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!       


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