NEW 122

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

Jump to the Newest of the New


      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.





      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.


      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
      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.


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


      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.




      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.


      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.


      A customer came to the register with a single can of beer.
      ME: "Hi!"
      HIM: "Yes."
      "Is that it?"
      "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.


      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.


      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.


      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.



      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!



      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?!"



      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.


      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?".


      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."
      " 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)




      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."


      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.






      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.


      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!"



      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!


            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.






      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.


      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.



      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."


      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?






      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!"


      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."



      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.


      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?




      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?"
      "How much did you want to spend?"
      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--"
      Other woman, possibly her sister: "Do you have any wine that's tangy?"
      "'Tangy'? What do you mean by '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...


      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.
      "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!"
      "Huh. I thought they liked Tim Burton."



      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--


      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."
      "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?




      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."



      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?"


      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.




      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:
      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"


      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."


      And then "Planned Parenthood."


      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



      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!"


      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.


      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."


      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.



      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!


      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!


      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.


      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," if you think about it, actually means "Shut down")
      ("AUUGGHH" was said when "Lucy" grabbed the "football" before "Charlie Brown" could
      ("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)

      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


      The least essential albums of 2015


      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


      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!"





      "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.


      "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:




      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.


      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.


      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.



      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!!


      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


      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


      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...




      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.





      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.



      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?


      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!"


       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)
      (starts all over again on play 4) "Mid-day or night?"
      "How do you want tp play it?"
      "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!!


      "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.



      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."



      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!"


      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.


      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.


      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.


      Wait, what? It's about...taxes or something?
      WTF are these expensive billboards about?
      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 and wonder if it's Fury Road or Operation Jade Helm.


      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*!"

      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!


      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


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


      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.



      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.


      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!




      I just finished a 30 year old book of Bob & Ray Show scripts. I laughed a lot. They were noted for their deadpan delivery of skits that were usually an interview with an expert on something who isn't an expert on anything, and just went with it to its logical extreme.
      Today I clicked on a site I hadn't cheked in maybe a year. Paula Poundstone was interviewed by Colin McEnroe, and the conversation turned to their love of Bob & Ray. They found out during it that Bob has just died.
      As Bob said, “By the time we figured out we were introverts, it was too late to do anything about it.” It's a good and brief overview from a personal perspective.
      My favorite bit by them has always been "The S.T.O.A.":




      Every person ever: "Weatherman is the only job where you can be wrong all the time, and still get paid!" Well, I don't know. There are also economists and everyone on Fox News.
      Sure, they haven't been so great lately. Winter decided to wait until the end of January to start here. The first big storm: "8 to 10 inches, PANIC PANIC!" We ended up with 1 to 3. Two weeks later: "It should only be 1 to 3 inches." It was 6 to 12. Then the sun came out, it went to 45 degrees, and half of it was melted by the end of the next day.
      Today, the snow was supposed to end in the afternoon, then by 730PM, then 7AM, but ended at midnight. It wasn't much of a much. A couple of inches in New England is nothing.
      I only bring this up because I was getting some product from our upstairs stockroom, and noticed tire tracks. In the snow-covered backyard. The tracks were close enough together that it was clearly a small car.
      One assumes that alcohol was involved. Especially in a liquor store's backyard.


      "Pics or it didn't happen!"
      Byron, lover of heights, on the AC, waving his paws in the air like he just don't care!


      Okay, he's sleeping. But not in exile! Also, no, I am not dragging an AC down 3 flights of stairs to the garage to lug it back up again in a few months.


      Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon. "An iPhone app that tells you if you are currently holding your phone."


      Two kegs were tagged to go out. One was for Friday, and the other one turned out to be for a no-show from last Saturday.
      The name on the first was Luigi. The name on the second was Mario. There were none being held for Yoshi.

      Since my wi-fi Kindle Fire seems to load pages really fast, I decided to get a wi-fi router. I think it's only made my connection a little faster, Assuming I've hooked it up correctly. The instructions would make an IKEA assembler say "Whoa, this is kinda vague."
      Before I got it, I noticed that my computer wasn't playing the sound on YouTube. Or internet radio. Or DVDs. Or even the "Windows has started now" sound. Redownloading Shockwave and rebooting didn't help. The only sound I could get from it was...iTunes? WTH? ("What the Heck"; I'm trying to tone down my profanity. You motherfucker)
      YouTube I can get on the Fire, but not internet radio--Fire refuses Shockwave. I have a DVD player and a TV, but the TV compresses the top half of the video to squiggles. So, my options were:
      Buy a new TV,
      Buy a portable DVD player,
      or Buy a new computer, and spend a week or more downloading programs to get it where I wanted it, and also being an unpaid beta tester for Win10.
      The first 2 options would kinda work, but if the computer died, then I'd be double-buying things. First World Problems!
      Today I clicked on a YouTube just to check, and bang! Audio! The same with DVDs and radio. Problemo Solvedo!
      Nope, no idea what happened. Both Firefox and Windows updated without my asking the day before, so maybe one of those did it. There's already a new Firefox build, 2 days later. Who cares why? It works!
      And then my connection was completely lost! This turned out be because of "boy cats chasing and unplugging the phone cord."




      Christmas in Connecticut: 66 degrees F/19 degrees C
      Groundhog's Day: 60F/15C
      Valentine's Day: 10F/-12C
      Two days after Valentine's: 50F/10C
      "Keep moving, folks! Nothing to see here! It's completely normal!": Exxon-Mobil

      Whoa dude, it smells like weed in here!
      Not from me. From my neighbors across the hall. I wondered why they left the common hallway window open even if it was 40 out (Celsius people--do your own math this time). It's decriminalized in this state. Just a fine. And, man, do people reek of it ever since, like they're cats rolling in catnip.
      One Saturday my neighbors were weeding up the hallway at 1030AM. Just a fine, but it's not that fine that they do it--with their 8 year old granddaughter there. If anyone catches them with her in their opium den...the DYS comes, and goodbye, granddaughter.





      A new co-worker--who has "appearing to work" issues, as every one of our workers in their 20s seems to have--didn't come in because of a car accident Tuesday. Repeated texts and phone calls, even to her mother, asking her to call us led to no response. Today, we had just called in somebody else when she came in 15 minutes late. She said she was given a $200 ticket for being "on my cellphone that doesn't even work!"
      No, we didn't ask why she was driving with a dead cellphone held to her head. I have 2 bricked iPods that I haven't thrown out due to enviromental reasons, but it's not like I keep them nestled to my bosom all the time.

      Cat cocktails. Not made of actual cats.


      Every VFX Oscar winner:


      I was carrying out a case for a customer. As I put it in her trunk, she said "I got this car through Cash For Clunkers!" That was one of the first things Obama did--trade in a gas guzzler for one that got better mileage, and you got a credit towards buying it. "That's the best I could get, being white!" she laughed.
      I didn't laugh. I just walked away, thinking "Yeah, in America, white people are discriminated against the most." I'm guessing she votes Republican, because the Demon-crats may take away her rights as a woman.


      Less than 2 months ago, this pic would've been the Impossible Dream.




      (Yes, my "window treatments" are by the cats)

      Braindrop, Cracked's new page. Obviously designed for Facebook and people who can't spend 5 minutes reading a 2 page articl
      Sorry about not finishing that sentence, but my phone made a beep!


      The 355 Day Year: 5 Weird Facts About Leap Years

      Every State, Ranked by How Miserable Its Winters Are.
      You could just go to "New Jersey" to read the funniest one, but of course you want to see where your state falls. Most of them have a vague scent of "Google the state, say something about their cuisine and major highway and local sports team rah rah." So who gets blown off? Connecticut. MY STATE. Fuck man, no one cares about Rhode Island, and it's next door! So thus, I see this vacuum, and to fill it I rush.
      Is Hartford the Insurance Capital of the World because people in your state don't know to drive in the snow, then smash your Yugos and send us your money? YES, OBVIOUSLY, which means I have no idea. They haven't sent me any damn money.
      It's fucking terrible, as we're on some line God and Weather Satan drew in the sand. 10 inches of rain, or 15 feet of snow--Who knows! Maybe both! At least we know how to drive in snow, except for half the people on the road right now--Hey, SCOTT of the ANTARTIC! I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person driving home from work at 9PM on a Saturday. If you think you need to drive 25MPH on the highway with your hazards blinking, STAY THE FUCK HOME.
      Except for Litchfield county. Any time the Emergency Broadcast claxon sounds, the rest of the state says "Glad I don't live in the blasted heath of Torrington!" Where they get tornadoes made of rocks, and the forecast calls for "Heavy downpours of grand pianos, tapering off to a steady rain of cinderblocks, and then a drizzle of ball-peen hammers." I picture people there staggering around in their torn clothing, one hand gripped on the opposite arm to stanch the bleeding, cheering each other up by saying "So, is it cinderblocky enough for ya?!" "Say, was it you who ordered all this rain of starving Komodo dragons?!"
      Oh, wait, I have to make some obligatory local refs about sports and food. And then we have a fucking PROPER lobster roll, which is hot and the melted butter fucking drips down your arms. The Hartford Whalers were once a thing here, which was a hockey team and unfortunately not fronted by Bob Marley, and they played at the Civic Center, and this one time it snowed kind of a lot, and the Civic Center roof caved in, just hours after a high school basketball game, and a WWII vet who lived several blocks away said "I woke up and thought I was back in the Pacific, and the Japanese were launching a mortar attack!"
      Also, I-95 through New Haven sucks, amirite?
      And you? I'd be interested in how the winter reports vary, from Canada to Nebraska to NoCal to Mexico.


      When I talked about CT winters yesterday, I meant typical ones. This is certainly going to be the warmest winter on record. No surprise, as it's been the World's Warmest Year Ever since about 1981.
      Last night we had a monster thunderstorm roar through with 70MPH wind gusts. The rain in my backyard had waves. And it happened at 130AM, on a night that I had to wake up for work at 7AM. This is New England in July weather, not Feb weather.



      You may remember the new coworker, the one who claimed she was given a ticket for using her "cellphone that doesn't even work!" She held it up, and said "See? It doesn't work!" although I could clearly read the time on its display. I guess she forgot to turn it off, as "it's broken" has been her excuse why she never returns our calls. I guess it doesn't work once she checks the caller ID. She'd also called out because she "was in a car accident," in which she lost two tires at once. Or that it was a collision, her first version, which was kinda hard to sync up with the fact her car had no dents.
      That was a week ago. She's already called out twice since, the last being because "my daughter is sick." Before that, she was scheduled for Sunday, and didn't appear. but after 2 days, suddenly her phone worked. She said "I'm so sorry! I overslept! I'll be right in!" And she came in, fully made-up and nicely dressed--the manager in charge said "She looked like she was going out on a date"--which isn't consistent with "just woken up." Or her saying "Last night, I drank a fifth of Hennesey and a fifth of vodka, and passed out in my car!" Outside of the fact that this doesn't exactly qualify you for working in a liquor store, she shouldn't have been hungover. She should've been dead. She was heard puking in the bathroom, and left after 90 minutes. The next time she worked, she said she'd "been in the emergency room getting treated for alcohol poisoning!" A few days later, a coworker asked her how she was getting along with her boyfriend. "Great! We just went out on a date on Sunday!"
      It's not that she's a consistent liar, it's that she's so bad at it. Maybe her daughter was sick. Maybe her daughter doesn't exist.





      This says everything I've thought: What is so great and hyuuuge about a pampered trust fund baby who became an adult spoiled brat, and whose "business sense" is a reverse Midas touch that turns everything he touches into shit?
      (It's also 21 minutes long)





      Yeah, not much going on here at Casa del Splut (Non-Omaha New England Division). Had lunch with my Mom, as I can't make her birthday party this Saturday, due to Job. And, in fact, may not be able to even do Easter due to Job. We had excellent tacos and even better conversation.
      I'm done with Netflixing stuff because I like the soundtrack. Nightbreed was a disappointing film based on a great concept. Vampryros Lesbos, which has one of my favorite just-plain-odd Eurotrash soundtracks, I gave up on 20 minutes in. Were there actual lesbian vampires? Didn't make it that far. The "plot" was "2 women walk around naked." My dream movie at age 14, but just as boring as the tits in Showgirls now.
      Recently it was Schulmadchen Report. It began with the theme song, which after 20 years of owning the CD was completely unfamiliar. It was about that story, classic since Shakespeare's time, "girls walk around naked." Seriously, the original Hamlet was closed down because of which hair Ophelia put the flowers in. After 20 minutes of annoyance, I realized that it'd been 20 minutes with no music. Also, it was made in 1970, so these hot teenage girls were now older than me. Like that MST3K Joel line about a 1930s crowd scene: "Everyone in this picture is dead."

      I have been using my Kindle Fire. It's still a fussy thing, but my Kindle-fanatic Mom told me about Book Bub, which is a discount ebook place and not a cat with her tongue hangin' out. So far, I've bought, for $2 or free, these titles:

      So far the only downside to Book Bub was the Ripley one. The Kindle claimed it had DRM, so I needed to delete and redownload it. As the Kindle comes with the instructions "Figure this shit out yourself," this took some poking around. Amazon told me I'd paid for it, and it didn't seem so much redownloaded as just unlocked, but I'll be more cautious if I get charged twice for the same thing.
      Since I'm a gigantic fan of cheap used books, but far less a fan of "But I may reread this! I have to keep it!" I may go with the Book Bub/Kindle model. It ain't taking up much physical space in the house.
      If that seems like a lot of books involving wars, once in high school a teacher said "Why do you always read about war? Are you a war-monger?!" And I said "If I read about disease, would you call me a cancer-monger?"

      I would also say that as a proud American, I am an American who is proud to have a presidential debate in which the 3 leading Republicans have a screaming match about the literal size of their penises.
      When's the next debate? I expect to see naked male asses being snapped with wet towels in our new middle school gym of politics! Ladies!!
      TRUMP: "I give the best swirlies, the hyuuugest wedgies! And I have NO COOTIES!"


      OK, maybe I'm already a bit too much into ebooks and Book Bub. Today I bought one for $2.99, Wolf By Wolf, which came with the description "A shapeshifting survivor of Nazi experiments, Yael must win the Axis Tour motorcycle race in order to kill Hitler and bring down the reigning Third Reich. With nearly 1,500 five-star ratings on Goodreads!" I checked out some reviews, and they were all pretty good. I read the first scene, and was hooked enough to preorder the...prequel? Don't know, really, but it was only $1.99.
      Is GoodReads worth it? If it's just the book version of Instagramming your lunch, I'll pass.



      The last line is a nice summation of how I view life.


      As good an explanation as any as to why they don't kill Bond with a gun the first time they see him:






      Yeah, I had one of those surveys again that was...interesting.      I was taking a first class commute to Australia to celebrate my August birthday with a home-cooked meal, but then my ferret ate my snake Mr. Scaly. The ferret and I are no longer on speaking terms. I did impersonally buy a wristwatch from Zombie Picasso, so I'm not sure how to answer those questions.
      Here's a serious question: Are you reading this? I've tried 3 devices with 3 browsers and 3 ISPs, and it throws me out. I am so tired of fucking unReadyhosting's incompetence. Leave a comment if you can. Ignore this message if you can't read it, and that's probably not the worst joke I'll scrawl here today.

      Mussolini was starting to doubt whether Hitler took him seriously. When Benito was viewing the German navy, he pointed at a submarine. He said "Is that a U-boat?" Hitler said "At'sa notta my boat!" then he and Goering laughed hysterically, and slapped their hands up high while yelling "HEIL FIVE!"
      Hey. I warned you.

      WWUH is having its pledge drive today, and I gave Tuesday, so I'm not listening to Sunday Ambience. Well, I am, but it's last week's. Well, not now, because I know it's the dreaded Story Time. This week, the story is a 20 minute version of Rumplestiltskin. SPOILER ALERT: His name is Rumple Fucking Stiltskin! Did not see that twist coming!
      The fuck. You can spin straw into gold. If you want a first born child, get rich and adopt. And if your whole shtick revolves around "You can't guess my name," then maybe you shouldn't dance around SCREAMING it where your mark can hear. Instead scream "My name is SHRINKWRAP DOUBLEDONG!" And when she says "Your name is SHRINKWRAP DOUBLEDONG!" just laugh and say "Who the fuck names their gnome THAT?!" and scream something different in your woodland glen the next night.
      "Your name is PUSTULENT HERPES FACE!" "No, that's what I call YOU! Around the coffee machine, at work, every day."
      "The Unbearable Lightness of Being!" "That's...a movie, right? Book? Still wrong!"
      "...Argle bargle U-boat...scratch 'n' sniff?" "At'sa notta my name--Christ! Are you even trying?!"
      Hey. I warned you.

      Someone on Facebook did some weird post about "Who you were in a previous life." She pegged RL friend Scott as "Policeman." I call him The Gruntled Postal Worker, as he works at the post office but has many, many guns. And is the most laid-back person you could ever meet. He also likes crappy movies, so I wrote one.
      Tonight, on Scott Turner: POSTAL POLICE!
      (Scott smashes down bad guys' door): "MAIL CALL!"
      Armed Bad Guy: "You'll never take me alive, stamp cop!"
      (Scott blows him away) "POSTAGE DUE--Due to your DEATH!"
      Bad Guy with a machine gun: "I'll return YOU--TO SENDER!"
      (Scott does 3 backflips, shoots the guy while hanging from a chandelier) "Letter received open--open like your PERFORATED STERNUM!"
      Bad Guy with a bazooka tied to a bigger bazooka: "Special delivery--of BULLETS! Via AIR MAIL!"
      "Does it contain explosives, or Hazardous materials in Classes 1, 3-6, and 8-9 that are assigned to a DOT packing group based on the degree of danger presented by the material during transport?"
      "It--what? It's a bazooka tied to a bigger bazooka! Of course it's hazardous!"
      "Lunch break!"
      "It's the Post Office! Break time! Tea and crumpets?"
      "I'm trying to bazooka you!"
      "Union rules! No bazookaing during breaks!"
      "Umm...okay. I'm in Evil Henchman Local 317 myself."
      "Oh, yeah, I've heard of that. Bennies?"
      "Full health, some dental, if you get killed and boy, do we get killed a lot, they try to reanimate you."
      "Do you like your crumpets with the pin still in?"
      "Pin? Why's there a pin in a--THAT'S A GRENADE!"
      "Folded. Spindled. Mutilated." (Scott puts on sunglasses) "My rounds have been swiftly completed."
      NEXT WEEK: "Your Head Has Been Marked FRAGILE!"

      "Your name is...Amway."
      "The Impossible Shampoo Man?"
      "Stinky Weezleteats?"
      "Lawrence Welk?"
      "You just said that!"
      "This one's a kind of mollusk."
      "The Flowbee by Ronco, and if you order before midnight tonight, you get a free Pocket Fisherman?"
      "Gerbil-faced shit for brains?"
      "Stupid fucking shit for brains?"
      "Gnome who don't use no toilet paper, like, not ever has, never will?"
      "NO! Now you're just being insulting!"
      "Hi, Mom."
      "Hi, first born kid."
      "Still trying to guess Fart-Face's name?"
      "Shut up! Your mom's so stupid!"
      "Then what's MY name?"
      "Yeah, Mouse Penis, what's her name? I was born TWELVE YEARS AGO. Maybe she doesn't want to know your na--"
      "BITCH WANTS MY CHILD SUPPORT! 12 YEARS WORTH! I'm a fucking GNOME, how much do think I make in a year?!"
      "Hey, Mom, isn't this Spins Straw to Gold Dinky Dick?"
      "Withered Anus Nose? Yeah, you think he'd be made of money, and not just smell of Slim Jims and Marlboros. Tell you what--my kid's about to become a teenager. Maybe YOU can deal with him then. New bet: What's MY name, Trump Fingers?"
      "I'm HUUUUGE down there! Your name is...umm..."
      "You never even thought about that, did you?"
      "No. Glass slippers."
      "No. Long hair, split ends."
      "Talking racoon!"
      "Snow White!"
      "Into midget orgies."
      "Sleeping Beauty?"
      "COMA! She was in a coma! This name bullshit! I'm about to take some stilts, ram them up your RUMP, until your foreskin peels off!"
      "Wait, what?! You're so close!"
      "...Stilts...Rump...Foreskin? Stiltsrumpforeskin? That's your name?! No wonder you won't tell anyone!"
      "Jesus fucking Christ. Never mind. Keep the kid!" (storms out, slams door)
      Mom sighs, "Well, that's finally over! I Googled his name 12 years ago."


      Father, holding a kid at most 2 years old: "Do you want to tell a knock knock joke?"
      Son: "Knock knock!"
      Dad: "Who's there?"
      Son, waving hands in the air: "AAAAAHHHH!"
      It was all in the delivery.


      We have a new hire at work. He seems nice, but I've learned to reserve judgement. Especially on 20-somethings, who quickly decide "job" is less important than "phone" and then set their own schedules. By which I mean earn exactly enough to cover your weed/booze/phone bill, because your parents cover the rest.
      You may recall She of the Infinite Can't-Work Excuses. I came to work Monday, and the owner was the only one there. I said "You have got to be kidding me!" I didn't have to say "She didn't show up? AGAIN?" She was scheduled for a whole 5 hours.
      He said "She said she told me she had an appointment. Maybe I forgot!" I made what I've been doing a lot of at work when speaking of no-show employees, a gesture that is inbetween the "OK, Sure Yeah Whatever" symbol and a wanking motion. Now she don't work there no more.
      She's an unwed mother. I have a very strong opinion about those women, and if you don't like it, well, it's my opinion, you don't have to agree with it.
      Of my closest friends, and I'm guessing the closest friends I ever will have, one was the son of an unwed teenaged mom, the other, the unwed teenaged mom of a daughter. Both moms were poor. Both had to grow up overnight while still in high school.
      Both of the moms and kids grew up awesome.
      And poor. Kevin's dad simply got in his car and drove halfway across the country without a word. He eventually paid her child support. After she hired a private detective on her meager savings, who tracked him down and served him a court order. Jessica's boyfriend stayed, but he was a verbally abusive asshole. Which may be worse--you can show the cops your black and purple bruised arms and hope they don't say "He said you fell down the stairs." But those dents along the driver side of your car, the one you were fleeing in to your parents with your daughter from a screaming maniac, the ones from his steel-toed workboots? (cop shrugs) "He said you hit a pothole."
      They said "This child is the most important thing I have. The only thing from that relationship that matters." And they buckled down, as high school girls, and gave up every chance at a "regular" teenaged life. They chose not to. They took crappy jobs for minimum wage. They fought against a system biased against them. They raised their child. Raised him or her to be awesome, caring people.
      Unlike the serial liar, they put their kid's well-being above their need for more neck tattoos and piercings.
      She had many short-term jobs listed on her application. I think "Boyfriend, I got fired--Again!" was her plan. She'll lie to him about it, and then...Well, I almost want to say "Who cares? Loser!"
      But they would've said say that about my friends. The ones who fought against the odds.
      And who won. Pat and Kevin. Jess and Jacques.
      But what will happen to the fired liar's daughter?
      I'll never know.
      I'm not sure I want to.



      Speaking of CEOs: Trump's Wall, it is the Great, GREAT Wall. It sounds like something a 5 year old boy would scribble in his notebook.


      And now, to rebut, here is an actual 5 year old boy.
      "Good evening. Thank you. Before I begin, I would like to point at this graphic behind me. As you will note, it is large. And I drewed it myself!
      "MY wall is like a MIJILLION feet tall, and covered in Barbie's wire. There are lasers and--NO! The lasers are on dinosaurs, and they can fly, and drop bombs, but the bombs are sharks, which has their own bombs, which is...hornet houses. Those things, they drop on the Mexico crime peoples, and they get bitten by hornets and go 'AY CARUMBA!' And MY wall has a big speaker that plays my voice, and I'm all 'HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO, I hope you go OW-OH!'
      "And the dinosaurs eat them, THE END."
      The media should always present both sides of every issue, because they're all equally as sane.



      Yeah, I haven't been updating my page a lot. On the other hand, when have you ever updated my page? Never. That's how long it's been, Lazy Pants.

      I've been busy. OK, busy sleeping. This time of year ain't so great for my levels of consciousness. Daylight Stupid Time and weird early pollen because of global warming. This morning, this horrible morning, one of the ones where I have to get up tom work on first shift instead of second. (Other people who have to do to work alternating first and seconds at my job: Just Me) I awoke at 630 AM, got a drink of water, then crawled into bed thinking "I'm not getting any sleep between now and 7AM," and 2 seconds later, the alarm went off at 7AM. I turned it off, and DJ snuggled up in the crook of my arm and purred. Chloroform couldn't knock me out faster. Then Ms K stomped on me, yelling "BREAKFAST!" I realized that I could either feed the cats, or shave, or get to work on time, but not all 3, so I went with "Shave tomorrow."
      So today's excitement was literally "I woke up."
      Maybe you should update my page tomorrow.


      Millions of years ago in the Cambrian Age, when Trilobites ruled the world and I was in high school, I tried to come up with the vehicles in the most ridiculous movie car chase scene. All I remember were an ice cream truck and a garbage truck.
      Top 8 Weird Getaway Vehicles And they actually were used in real life! Apparently garbage trucks are like tanks. It does not say if the ice cream was damaged and played an off-kilter rendition of Turkey in the Straw, like it did my version.
      I have some little vignettes from work to share, but I worked yesterday (yes, Easter), so I'm too tired. Tell you tomorrow, since you obviously reneged on your promise to update my page.


      OK, so the update wasn't as tomorrowy as I thought it'd be.
      The Warmest Winter On Record naturally led to the Earliest Spring Ever, which led to Pollen Everywhere, which led to me sleeping as much as possible, because naturally, that's what happens. Global warming is totally natural, right? I care about the enviromenty thingie! I have a Prius! Strapped to the roof of my Hummer. That I've adapted to run on coal and whale oil.
      Well, I'll just go chronologically, and stop where I stop.
      The Saturday before Easter, which I'm sure has some weird religious name, like Palm Frond Maundy Hogmanay When the Apostles Ordered Their Spiral-Cut Ham Day, the New Guy was working. He's already endeared himself to me with his Creationism and love of Trump. "If humans evolved from apes," he said, "why are there STILL APES?!" which is the dumbest Creationist shit. America evolved from England and Mexico from Spain, why is still ENGLAND and SPAIN?! And if humans didn't evolve from apes, why are Trump voters still screeching howler monkeys?
      See, I'm already going into a sidebar here.
      At any rate, another worker said he had to leave and go to the emergency room for tests. "They think I might have colon cancer!" Colon cancer's what killed my father, and his "No news is good news" attitude led to it being diagnosed too late to stop it. So of course I said "Go to the doctor! NOW."
      If new guy or the long-term coworker had volunteered to stay, I wouldv'e said yes. But both had been there since early, and new guy probably had some Trump protestor he needed to thump with his bible. So it was just 2 of us on the busiest Saturday all year, but we survived. And then on Easter, Colon Cancer Guy's ride to work--CCG's in his mid 50s and lives with his Mom--came in, and my coworker asked "Did K finally go to the doctor?"
      "No, he's gonna go tomorrow."
      And then we discovered that in that less than an hour he worked, he bought a half gallon of the most rotgut vodka we sell. His appointment was with Dr Drunk.
      Colon cancer killed my father. Don't fucking lie about that to me, just to get out of a 5 hour shift, you lazy-ass motherfucker. If you don't want to work, say "I quit! Mommy will take care of me!" so we all can move on.
      Hmm...pretty sure that nothing of note happened between Monday and today, which only leaves Easter. More on that tomorrow!


      Tomorrow came a little late, huh?
      It's a combination of fatigue at work followed by "brain won't shut up" at home, that I try to burn off by seeing how much weird/hopefully funny stuff I can force out as quickly as possible on Facebook at night, which leads to me going to sleep late, which leads to--fatigue! WHO KNEW
      (If you don't flollow me on the Book with Face, you can drop me a line in the Comments, which I've also been pretty remiss in addressing)
      If this continues, I'm seeing the Sane Cat Lady next week, who went through every damn test in the world before they diagnosed her narcolespy after 18 months. She'll have some tips on fatigue.

      Okay, let's play catchup.

      If it's Friday, it must be Egg Sac! This is a woman with a hairstyle that looks like she's incubating a very large insect in it. The band B52s would say "Whoa." I think it's some type of mind-controlling parasite, like the Green-banded broodsac,Toxoplasma gondii, or Fox News. In her case, Friday must be payday, because she comes in and stays for hours buying lottery scratch tickets. Hundreds of dollars worth, spending every cent she "wins."
      We found out that she (in order) lost her house's electricity, her car, her house, her husband, and her kids, all over her gambling. You have to be pretty bad for the husband to get custody. The only other example I've personally known was a coworker who dated a guy who was the father, not the husband. The mother was a meth head. One day his 8 year old son looked at Dad's new GF and said, "You're a lot prettier than my Mom. Your teeth aren't green."
      Egg Sac works as a third shift nurse, so she can't be making bad money. She always wears disposable hospital gloves when she comes in. I recently had the horrible thought: "What if those gloves are used?" She's giving some guy a prostate exam, all the while thinking of scratch tickets, and that finger's in there like a squirming worm, scratching, ever scratching...
      But as Jess once said about prostate exams, "At least they aren't shoving a wire brush up your dick!" Yes, and now, whether male or female, you're picturing both happening at the same time, trying to meet in the middle. You're welcome.

      So I'm working Easter, and a coworker says says "It looks like the lottery is over," meaning "There's more money here than there should be." And some skanky guy began yelling "That's MY money! You overcharged me! GIVE IT TO ME!"
      I said "I can't just give you money out of the register!"
      "I PAID $25! Where's my change?!"
      This went on in a temporal loop, during the only busy time of the day, with other customers not knowing what to do. In an attempt to calm him down, and get him the fuck out, I gave him the card with the owner's number. "This is the guy you need to call tomorrow. If the register's over, he'll know." This of course calmed him down in the same way a blue-assed baboon trying to rip your face can be calmed by punching it in the scrotum. He replied "I'LL COME OVER THAT COUNTER AND KICK YOUR ASS!" Then he continued to yell into his phone about it, "He said talk to DAVE! What's DAVE gonna do, he's not here!" Walking towards our phone--the police station is literally across the street--I said "Conversation over! LEAVE!"
      He screamed "I'll wait your ass out, NIGGER!" Then he left.
      I really hate that word, but--wha'? Huh? I'm half Irish, half Scots. I could go to Sweden and people would point and say "Look at the honky!" Wonder Bread wishes it was as white as me! I can get a sunburn from moonlight.
      Coworker who described him as "a drug fiend" said "His bill was $18. Where did the $25 part come from?" I replied "That card didn't say 'Dave' anywhere on it, and I did not use that name. That was a scam."
      The next day the owner said, without me even describing the guy, "I'll bet it's the same guy that's tried this before." So, yeah, scam.

      When I was a KayBee manager in the 80s, I watched at least a bit of every cartoon that was really a 30 minute toy ad. (This would be all of them) So I remember "Dash Swordslash and the Defenders of Everything" quite well.






      Superman's Cat. Yes, she is feisty and all white.


      Today I got together with a friend! You'll never guess who! TA-DAA!


      Yeah, there'll be no pictures here for a while. Somehow Photoshop left my computer, maybe because I hadn't exactly, umm, paid for it. All I want is "Save for Web"! Until I figure out another (free) way to do that, I guess you'll just have to imagine Jessica looking all 1966 Carnaby Street in her outfit.
      We were at--all together now--Cracker Barrel! We are so unpredictable! Well, we were, she having just 2 eggs over easy and toast, while I had a waffle. No I didn't. They don't serve waffles, WTF. They do serve French toast, but, you know, fuck French toast. "French gross," that's what they should call it. So I had a blueberry pancake. Oui, mon ami, A pancake, because Crack Bar pancakes are the size of the entire plate. I said, in best Cali surfer dude voice, "Duuude, I got you some weed!" and gave her a bag of weapons-grade catnip. At home, DJ swiped at KK when I first opened it--"MINE!!" That's not like him.
      We got drunk and threw the empty bottles at passing cars. OK, we went antiquing. Such adventurous souls are we. Always ready to try something new, as long as it's the same thing!
      We went to the indoor flea market with the BOOMING RADIO. And the family with obnoxious children running around. Jess grabbed a fuzzy cat bank and a NY Yankees garden gnome. "It's $4! These are usually $25 to $30!" She left them on the front counter.
      She bought some other cat- or Disney-themed items, including a Mickey Mouse coin purse that looked as much like Mickey as Gamera does. "It has the orange face. Those are the originals." I'm guessing it may be worth more than the $2 she paid. She doesn't eBay her scores, she keeps them. I got a $1 really goofy and ugly horse magnet:


      GOD. DAMN. IT.
      When we went to pay, she put my magnet in with her stuff. She gave me that exasperated look she gives me I tried to give her a dollar for it. The same look she gives every time I try to split the restaurant bill. For a woman who grew up poor, she sure is generous with her money.
      "I also had a lawn gnome?" The clerk stared for a second. "I'm sorry, I didn't know it was yours! I sold it to that woman with the children! I didn't see you put it down, the kids were banging on the glass [display cases], and I said 'That's going to cost you if they break one!'"
      Jess said "I saw her looking at it when I put it down! What a fucking bi--witch." She had other carefully chosen words to describe her once we left the store. NSFW.
      I did a lot of yawning, not because I was bored, but because of my new allergy fatigue. We went to another store, where I yawned more. There was a box of stereopticon slides, for Victorian era 3-D ViewMasters, which was labeled "Steropti Kon's View's." Which is a lot of mispeling's for only to word's.
      And then I left because of the sleepiness. Since I just slept for over an hour between those paragraphs, I think I'll go back to bed.



ABMORBECRIE & FITHC NEW YORK--label on a wallet from China      Back when my nephews were obsessively buying their clothes from them, I called them "Aberzombies."

      Vanity plate on the SUV of the guy who bought $183 of booze today, most of it beer: "CHUG 1."

      MIS-ter Byron (that's how I pronounce it) has lately been on his stupid tower of solitude more than I would like, but not like he was. Today, he was in my lap for 30 minutes. Yesterday, 45 minutes. It reaches the point of "Dude, I gotta PEE," but I just have to stay there. After 28 months of of self-exile, he needs to always be reminded that he's part of a family that loves him. Stay with me as long as you like, Bigfoot.


      Cousin Itt the Combover--sorry, the Trump--was here in CT a few days ago. One of my new coworkers actually went to see him, and not ironically. He tried to engage another coworker--Pamela Anderson, no really, that's her name--in his phone videos of his visit. She didn't say anything much. Like myself, she's an angry liberal. She and the Trumpie went at it one time they worked, and the Trumpie, an early 20s muscular male, went crying to the owner that she hurts his fee-fees. The owner banned her from talking politics at work. He has no problem with his fellow right-wingers doing it. Including the guy who, upon Obama's first election, came into the store and instantly began shrieking to everyone and no one "HE BETTER NOT TRY ANY OF HIS SOCIALISM, BECAUSE I GOT MY GUNS!!" Imagine mumbling something like that during the Bush residency. They had people arrested at their rallies because they didn't like their bumper stickers. I guess Trumpie has no problem with talking about politics when he knows the other person has been forbidden to answer back.
      "I'm not PC!" these assclowns like to say, which really means "I'm a racist and proud of it!" (Did I mention she's black?) But a cashier can say "Happy Holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!" and they stamp their feet and soil their pants. White male Republican Christian Americans are the most oppressed people on EARTH!
      "Trumpie! You can do stupid things!"

      Since we ended with an MST3K ref, here's a link to Shout! Factory's 420 Marathon. Or not; it looks like it works on my end, but that doesn't mean anything. Lots of MST3K shorts, between other stuff (complete list at the bottom). NO CARTOONS?! C'mon.
      I'm spending 4/20 with my Mom, so I don't think we'll be seeing it.

      CUSTOMER: "What's malbec like?"
      ME: "It's kinda between merlot and cab, closer to the merlot side."
      "I'm having dinner with friends. Is it good with that food?"
      "Well, it depends on what you're having."
      "I don't know. Chicken?"
      "Then you'd want a white, like a chardonnay."
      "I don't think it's chicken. Do you know what they're serving?"
      (laughs, thinking she's kidding) "No, I'm not them! Did they say they wanted a malbec?"
      (realizing that this will not be an enlightening conversation, just an endless, Escherian loop. The conversation will go on for at least ten thousand years. It may go on until I say "We have to close now, the Earth is being swallowed by the bloating Sun")
      "Red meat, red wine; white meat, white wine, that's usually what you want."
      "I don't know what they're serving. What do you think they're serving?"
      This is the point where I thought, "Are they going to hand you a box of Twinkies? Here's a fine Arbor Mist, it pairs well with other gross shit."
      I called to the owner about what malbec pairs with, and he basically said "Red meat." She nodded and said "I don't know if it's red meat. I'll come back. I should call them and ask."
      I really hope she comes back and asks "What wines does well with a Bigfoot? I want a wine that pairs well with feet."
      "They're serving you...feet?"
      "I don't know."
      That is still not as good as my favorite:
      "Do you have wine?"
      (gestures towards 2/3s of the store)"Yes, what kind?"
      "Red wine?"
      "Yes. Is there a certain one you're looking for?"
      (slight pause) "It's made from grapes."
      Thanks for narrowing that down. I won't show you our selection of wines made from onions.









      Oh wait, that was Henry Blofeld's brother Ernst.

      Sorry about the lack of activity here. This is because of my new allergy, where I'm allergic to, I don't know, being awake? I stumbled home after a workday and thought, What is doing this? I go from my mailbox to the garage and start dry heaving--and those trees were planted last fall by the Condo Ass, and this is the first time they've blossomed. Yeah, that's why it's time for me to die, every damn day.

      I woke up at 6AM, and had to check my computer, calendar, and watch before I realized it was Tuesday. It took another panicked 5 minutes to remember "THURSDAY. That's when you get up that early. You don't work Tuesdays."
      This has gone on for 4 weeks. My first awake statement is "What the hell day is this?!" Yes, I have a doctor's appointment, shut UP, Mom. (Mom would be you reading this)

      At work yesterday, I was running around--well, working, no one else will do anything--and there was a customer there who talked about diamond cuts. Very loudly. For TWENTY MINUTES. Every time I left the beer cooler, I could hear her, and the cooler is close to the registers only in the sense that they're on the same floor. "Shut up," I thought, "and go away!" Then there was screaming.
      Those of you thinking "Bill, it may be bad for business if you murder people," and you'd be right, but I didn't do anything. Raj came in. He's a nice guy, and I'm glad he got a ride to and from the liquor store, because he was lit up. When he fucking is, he fucking says shit with fucking shit in every other fucking clause. I only heard his response to what Diamond Dog said to him, but it was "I'm not swearing, I'm just an asshole!" Funniest line of the day! I decided "LOLing right now would not make things better," and ran back into the cooler.
      "BILL! get up here!" he said after she stormed out, while shrieking "THIS IS AMERICA!" Look, the USA is too coarse ever for my fucking taste, but fuck you, he lives here, he's American! "I'm buying a shot for everyone!" One coworker passed, and I mumbled to the other "Open it and just take a sip." I toasted with "Fuck the bigots!"
      Turns out that when he first started swearing, she became indignant and yelled, in a fake Indian accent, "This is America! We don't swear here! GO BACK TO INDIA!" I should point out that Raj has basically no accent, having been a citizen for a quarter century, and is from Guyana. That's a suburb of Mumbai, oh wait no, it's in South fucking America. Right hemisphere, depending on which way you look at the globe, but also like telling me "GO BACK TO ALBANIA, GREENLANDER! And take your Finnish spaghetti with you!"

      Back when I worked in the Mall of Doom at a CD/VHS store, people would ask me what Spencer Gifts at the literal exact opposite end had in stock. I'd say "I...don't work there." And they'd get mad and say "BUT YOU WORK IN THE SAME MALL!" I'd say "Yes, but I don't live here." And they'd get madder. And you live on the same street as other people. Do you know what's in their fridge?
      Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't a dumb guy. But he sometimes talks like he knows what every store in the Mall carries. Lately he's been saying kinda dumb things.
      We have a term for that, Neil deGrasse Tyson: "Intelligent Design".
      (gurgle gurgle) "Koff koff!" (hands over bong) "Dude... what if we're in the Matrix, man? And don't know it? Whoa."
      "...Is there a way to prove or disprove that theory?"
      "Is there evidence for or against it?"
      "If we lived in a computer simulation and couldn't tell if we were in one...Would there be any difference in how we lived our lives?"
      "Why are you asking me a question that can't be answered?" (gurgle gurgle, looks at bong) "Oh, right." (koff koff) "What if it rained yesterday?"
      "It didn't."
      "I know. What if it did, and I don't have an umbrella?"
      "You'd...get wet?"
      "Thank you! There's a scenario we can extrapolate from!"
      Yes, I used words like scenario and extrapolate when I was 18. I'm also very tired, so I'm going to bed and posting this without four chekcing any tipos.


      Okay, New Allergy, or what ever the hell you are, go away. The yearly book sale (20,000 items!) started today. Usually I go 3 times, the first day, the first Sunday, the second and half-off Sunday. Because of work, all I get this year is today and the first Sunday.
      But I was so exhausted driving home after work, I just said "Forget today." And then the dry heaving began. As you may know, that is no fun. On a half hour commute during rush hour, yeah, less fun than no fun. "I'm not going to a book sale and heave!" Then right after I got home, around the time I'd be walking in the door of the sale, baaaaarf. In the bathroom, thankfully.

      Cat behaviors explained:


      I have an issue with the last line. "Or do they see us as PREY?" How often are people mauled by dogs, versus cats?


      I may have found out why I was sick yesterday (and this morning): I looked out of the store's 2nd story window and saw that the Catholic church across the road had the same kind of tree that the condo ass planted here. Whereas the ones here are young and shedding their blossoms, theirs are old are in full blossom. Only a direct wind to the south was keeping the pollen away from me.
      Religion. It ruins everything. (As do condo associations)

      There is an inverse ratio between the intelligence of a conversation and the level of its volume. Louder=dumber. Some guy was nearly screaming his words, and also trying to convince us that he was getting the sex tonight. His double entendres were more like single entendres, or plain non sequiturs, like buying beer and saying "If I treat them, they'll treat ME!" He was buying a single Heineken.
      Most were like the cashier saying "Your total is $3.53" and him saying "THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!" I was busy, so I wasn't present for most of them. Or interested in hearing them. One of his parting shots was "Do you sell ice?"
      "Yes; $1.89 for a 5 pound bag."
      "I'm getting a FIVE POUND BAG myself tonight!"
      So...your date is like a bag of ice? Or are you getting a terribly large tumor? Is this how you seduce women? "Hey, baby, you're like 10 pounds of shit suffed in a 5 pound bag!"
      "Baby, you're as beautiful as 5 miles of bad road!"
      "Honey, do you come here often, or am I thinking of my recurring STD?"
      "Heaven must have lost an angel, because you like someone who died!"
      "Is it hot in here, or is that also my recurring STD?"
      Woman: "Umm, you've been staring at me from 3 feet away for 15 minutes. Could you stop?" MAN: nods; continues to stare.
      "The stars must have fallen from the skies, because your eyes look like Meteor Crater in Arizona."
      "I would totally do you, if you weren't my daughter!" "GO AWAY, MY DAD DONALD TRUMP!" "But--I'm HYUUUUGE!"
      "Do you like pepperoni pizza? Then you would love my recurring STD! Very similar look."
      "Like Hitler and Eva, I'd like to get in your bunker!"
      "I see you eat food. Do you shit it out later? We have a lot in common!"
      "Do you have any topical analgesic? Because you could put some on my penis that has a recurring--" "GET THE FUCK AWAY!" "Hey, the pepper spray in your hand says 'No,' but your eyes say--JESUS MY FUCKING EYES AAAAH"


      It was just as well (although I wasn't well at all) that I didn't go to the book sale Friday. Today I got the weakest haul ever: a Barbara Tuchman book, The March of Folly, about stupid government decisions, and one simply titled War, apparently a 1985 PBS series, and at first glance, doesn't seem very positive about war. Well, Book, you'll never be able to run for president! And a Vangelis CD, L'Apocalypse des Animaux, a 1973 French documentary that no one alive today seems to have seen. Every online article I find is about the soundtrack.
      On the way home, I passed a house with 2 Trump signs on the lawn. I thought "Another Chump for Trump--hey, that's a good name for these idiots!" He was here just before the CT primary. A coworker asked "Did you go to his rally?" I shook my head. "I went to 3 grocery stores, and not a single one had rotten tomatoes!"

      15 Unfortunate Abbreviations

      Pretty much sums up my opinion of "psychics":


      I'm taking a survey right now, which is about restaurants. There's a Twin Peaks Themed one! No, not the TV show. It's a Hooters ripoff. Get it? Twin Peaks? THEY MEAN THEIR BOOB BREASTS!


      Sign seen on the way to work: "OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY." It was in front of the cemetary.
      Not really sure what that means. "Open house? But this is an open grave!"
      (grabs the guy's wallet; kicks him in) "FILL IT UP, BOYS! ANOTHER PAYING EX-CUSTOMER!"



      Speaking of Canada, on the news I heard about the hell-on-earth wildfire going on in Alberta, which included a soundbite from an RCMP officer, which the (Yankee) announcer said stood for "Royal Canadian Mountain Police." Shouldn't their jurisdiction for fires only involve volcanoes?

      The store got a case of Earth Mama, a "natural hemp type flavored vodka." Whatever hemp "type" means. Its website--and my 1997 Geocities page looked better than theirs--describes it as "A Marijuana Inspired Vodka." And seems to think it will only be bought by actual, 70+ year old 60s hippies. The bottle says of the titular Mama that she is "Often seen wearing a long sundress, long flowing hair, bare-feet, and a whisp of patchouli follows her." I think that should read "...and bare feet, with a wisp of patchouli following her," but I'm not writing ad copy while stoned. The site says "We dont claim Earth Mama to be and elixer. You are the Elixer." Whoa, dude! Major English major buzzkill!
      The label includes a recipe for a "HIGH" ball (did you get that? Did you?) and the last ingredient is "1 Zeppelin record." That sold me on it, at least as a joke.
      I said to a coworker "Comes with a free box of Twinkies! This pairs well with Fritos or like a whole bag of White Castle sliders, dude!"
      We're retailing it for $13, or half of what their site sells it for. Because it cost $4 a bottle. The owner wasn't told he was getting it, or he would've ordered more, as we're near a college and have a very big percentile of customers who smell like they were at a Bob Marely tribute concert by Phish. I bought a bottle, as I got it for $4, which is a good price for a liter of vodka. A coworker and I tried a tiny bit of it and Way to harsh my mellow, man! It tastes like "grass," in the sense that it tastes how lawn clippings smell. We both cringed painfully, and the taste just lingers. He immediately guzzled some coffee, while I was glad I had 1 tangerine left. I suppose you could use a mixer, but then what's the point of flavoring it? What "hemp type" was this, a rope swallowed and shat out by a hippo?
      I noticed when I first saw the case, I saw that "Earth Mama" was just stickers slapped over a different vodka's box. I couldn't ID what the name was, but it's probably something like Dubra. If that means nothing to you, Dubra means Death. Most vodkas crow that they're "4X Distilled! 6X!" Earth Mama is like distilled negative one times. Dude.
      One recipe on their site is for a "Pot martini" that is a 1/3 "Dry Verouth." Like vermouth isn't gross enough already! No wonder it was a closeout. Too bad college is over this week; they'd buy it as a joke or as a challenge to frat pledges. It should call me Ms Jackson, because it's so nasty!
      Did you get that? Did you? Because Janet Jackson did a song oh never mind.




      Since I've been slow to update, here are some longish videos that are worth your time. They're Sciencey!

      The relative sizes of dinosaurs to a human. It starts with ones that barely come to his knees, and progresses to ones where he barely comes up to their ankles. I wish it had tags naming the dinos, because these are some of the weirdest fucking ones I've ever seen. And I'm not even talking about the feathers.


      Global warming doesn't mean "If it snows in the winter, then it's a lie!" Ask yourself: "Is this weather normal?" Does Alberta burn to the ground regularly, does the US midwest get more tornadoes than ever, including ones that just sit there spinning in place, like some magic spell gone wrong? And what does science gain from lying about it, versus what oil companies gain from lying about it?"


      Some studies say..." Pretty long, but funny and worth it.


      Let's face it, if Jess and I were ever roommates, after 10 years our house would like this. Hell, we're both halfway there now. The House of Dreams


      We have a store mascot. It's a Canadian goose who laid a clutch of eggs on a traffic island in the busy parking lot. Someone called Animal Control, who proceeded to put up a little plastic fence with a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on it. It so disturbed both geese parents that they left the nest. On the last day that it snowed, and had below freezing temps overnight. She continued to lay on them, but the eggs were dead.
      Someone tossed those so that she'd lay more. She did. 6 more. A coworker who loves animals has become rather obsessed with her. So are other people in the strip mall, including a woman who's been feeding her canned corn.
      The goose's eggs finally hatched today, but only 5 goslings. J's bird obsession became worse--all day, either going over to the nest or googling geese. "They need water! How will they eat?" They're...animals, I think it's called instinct? I've taken to calling J "Mother Goose." The owner: "What happens to the geese not born outside liquor stores, do they all starve?"
      (Attenborough voice): "Here we see the wild Canadian goose, stalking its natural prey--cans of corn. Niblets, Green Giant I believe.
      "Oh, the carnage! Look at her tear into that can! Butter streaming down her beak! I hope no children are watching this!
      "And now, we shall see scientific proof of the saying 'Like shit through a goose.' Yes, here it goes, like Niagara Falls, or the Old Faithful geyser. I still hope no children are watching! Can't we show some nice footage, like the time that badger tried to maul a baby?
      "Ha ha ha! Look at that badger go to town on that baby! Oh, here we go, Dad comes up and hits the badger with his bloody croquet mallet. That badger was only playing! See, he just spat that arm right back!
      "Next week: Pigeons, the Flying Shit Machines; and Portugese Man o' War jellyfish: They only want to hug."


      After I left yesterday, Mrs Goose and her goslings made a beeline (gooseline?) towards the store's front door. Apparently, she has associated us with food and water. She would've come right through the door if it was open.
      We were all fearing what would happen when they decided to move, as the only nearby pond is across one of the busiest roads in town. I hope no one would try to run them down, but they might see them too late to stop. "Which way do you want to go?" a coworker asked, and pointed towards the pond. "This way? How about this way." And he led them across the road, waving his arms for the traffic to stop. At rush hour! I imagine most drivers' reaction was "WTF?...OMG, LOL!"
      On the other side, he said "Well, I have to go back to work," and they waddled off to the pond. A happy ending.



      LS in wonderlanD: a 1971 anti-drug cartoon. Apparently made by people on drugs.





      Did I mention that I've been on vacation since Sunday? I've been on vacation since Sunday. So, I guess I did mention it.
      I haven't said anything because I really haven't done much, nor intend to. Jessica's daughter's boyfriend is graduating the police academy (his part is played by Steve Gutenberg), and she's having a big party for him at her house. She needs to budget her time and energy, thanks to the Gift of Narcolepsy, so I'm not seeing her. I had an appointment with the doctor (played by David Tennant), but they unintentionally cancelled it. It's only a physical, so no rush. (played by Geddy Lee)
      I saw Rifftrax Live: Time Chasers today. Only okay. Maybe they're saving their energy up for the MST3K reunion next month. And I got to sit next to a guy from one of my earlier visits, who has a very loud, obnoxious, and frequently forced-sounding laugh, and talks to himself. He's alone; I wonder why. Prior to the movie, they ran a promo for some Kiss reunion, and the sound immediately went out. I said "Thank you!" which got some chuckles.
      I'm planning on going to the movies again, to finally see Captain America 3. The first matinee is only $5.50, but so far, earlier than I felt like getting up on a day off. I'll see it Thurs or Fri, or maybe not Thurs, as their online schedule shows no times for any movies that day. Except for a few one-day events, and the first showing of Angry Birds: We Have Officially Run Out of Ideas, The Movie. I'm boycotting it until they make a Candy Crush movie. But it should be at least as good as Pixels.
      I just watched the trailer, and...Wow. Real good. More like Angry Turds, amIrite?! Sorry, I'm not wasting my meager comedy skills coming up with anything better than that. Also, the trailer uses the song "Hot Blooded," and I have an immediate hate-on for any crap music played on the work radio station. When it comes on, I mentally sing "I'm shit-stupid, check it and see! Got an IQ around 73!"
      And the final day, I'm going to see my cousin Randy in a community theater production of Sondhiem's Into the Woods. Probably not as funny as Spamalot.


      Today I rewatched Murder on the Orient Express for the first time since...a long time? The villain is Richard Widmark, aka "General Dick" from The Swarm. This 1974 movie is famous for the line "Houston--Murdered on the Orient Express! Will history blame me--OR THE ROBOTLER?!"
      (You see, the killer is the butler, who is a robot with Hitler's brain installed. He went to the future, then came back after the brain installation into the giant robot, but it's 1935, and Robotler's all "Scheisse, dude! Nothing happens around here until 1939!" so he takes the train and makes murders. Actually, it's his mustache, which is a detatchable psycho spider that lives on his lip oh I'M SORRY I SHOULDA SAID "SPOILERS")
      I know, I know. You're thinking "I never dreamed it would be the Robotlers! They've always been our friends!"


      Once you lose one of your major senses, or aren't born with it, your brain rewires itself to compensate by boosting the strength of the remaining senses. You may have already guessed which cat I will be talking about.
      The kids delight when a new bag of dry food is opened. I opened some Rachel Ray Grain-Free, and KK and DJ raced over to the bowls. MIS-ter Byron was fast asleep, about 8 feet away on a chair. He suddenly awoke, sniffed the air, and ran to the bowls. That's...actually kind of amazing.

      A coworker on my last day before vacay bought a 6 pack of Negra Modelo. I said "I'll be having one of those soon when I go to the new Moe's!" No, I did not have a Flaming Moe, as this isn't the dive bar from the Simpsons. It's "Southwestern Cuisine," which I think translates as "not as bad as Taco Bell."
      Its menu was very unspecific. I got a "Funk Meister taco," because when you want faux Mexican, you want German in the name and also leave a trail of funk behind you. I have no idea what this meant, unless it was the size. Maybe you could get one the size of Trump's fingers, or the size of his hyuuuge trouser burrito, I don't know, and I know everything, I have the best taco bowls! (shrugs and kind of nods).
      It was chicken, black beans, rice, fresh jalapeno, lettuce, cheese, served behind a sneeze guard, which I think counts as a wall, a giant wall, and the Moe's employees will pay for it! In what I hope will not be an ongoing vacation theme, it was only okay.

      In other "It was okay" news, exactly one LTRotD will be excited to know I bought a vaporizer (Hi, Zef!). It was $99 and recommended by bOING bOING., I guess? The instructions were either incredibly "Well, duh" or extremely vague. Made by Fez, the booklet says "High Standards" AH-HAHA I just got that subtle joke with the high! It could've basically said "Do not put on highest temperature and try to vape anally, figure out the rest yourself" and been equally as informative. Even the list of accessories was wrong. "Replacement Mouthpiece. One per pack. Available in slate or pearl." Maybe they meant "as in, a string of electrons, or Pearl Forester, a fictional character, as both are thus nonexistant." Cause they're weren't no damn thing. "Charger. USB charger and free adapt for different area." Those are certainly words that appear in the English language, just not usually strung together in that order. "Cleaning tools" (yes), "Using guide" (why, it's as if I'm reading it now! But if it wasn't here, how would I know?), "Mouthpiece Silicon Rubber Case." Umm, sure why not? There are some rubber nipples to put over the mouthpiece, but no case, unless you meant the box it was shipped in. Not included on the list, but in the box is a little glass jar, I assume for my "Dry Herb or Flowers," or maybe as a bait box if I decide to go fishing using inchworms. And some totally unexplained little metal cup. Does this go in the thing? It fits, but...why is this thing? Is it for regular use, or just if I want some crack?
      Which leads us to the final conundrum: Isn't a vaporizer supposed to make things vaporize? Because my herbs couldn't get any drier after the 2 years I've had them, and Vapey doesn't even burn them all. My ancient $8 little single-hitter burns more efficiently. Maybe I'm using it wrong? Who would I ask?


      (Hi, Zef!)


      May vacation, 2014: Two days incapacitated by spinal arthritis.
      May vacation, 2015: Sick for 2 weeks because I caught the flu at the doctor's office.
      May vacation, 2016: It's Only Okay.
      The traffic on the way to the theater suddenly slowed. Turns out that on the other side of the highway, there was a trailer truck on fire. Is it on this side of the highway? Is it entirely on the shoulder on that side of the highway? IS IT YOUR FUCKING TRUCK? Then speed up, I have to see Captain America: Civil War, and watch trucks be on fake fire! I turned my right signal on, and drove on the shoulder until the exit.
      CA:CW was only okay.
      I thought that there was too much punching in the second one, and this was basically a film-length fight scene. They were exciting fights, always inventive and easy to follow, but it was punching. I kinda think a Captain America movie should be about, hmm, dunno, a new hire at Sbarro's?
      "You ask why our chain has such an odd name? Let me open this door and show you--Z'BARRO, Demon Lord of the Flayed Souls and Not Really Good Food Court Pizzas!" "BWA-hhahahaha, mortal fool! Here, GREASE IS A TOPPING."
      ...about Captain America? This was really Avengers 3. Better than A2, but still. CA: First Avenger was about as cool as a popcorn movie could be, CA2 had some things to say, and they weren't all "Biff! Pow! Bam!"
      Crossbones is gone before the opening credits. I need more of a Cap fix than just naming the bad guy "Zemo." I will admit, this is the first Spider-Boy movie since the first Raimi one where they give us a new take on the character. Said take would be "Over-eager teenage nerd." I imagine that in his first Marvel movie--I can save you the time it takes to watch through the very, very end of the CA credits to say "Spider-Nerd Will Return"--they will establish the by-now-tired "With great power comes running around in your underwear blah blah" trope. I hope they at least take a bit to do what was in the first Bug-Man movie, when he wakes up all super, and runs along walls in his PJs screaming "WA--HOOO!"
      Ant Man was also a nice addition. Between the collective asses of wise that are Stark, Parker and Lang, I'm surprised that during one of their battles one didn't say to the other 2 "Are we related? We all have the same last name. 'Man.'"
      The Black Panther got more screen time than I thought--and, three major black characters in a mainstream movie?! Nice nod to the MU that his nation of Wakanda is the most high-tech country on the planet. Who would win in a fair fight, Wakanda or Latveria? (That's a trick question; this "fairness" of yours is below Doom)
      So, yes, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the first 2 CA movies much more. Also, shouldn't've an Avenger pointed out that, yes, a big chunk of Manhattan did sustain major destruction, but wasn't the government's Plan B to hit it with a fucking nuclear missile?

      Then, to Smashburger! There, burgers are smashed in some way. Are they roadkill? Hope not.
      As a good loyal Connecticut man, I had the Husky, made from only the finest dog--AHH! Oh, no, just named after some team that plays sportsball here. Foosball, maybe? Apparently, "with no mayo, please" sounds too much like "MAYO PLZ ADD MAYOS!" I decided to get it to go. The guy who handed my bag to me complimented me on my Camp Kaiju shirt. I should've eaten the burger there.
      For, lo, it had been well over 3 hours since I saw the burning truck, but the highway was moving not. It's just a truck fire, people! I gambled, skipped the highway--which was simply immobile--and took the Long Way Home. Was this a good choice? I knew I was only one exit from home, but it turned out that they shut the entire highway down. And my Smashburger, once I stumbled home a fucking half-hour plus later, was in a plastic container. Soggy at this point, so more of a Squishburger. The mayo didn't help. "You dare--serve DOOM--a burger with mayo?! DOOM CURSES ALL MAYO!" (Robots destroy Hellman's)
      So, yeah, Only Okay.
      I may just sleep in tomorrow.


      Random things from the movies yesterday:
      Best line (not a spoiler): "The living are not done with you yet!" Cold, bro. That's cold. The good kind of cold.
      Other best line (spoiler): When Ant-Man adds a "gi" to his name, I swear he said "HO HO HO!" In the valley of the jolly...
      An extended family walked out during the Steve/Bucky/Tony battle. They had little kids, so maybe they were antsy. Maybe they were--ANTS-MANNY! Oh yeah?! Well you're a BIGGER one!
      Spoiler: I liked the scene wherein Hawkeye defeated everyone, using only the bridge of his nose. When Black Panther falls, he just says "Yeah. I've had a lot of sinus congestion lately. Thanks for--clearing things up."
      Spoiler: "Stan Lee will return--as GALACTUS."
      If you look closely in the Starbucks scene, when Black Widow's pummeling a dozen bad guys, you can see Thanos complaining about his frappuchino.
      Whoops! Apparently hoping we wouldn't notice, the Avengers Quinjet is actually a 1995 Kia Reo!
      The squirrel collecting acorns was not played by an actual squirrel, but by Nick Cage. No one but me noticed.
      Continuity error! Captain America can NOT eat 150 hot dogs in one sitting! In the comics, they're Tofu Pups.
      The Winter Soldier can be mind controlled by saying the lyrics to "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." However, he does not murder when you do, he just throws down some hot breakdance moves. OH YEAH!
      Helmut Zemo does not wear a mask that's Krazy Glued to his face forever, with no airholes or way to eat, seriously comics, why did you do that twice?
      People who got that joke: Me.
      Spoiler: For an all-powerful robot, Vision, you're kind of a jerk.
      The movie involves 2 people who were in a freezer for most of the last century, multiple people who can fly, including 2 who apparently are doing so because of their shoes, a woman whose powers are basically describable as "Argle bargle!" but Bucky carries an M249 SAW Paratooper machine gun fitted with a SureFire 100-round casket magazine. Because if it had a 99 round magazine, it totally would've taken you out of the movie.
      An earlier version of the script had Scarlet Witch and the Winter Soldier played by Ren and Stimpy. "Bucky--you EEDIOT!!"
      True fact: there were 20 minutes of trailers, and I only remember one. It was for Star Wars. Apparently, the Empire is going to attack with--I hope you're sitting down!--another fucking Death Star. Empire, most of us eventually grow out our Death Star phase.


      I finally broke my "It was Only Okay" streak! I saw my 2nd cousin Randy in Sondheim's musical Into The Woods!
      Because it's my last day of vacation, I kept thinking "I have to go to work tomorrow. Oh well, as the saying goes, you can't have the escape without the prison." (Not that I'm comparing my job to prison. Any more. The Drunken Toddler rots in his grave!)
      (WORM: "Eww! Why don't you consume his earthly corpse! He tastes like Newport Lights and Heineken!")
      This would be why, on my way to my Mom's, I got on the road to work. I was on the highway exactly long enough to get off it. Good thing I left early, because I was actually there before sister Pat, her husband John, and favorite niece Cassandra did. ("Hi, Billiam!" "Hi, Sandy Gerbil!")
      Pat forgot our tickets in her car, so she and John ran back to get them. I said to Cass, "There's a pretty high ratio of walkers-to-customers here. We should steal one so we fit in." Then Cassie pointed at some porcelain theater masks and wanted to take those. When we were seated, she wanted to steal the prop cow. "I could do it!" she said. "It's on wheels!" "I think someone would notice." "Distract them!" Have you figured out yet why she's my favorite?
      We've only been there once before, but they had that weird prerecorded announcement about the emrgency exits, and the fact that they are next to the firehouse, so we should ignore any sirens. To which I said, "If the building is on fire, you won't know until you're dead."
      Randy was scheduled to appear next in Avenue Q, which I was looking forward to. I guess he wasn't. So it was Into The Woods, which was Not Only Okay!
      It sucked.
      There was nothing wrong with the performances. It was 3 fucking hours long, so at least an hour too long. There was humor, but not much. Cassie said "The songs were more like lectures." Mom said "It was like an opera," because everyone pretty much dies. I guess I can't really have an opinion on Sondheim, as the only other thing I've seen by him was Sweeney Todd. Okay, maybe I can. IT SUCKED ALSO. Get over your pretentious self, Mr Artsy-Fartsy.
      A woman came in an sat to the seat next to my Mom. 20 minutes after the start. She proceeded to text the entire time, using the phone's brightest setting. Even the people in front of us were shifting in their seats and shooting her looks. During the applause after Randy's big solo number, I leaned over and snarled "Turn off your phone!" She mumbled something, and my (83 year old!) Mom said "That's really annoying. Your screen is really bright." "Mumble mumble" was the reply. Mom: "If it's really that important, take it outside." And she didn't! My Preciousss! I must always have you on! I'm guessing other people said something, because she left after 5 more minutes (of txt) and didn't come back. During intermission, I said to Mom "I'm sorry, I got angry!" And the women in front of us turned around and said "You did the right thing!"
      The play was 3 hours long, people! In the chairs in a community theater. Randy's part of Jack was not that big--okay, there were 20 characters (not an exaggeration), but man, that second act was utterly unneeded. Unless you're a guy making a musical about fairy tale characters and "Can't you philistines see what a GE-NI-US I am?!"
      Like last time, it took forever to leave (cf. above: walkers). We wanted to do a meet & greet with Randy--the entire reason we were there!--but he wasn't waiting out front. We saw him duck out the back exit, and head straight to his car--while still in costume. So did 3/4s of the cast. Must've been a rewarding ordeal for them.
      I wonder what fresh hell work throws in my lap tomorrow? Hopefully, it will be Only Okay.




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