. Dr. Rakoff introduces simple tricks so that almost everyone can remember their phone numbers or what day it is."


      Coworker with a gift for metaphor, on a fingernail that hadn't quite broken: "I'm babying it like a baby!"



      I got Rescue Remedy on Friday. Jess swears by it for calming. The box said "Homeopathic," and I might've been swearing after reading that. That means "Not a medicine, so the FDA lets us sell it, even if it doesn't do anything*" (The * means "SUCKER!") And its ingredients are a buncha flower extracts and "27% Alcohol." Whaaa?! The recommended dose is 4 drops, but for a 12 pound kitty cat? After wasting who knows how many drops trying to get the damn security tape off it, I put one drop in Byron's water, he saw me and he freaked the fuck out. Running and jumping around his little domain, angry at me for doing it. Yeah thanks, it's calming him down a lot, Rescue Remedy!
      And the problem isn't that he's stressed. He's quite happy in the realm of Byronia. He gets angry at DJ sometimes, but I'm thinking that having him be angry and drunk isn't going to help things.

      In Connecticut, 5 inches of snow means either "Well, that will be inconvenient" or "DOOOM!" depending on how stupid you are. And, like grocery stores and gas stations, liquor stores are full of survivalists who think that the state's snow plows are drawn by starving oxen, and the roads won't be passable until Spring. It's the grocery store runs that are the most baffling--if the storm's bad enough that the power goes out, your car will have gas and you'll have booze, but you've just added to the rotting food you're going to throw out.
      So I had to drive to work on Saturday in a storm both ways. I grumbled to myself that every storm this season, snow or ice or heavy rain, I've had to work. Most weeks I only work 4 days, so there's a near-50% chance it shouldn't happen. I checked the weather when I got home, and there's a big storm coming Tuesday. A foot or two? Even the sane New Englanders pay attention to that. But it's on my day off! I have no problem with snow when I can just watch it pile up from my home with a cup of tea in my hand and a happy cat in my lap. Then 12 hours it's starting Monday, right around the time I get to work. Great. Wouldn't want to break my losing streak.


      Please, sir, may I have some Less?
      That was fun; let's not do it again. The forecast was that the heavy snow to start at 7, 2 hours before closing. Eh, whatever. Then this morning, 7 was when the blizzard would start. The NWS usually says before a bad storm that "Travel will be difficult at best." Today they said that at the height of the storm, "Travel will be impossible, and also life-threatening." They even said you shouldn't walk.
      I got to work at 12, and we'd already done almost a regular Monday's worth of business. I figured all the businesses would let people out early by 1. No, they let them out every hour, on the hour, so every hour, on the hour, we had another mad rush. Then the state announced a complete road closure from 9PM Mon to (not kidding) whenever they decided it was over. That calmed people down! By 5, we'd done another $10K, or $2K an hour. Christmas Eve is not that busy.
      And we had the usual Monday staffing. AKA, skeleton crew. So, yay, fun. Then, at exactly 530, poof! went the business. Because of the road closure, it'd already been decided to close at 8, earlier if we had no customers for 30 minutes. So we closed at 745. The blizzard hadn't started, and I got home only 35 minutes later.
      And, despite the fact that the worst is yet to come, we'll be open tomorrow. They think that if we're open, we'll make money, even if it's less than the cost of being open. Since they're saying "a blizzard with at least 2 feet of snow," people aren't going to even be walking there. We'll be the only thing open in the whole plaza, so they might not even plow the parking lot. Since snow could fall at 2-4 inches an hour, why would they? Hey, who cares, I ain't working. I'm going to drink tea in my pajamas, and then drink beer and eat hot wings in my pajamas. If the power stays on.
      I had a message from the town saying that there was a parking ban. From 9PM Mon to 8AM Saturday. Yeah, that'll calm people down. What does the town have, a single snowplow and 2 guys with one shovel? Arguing "NO, it's YOUR turn to shovel!"


      Re-reading last week's posts, I saw that I somehow referred to Jessica as a "leggy knockout." Which sounds like something from a particularly bad 1948 noir paperback.      I could've been Raymond Chandler, but he beat me to it.

      "Whew!" I thought last night, "I got home before the blizzard!" I checked the radar online, and...where is the blizzard? The northwestern third of the state wasn't getting any snow at all, and that's Litchfield County! For those out of CT, when there's a storm, snow or thunder, they always get the worst of it. I might get a forecast of "sleet changing to light hail," but they'll get "showers of ball-peen hammers, with occasional downpours of falling grand pianos." I've never been up there, as that would involve a trek of an enormous 60 miles, or almost as far as Oregon to a New Englander, and I don't want to die of dysentry on the way. I picture Litchfield as a blasted heath, covered with broken trees and with Mount Doom smouldering on the horizon. Haha, kidding, no volcano, just lots of random meteor impacts!
      It depended how far east you were. Putnam, where last week I met a femme fatale with legs so leggy that a mannequin would die of jealousy by poisoning itself by eating way too many grapes, they got 2 feet. (Mannequins usually get two feet at the factory) Here, 14 inches, which isn't a little. I just finished 10 minutes of petting Byron while watching someone dig her car out, and she started shoveling before I started petting, and I finished petting before she finished shoveling.
      It's better to err on the side of caution. Traffic accidents were minimal. Of course, now it's going to snow Friday (when I work and have to commute in both rush hours, OF COURSE), and no matter the forecast, people will say "Pay no attention to the weatherman behind the curtain!" and it'll be worse than the Blizzard of Nots.

      Couple of funny ones from Something Awful. Start out slow, become funnier: The Men Must Pay for What They Did to the Footballs: "The treacherous New England Patriots are guilty of deflating their footballs. We must punish them severely in the name of holy retribution. This transgression has been the biggest headline in the United States for an entire week, and it should be the primary concern of all nations."
      I haven't bought Rolos in a long time, but they were my favorite candy. Interesting results of a survey of Rolo ingestors: Who the Hell is Buying Rolos? "The average consumer of Rolos is between the ages of 75 and 120. They are male. They have extremely long fingers, possibly with an extra joint, and a simian oral region that comes to a Grinchian pursing of the lips."

      If an article that begins with "I have spent the past two days at an academic conference about the electronic music group Kraftwerk" in a completely unironic way doesn't immediately interest you, please do not click that link.

      "Blizzard of Nots" is a registered trademark of ThotViCo Incorporated.


      My favorite action movie is The Road Warrior. I'm also the one who pointed out to other fans of it that the movie would be over if there was one guy with an Uzi. And there's no way it'd be easier to maintain a fleet of running cars than one gun.
      Super-brief trailer to a movie that solves that question. And set in the far-off apocalyptic year of-- !


      "Square Pegs, Square Pegs--Square ~ Pegs!" We watched the show's premiere to see how much of an asshole the "New Wave" character would be. But we agreed that Johnny Slash was the show's most likable character. Close to the only likable character. As the article says, it started strong, then just got kinda not, and I don't even think I watched half of the only 20 episodes.

      A beginner's guide to the Redpill Right, the manchild world of libertarian "atheist" MRA Gamergaters. I put "atheist" in quotes because it's not really atheism if you replace worshipping Gourd with worshipping something else, which in their cases seems to be themselves.       


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