NEW 118

ďIf itís true that our species is alone in the universe,
then Iíd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
--George Carlin

Jump to the Newest of the New

6/25/14

      Kev and I are planning one last RiffTrax get-together before he and Meg leave. For once, there'll be a 2nd showing, and that's the best one for me, and the only one for him. They'll be in Austin looking for a place to live 3 weeks later (yeah, no comment). But as of now, the closest it'll get to us is Waterbury, and no, that's not close enough. Unless things change, that's not happening. Just please let there be one last time I see them before they leave...

      Most of my last week could be called "getting too little sleep" followed by "getting too much sleep to make up for it." I had dinner with my Mom Friday, and a conversation.
      MOM: "Oh, did you see that dog? He's a rescue! His owners had some giant dogs, and the big dogs kept tormenting the little one. So they threw him in their backyard. For a year, no matter the weather, and eventually a neighbor called somebody and they took him away. He's the friendliest dog ever! You'd think he'd hate people!"
      ME: "Actually, I'd think he'd hate other dogs."
      "Yes, she took him to the dog park, and he freaked out, so they left 10 minutes later."
      "Oh, Jess and her friend founded their own feral rescue group!"
      "Oh! How many dogs has she rescued?"
      "Um, NONE. She does cats." Feral dogs? What, is this Sochi? Detroit?
      "Oh, we have a feral cat here. No one feeds him, but he's here every day. He doesn't rub on anyone's legs, he checks into everyone's places. I had my door open [meaning: screen door closed], and he looked in and then left."
      "Mom, that cat is not feral."
      "He looks feral!"
      "They don't look feral, they act feral. Feral cats won't go near humans, let alone a place where people walk their dogs!"
      "But he looks feral! I see him come down from the same part of the woods every day!"
      "Are there houses there? Maybe they let him out when they go to work."
      "Oh, no! He turns up around 5:15 every day!"
      "Then they let him out after work! He's not feral!"
      "Oh, he's feral. He looks it! He's all grey with no other markings!"
      WHOA all feral cats are solid grey?! WHO KNEW call the Nobel Prize Committee on Veterinary Science so they can decide where to send your Vet Feral Science Thing award!
      I love my Mom, but she does not know a lot about cats.

      My answering machine--yeah, some of us old farts still have them--told me that the caller ID was my own phone number. The call is coming from inside the house--and it's me! Then it hung up. Hey, Me Calling From The Future, leave a message next time! How else will I know how to thwart the Alien Invasion, or to not eat at bad BBQ places?
      Then I immediately got a telemarketing message, so maybe that's their new thing.

      Star Wars if it was a trailer in the Guardians of the Galaxy style:

      

      

6/26

      In the store, if you call out of work a couple of times a month and have worked there for years, you get fired. If you've worked a few months and you call out a couple of times a week, you do not.
      Why the difference? Some are black, some are white. I leave it to you to figure out which has the "automatic forgiveness" gene.

6/27

      One of the slackers was fired for his endless no-shows at work, then immediately rehired by the New Owner. He learned his lesson!
      The lesson being that he wouldn't be fired for anything he did. He now has another job, and his new reason to blow ours off is just that--even though he's on our schedule before he's on the other job's. (At least he's aiming high--he's a busboy)
      So he had somebody cover for him tonight. The other worthless sack of monkey dung just can't work that grueling 13 hour a week schedule he has. Last Friday, he came in half an hour late, due to a family emergency. He was low on e-cigarettes. Which he and the other loser are allowed to smoke behind the counter in front of customers, what the fuck. In between their real job, texting their bros. K., a guy my age, recently started, and they've both bombarded him with near-daily demands that he cover for them. After only a month, K's disgusted with them. Who wants to find out that someone wants them to work for them in an hour?
      Today Thing Two was late again. The New Owner/Enabler called him up and was told "I asked K to cover for me. Isn't he there yet?" Well, he's not here, and he's always on time. A call to K was answered with K saying "I told him no!" Technically, the Inert Blob of Protoplasm with a Phone Smarter Than He'll Ever Be wasn't lying. He said he asked him, he didn't say what the answer was.
      And I can guarantee that when next week's schedule is posted, maybe the black guy will be gone, but the 2 lazy white shitheads will still be on the schedule. They won't work what's written on it, but their names will be there, their hours getting scratched off most of their days. Fucking welfare queens. They must be the New Owner's weed connection.

      

      

6/28

      Some alternate history: How close did the world come to peace in 1914?
      I'd go with "inevitably not." World War One almost happened four times before it actually did. Every combatant thought that it would be the Franco-Prussian War, fought when armies had hundreds of thousand of soldiers, and fought 40 years earlier. War will be quick and glorious, over in months with acceptable casualties! Every war is going to be fought like the last one!
      Even though this time they had mass conscription instantly leading to armies of millions moved by rail, and also barbed wire and machine guns, and a massive industry to build them, for profit.
      If they started a world war over a minor duke basically exiled to the shittiest part of a failed "Empire," and then killed by some idiot teenager, yeah, they would've started a war over anything. Because they did. They were looking for an excuse. They would've found another excuse eventually, like "Kaiser Blames Serbs for Ingrown Toenail." You have a giant army, and what's the point of having expensive toys if you can't play with them? It'll be over by Christmas! When we get more toys!
      As I was about to upload this, iTunes just decided to play the Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime."

      

      Last line of 2014 version "Deleted all my blogposts--what good are blogposts? They won't help me survive."

6/29

      Tony Blair, dread creature of the forbidden swamp Works just as well for Americans if you replace "Tony Blair" with "Dick Cheney." Except for the part where "charm" is mentioned. Then you can imagine it being Dick's ventriloquist dummy Dubya mouthing his fed lines.

6/30

      For no reason, on Saturday I thought of an intersection in the next town over that I used to pass continually up until about 15 years ago. I remembered it as a kid because of a large and remarkably ugly brick building with something one doesn't normally see on a busy street--a grain silo. It had been a feed store back in the day, possibly extremely back, as it was built in 1888. I was really amused when for a time in the 80s it became "Clay Furniture," as it made me think of sofas made from Play-Doh.
      Today I thought of a disturbing statistic I'd read: 1 in 4 Americans couldn't afford a $1500 emergency, of any kind. If I lost my job, I could probably last 4 to 5 years with no income, thanks to my savings. Then I realized that next year, I'll have been at the same job for 12 years, twice as long as I was at the next longest. Yay for job security! At least since I deal with DT a few hours a week at most now, and the New Owner is actually sane.
      Then I said as I often do to the cats when leaving for work, "Have a good day, kids! I probably won't."
      And 5 minutes later I was back, not having a good day.
       The car wouldn't start. My Fit was throwing a fit. The engine wouldn't turn over, making a weird and colicky noise I'd never heard one of my cars ever make. Every dashboard warning light came on at once, which is like someone running down the road screaming "AIIIIIEEEE!" It really doesn't narrow their problem down. Then it would only flash the key icon. The manual said this meant the anti-theft system didn't recognize my key, and the engine immobilizer was on. The hell? The key fits and it turns, so how can it be the key? I got the spare down to the garage, and that didn't work.
      I called work, then called Passkey. I was put on hold. The music was really bad, and I got to listen to it for a long time. Eventually, a woman came on. She quickly told me that my Passkey account had expired 2 years ago. Maybe they could've told me to re-up? After 20 minutes of explaining my situation, and having to spell a lot of words for her (and she was clearly American. If I lived near "Westchester," not "Manchester," I'd be driving a car that cost as much as my condo), she told me that the problem was the key, and I'd have to take it to the dealership to fix. She'll call a tow truck and call me back "right away."
      A tow truck. To fix. A key.
      When you're trying to get to work, don't know if your car is fucking dead, and you've ordered 350 cases of beer to come in that day...a 45 minute wait with a phone in your lap isn't "right away." And she called back to ask me "Is your car in neutral?" Well...then the keys would still be in it because they won't come out except in park, but let's check. It'd sure be quicker than this. And, of course, no, it isn't, and it can't be put in it in neutral now. Because, y'know, key doesn't work. "We'll send a flatbed in case it can't be put into neutral," like I said it couldn't, "in less than 45 minutes." Given what your idea of "right now" is, I guess the truck will park on the edge of a tectonic plate and wait for continental drift to move it here in half a million years.
      So I dropped my Netflix off in the mailbox and picked up my recycling bin, because I doubt the tow truck would let me do those things. When he arrived, I tried starting the car. It gasped and spasmed. "Oh, your battery's dead!" THANKS, car! You know when my tire's air is low, but you don't know when the battery is.
      After he jumped it, I followed him to his garage, as I was going to need a new battery anyway. He ran every light, with me pretty much required to run them with him. Down a road I guess I hadn't been down in a long time, as so much had changed. And, yes, I went past that old intersection. Now the ugly, nearly-windowless 1888 brownstone was some sort of butcher's shop. It looked like you could get butchered there, anyway...Clarisse!
      I waited for my battery by a case of WWII memorobilia, artillery shells and such (I bet I was among the few who saw it and thought "So that's what a 20mm Oerlikon autocannon shell looks like. Those were badass." The case held the story of a WWII Coast Guard sailor who landed Marines on a Japanese-held island, his ships immediately called back when it turned out that there were a lot more Japanese than expected, so much so that even Marines wanted the instant fuck out of there. He got almost all of them back into the ships, but the last few were pinned down. So he pulled his ship into the line of fire and kept shooting until he was dead. The last Marines got off the island. He got a posthumous Medal of Honor.
      A worker came in with lunches for everyone, unhappy about her test scores for...something. "I got an 81!" "But that's a B minus! Why are you mad?" "Because if you get a 90, you're in the first group to be picked! And they give you 10 extra points if you're ex-military! That's not fair!"
      (Me: Looks at picture of Medal of Honor winner, who died fighting the Axis)
      Guy looking at a website: "Passing is...65?!" Passing is a D? And then I found out what it was about: a D gets you on the police force. Here's a piece of paper where you can draw your own conclusions about the police.
      The people were incredibly nice, despite having a picture of Dubya on the wall with the title "MISS ME YET?" (Me: Looks at picture of Medal of Honor winner who died fighting the Axis; thinks of how not-fair it is that Iraqi war vets get extra points)
      And it only cost me about $300. And about 15% of that more because I was late for work. sigh I can afford that. I can afford $1500, for that matter. When I got home, the answering machine flashed 3 messages over 6 minutes. All robocalls making sure I got my roadside assistance. And each began with 20 seconds of screeching, painfully flanged-out hold music. You called ME and put me on hold?!
      The closest to a plus was that I saw a seafood restaurant right up the road that I never go on anymore and thought, "Of course they'll have lobster rolls. But are they Connecticut lobster rolls, the hot & buttery ones, or those shitty cold with mayo ones?" And their website says that they do! Because driving 90 minutes to the shore seems a long way to get a damn sandwich. I do hope their food is better than their site, with a pointless strip on the right that blocks 1/3 of it. The owner's picture was taken facing east in the early morning, with the sun so in his eyes that he shrieks "AIIIEEE!" Or perhaps he's looking at his own corporate mascot. He's like American Gothic in a tuxedo with a clam for a head, but the clam head has eyes and a clam rake, as he relentlessly murders his own kind for food. Is he called Clamibal Lecter? In "Silence of the Clams"? And says "Clam-risse!" okay I'll stop now.

      SHAWT: "Remember when a nickel would buy a piece of Beluga bubblegum, with the comic inside?"
      No, I actually don't remember buying any whale-based gum. And wouldn't that be "blubbergum" anyway?
      Next customer: "Maybe she's from Alaska?"
      What is the deal with Bazooka Joe? Is he missing an eye because he didn't know which way a bazooka points? I'll bet he probably still got 81 on the test.

7/1

7/2      God, Stupidest Things Said calendar! Obviously, the warning was "Small pieces may cause a choking hazard," and the guy writing it must have tested it by swallowing a bunch of jigsaw pieces, said "PSSHSST SSSTSISS SMSII PSSTS" while choking, and died while writing it.
      ARTHUR: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to write "PSSHSST SSSTSISS SMSII PSSTS." He'd just say it!
      GALAHAD: Perhaps he was dictating!

      And now, BEHOLD! Tis a true and mighty CONNECTICUT STYLE LOBSTER ROLL!

      

      Oh. Right. The camera's lens refused to open, and these are designed to be eaten hot, so I didn't take that pic until long after it was gone. Man, I'd suck at Instagramming my food! Also missed: when I put the tray on the floor, and Killsy licked up the remaining butter and lobster bits, and tried to eat the remains of the roll.
      I've wanted a real lobster roll for years, not one of those "cold with mayo" fake-outs--that's for tuna salad, man! It was very good, but not $13 good. My daily main meal budget is in the $2-4 range. Didn't stop me from Killsying it down (as opposed to wolfing, as that's how Killsy eats food she really likes. And def not like Byroning it down, which would be eating so fast it gets thrown up). And a much better experience than my visit to Little Mark's BBQ. I called my order in to them, and 10 minutes after I was told it would be ready, it finally was, with a worker wiping blood from her nose. Without me calling it in, it was ready at Clam Diggers in 5 minutes, and the staff was quite nice. Also, no customers with a vanity plate saying "NO LIBS" glaring at me like I was some al-Qaeda terrorist/Mexican illegal/Democrat which are apparently all the same thing in their reptile brains, which you never think of as a plus until you've experienced it.

      Lo-o-ong article about Eno and his new albums with Hyde. I'm of the opposite opinion that the author has--"Someday World" is only good, but "High Life," released a month later, is just awful. I won't ever buy that, unless it's for a dollar. Pro Tip from a 35-years Eno fan: Avoid any collaborations after 1995.

7/3

      I was relistening to WWUH's Sunday Ambient show, and it did a thing that it did Sunday. During a playing of Vangelis' soundtrack to Blade Runner, the music briefly paused and we were told "YOU GOT MAIL!" And not long after the hosts said that they used AOL. Haha, that's crazy! In the far-off future world of the distant year 2019, we'll have flying cars, offworld colonies, androids, overpopulated cities that still inexplicably have giant, unoccupied abandoned warehouses in their centers, but we'll still have AOL?! That's crazy!
      Next time you watch that movie, here's a fun game to play! It's called "Spot a Black Person!" It's a lot like "Where's Waldo?" without any Waldo.
      Seriously, try it. You'll see a lot more people eating noodles, but any number is higher than "none". What the fuck is with that?

      Okay, Blade Runner was a good movie. Bowanga! Bowanga! is not, despite having such a thing of a title. Can you make a 65 minute movie that still is 50% people pointing at offscreen stock footage, some of it clearly from silent movies? Can it be set in Africa, and have exactly 2 more Africans than Blade Runner? (The third one looks like a white guy smeared with shoe polish) Can you do that male fantasy of an all-woman society, starving for dick, and have it star guys who have less interest in women than a gay man's glee club? Will Africa look like as barren as--gee whiz, I dunno, Bryce fucking Canyon right outside of LA? Can you make the women not speak English, except that they can because whatever, but also make their monosyllabic "ME WANT MAN!" dialogue incomprehensible? Can they be so utterly Stone Age primitive that they shave their legs and pits with, how should I know, clam shells or something? Can you throw in some stock footage African animals such as an orangutang who literally facepalms, and a fucking moose? Can you have the men fight the women, when the women aren't fighting the women, and one takes his shirt off and he's less buff than me?! Can another be such a ridiculous Italian stereotype-a that-a he talk-a like Mario with a stutter and look just-a like-a

      

      FERRET BOY?
      Yes. You actually can.

7/4

7/5

7/6

      Angered by the Hobby Lobby ruling by the corporate-owned 5 on the Supreme Court? That's nothing. This will leave you blind with rage, sick to your stomach, and broken in heart: Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection. Just say it's because of Jesus, and you get a free pass.

7/7

      I had the free coleslaw left over from my Little Mark's BBQ meal. I figured I could mix it in some tuna salad, because I like a crunch in there.
      Man, how do you fuck up coleslaw?
      The cats were happy for the tuna juice, anyway.

      Connecticut's not famous for much, at least much that's accurate. Yes, there are those rich people in Fairfield County, and there are a lot of suburbs, but it's not all affluent white people. Another thing it's unjustifiably famous for is the Amity Horror. The Amityville Hoax, really. A young couple bought a house that murders had happened in, found they couldn't afford the mortgage (on a house with murders, I mean, that's got to be a low monthly payment), so they came up with a bullshit story about it being haunted. The murderer guy was in prison, and tried to get his conviction overturned because the haunting made him do it, and the couple backed him up on his claims. That's the real horror--to get out of a fucking mortgage, these people had no problem with letting a convicted murderer get loose, because: CASPER the GHOST.
      And aided and abetted all through this was another sad reason people know about CT, beyond women's basketball and insurance companies: The Warrens. They were "paranormal investigators", meaning "self-aggrandizing con artists". They made a profitable career getting the rubes to believe idiocy, and had an indirect hand in the current fascination among the knuckle-walking fans of "reality" ghost-faking TV shows.
      Here's a a brief look at their portrayal in Hollywood, with a funny review of the lame paranormal museum in their house's basement. Oh, wait, Mr W's dead now, so it's odd that he isn't haunting it. Maybe it's too lame even for him.

7/8

7/9

      Good couple of days for free cat samples! Not samples of cats, samples for cats. Yesterday it was Meow Mix Tender Centers, a rom-com about a hard-as-claws tomcat who couldn't show his real feelings for Meg Ryan--oh, wait, no, it was a food. They loved it, but they love any food they've never had before, and then ignore it, much as one does with Meg Ryan. It was, hmm, let's see, made of--MOTHER OF GOURD! Is this an ingredient list, or the credits to a Meg Ryan movie, including everyone on the catering staff?! It's 27 lines long! It's at least 37 ingredients long! And it begins with CORN (cats' natural enemy), chicken by-product meal (what's a human by-product? I think "what I flush"), CORN, soybeans, animal fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, which I think are like gamma rays, wheat (and many is the time I have seen a kitten chase down a sheaf of wheat), animal digest, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Is it something that digests animals? Is it a little magazine that really old animals read on the toilet when they're shitting while watching Fox News and snarling "I'm constipated! THANKS, Obama!"
      Today was a pouch of "Fancy Feast Broth Gourmet Cat Complement." It wasn't a lot of food split between 3 cats, although a good fit when only DJ actually chews his wet food, rather than licking it into his stomach. (Quick quiz! Guess which of the 3 cats never pukes his food!) I'm not sure what "Complement" is supposed to mean, maybe "add to dry food," or "Don't blame us if it gives them the kitty shits." It's also in "a decadent silky broth" because "hedonisitic velvety soup" tested worse than that, but better than "sunk-eyed cat heroin." And it's made of "NO BYPRODUCTS" and also soy, and the starches of wheat, potato, and tapioca. HA HA HA! Tapioca, that's hilarious! My grandfather had this weird joke where at every family holiday, he'd complain "Where's the small pearl tapioca?" After many years of his joke, my mom made some tapioca. "This is large pearl, I said small pearl," he deadpanned, and didn't eat it. Months later, Mom and Grandma handed him a bowl of tapioca, with the box labelled "Small Pearl" placed in front of him. He looked at it like he'd been given a severed rat's head filled with baby spiders. My dad ate some and said "It's not that bad!" (My dad also thought the world's best candy was marzipan) Grandpa Walt ate a couple of spoonfuls, then pushed the bowl aside, and never made a tapioca joke again.

      A couple of short jokes from Something Awful:
      WootBoom's Refurbished Item Grading System
      The Left Behind Trilogy

      I had enough left on an iTunes giftcard for an album. So, after weeks of carefully not thinking about it and also hitting myself with a mallet, I bought "Best of Godzilla 1954-1975" because WHY WOULD I NOT? And then you go "But that music is goofy and loud!" and then I go "Just like GODZILLA MOVIES HA I WIN" And the you're all "Does it have the Jet Jaguar theme from Godzilla vs Megalon?" And I go "...I have no idea...what you're talking...about...sob!"

      

      I bought the album anyway. And I still have no idea what tapioca tastes like.

7/10

7/11

7/12

7/13

7/14

      I haven't written anything because I've nothing to write about (which is a good reason not to). I figured I would tmw, when Kev & I go to see Sharknado get Rifftraxed. He said he would, but so far he hasn't written back to me to firm the time. He & Meg went to TX to find an apartment, and they've been largely absent on FaceBook. Maybe they're still down there, if the search isn't going well. They are planning on moving to Austin in just 3 weeks, so that would take precedence.
      The most unusual thing to happen to me lately (Drunken Toddler being a colossal asshole isn't news) was my car's Tire Pressure system light coming on. I had a slow leak, so I filled it with Fix-A-Flat rather than replace the tire, and subsequently found out that's not really what you should do. It's worked fine for 6 months, except in our bitter winter, when it would make the car shake briefly when the temperature was below 20. All the manual said was to bring the car to the dealer so they can reset it. I don't need a light to tell me when my tires are low on air, as I've never had one before. I checked the tire, and it looked maybe a little low. I figured I'd put some air in it, and if the light didn't go off, replace the tire and keep it as a spare spare.
      On the drive home tonight, I heard a weird noise from the car next to me. No, wait, that's my car! So I slowed down to 60. I only had 6 miles before home.
      The noise kept getting louder, but the car handled fine. I dropped my speed. I hope I get home before it blows, as I don't want to try and change a tire on the side of the highway, at night, in the rain. That's a good way to get hit.
      It kept getting louder, and the car shook a very little bit, so I dropped to 45. Don't throw a fit, Fit, it's only 3 miles...Off the exit, I dropped to 35, hoping I didn't have to stop at any lights, as that might be when the tire finally goes. I made it home without stopping, and got out to check the damage.
      It was sitting only a few inches from the driveway, almost on the hubcap. And it had a huge gash in it. Did it happen when I finally stopped? How is it possible to drive any distance at any speed with no tire?
      So tmw I'll try to change it, and hope I didn't do more damage than I hope I didn't. Because I spent $300 on it just 2 weeks ago, and $1300 in town taxes are due this month. But just like the battery, it could've been worse. Unlike the battery, not "inconvenient," but "tire blows when I'm doing 75." Nothing's more inconvenient than dying.

      Study finds truth to 'friends are the family you choose'.

      I'll probably skip Sharknado, as my fourth cousins Kev & Meg have to prep their condo for a photographer in 2 days. And they hope to sell it before they leave. In 3 weeks. I think that will only happen if I win the lottery before then.

7/15

      

      I think that tire can be accurately described as "flat".
      If you follow that 6-inch gash at the bottom around the tire, you'll see more open tears at the top, and tears-in-waiting in the middle. The rubber shrapnel indicates that it exploded as soon as the car stopped moving, so, yeah, good thing I made every light on the last 2 miles.
      I got out the spare and then the jack. And said "This jack is only a jack! Where's the tire iron?" The manual said that there was a bag of tools on the tire, but there wasn't. Since I never had a reason to look in sub-trunk, maybe there never was one. So I had to call for a tow.
      I watched the Fit get loaded onto the flatbed, the back tire shredding more rubber and the hubcap screeching against the driveway. It was almost as uncomfortable as hearing a cat cry when she gets her shots. I don't want this either, but we have to do it!
      I paid him in the truck, me using my Discover card and he his smart phone, then went into Firestone, hoping I was just getting a tire replaced. They had only 1 type of tire that would fit, and only 1 of that tire.
      My car was in the bay within minutes. They have 10 bays, and all were occupied, so that's a short time. I got to ignore "The Young and the Restless" on the TV. A woman came in for some work, and complained about her Honda dealer's service. Testify, sister! She spent 10 minutes bitching about not-Firestone, so shut the fuck up already, asshole. "Well, I've taken up enough of your time!" she said finally. I've noticed that some service centers will take a loooong time to finish the work of people who whine a lot. Maybe you should have Firestone check your mirrors.
      At 1PM, a worker walked with great speed to the TV, and changed it to the (We Don't Do) History (Anymore) Channel. I guess he only watches Young & Restless. The show was about some guys renovating a geiger counter. It had some pretty obviously faked drama about one the guys, named Kowboy, being all surly about having to label some wires, whoa exciting, I could watch this show for hours or at least minutes that seemed that long. Maybe he was crabby because his parents named him Cowboy but spelled it wrong. Interestingly, many of the scenes were staged in front of Coke machines, totally coincidentally, I'm sure.
      Enough time had gone by that I was sure that there was no collateral damage to the car from the tire-grenade. Oh wait! No, "It destroyed the TPMS." And before it died, I'd never told the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that it was my favorite Monitoring System!
      "We can fix that for $80."
      "That's not a safety issue, right? It just says when the air is low."
      "...Yes, but that light will stay on."
      "I'll think about it. But I'll just do what I used to, and fill the tires every 6 months. Plus I just bought a battery 2 weeks ago, and that was $200. I need to spread the expenses out."
      He didn't pressure me, but he didn't look happy. I hadn't seen him before this point, so I guess he was the Sell You Stuff Guy.
      But the whole episode only cost me $200, as much as that battery. Even with $1300 in taxes due, I can afford that. Shift some money from savings. Always live below your means, kids.

      And the last few hours have been a true pleasure. Yesterday, somebody for some reason replaced my image files with ones about Jimmy Choo shoes. So I had to delete it all and reupload, and I really don't do this for a living, so it's been a long process. Long enough that I've given up trying for today. Let me know if you find anything f'ed up, although, yeah, it's probably nearly everything. My front page is missing a lot of images, but at least it doesn't redirect to any Swedish coat factories.

7/16

      A message was left on my machine this morning that said, in its entirety, "Your online source for Yahoo, Google and Bing." Yeah, well, I should call back and say "My page is your online source for the guy who found it using Google & looking for 'Sisto likes to suck who brothers dick inch she likes it he likes it and he comes in she thinks it is grilse she got did it because she didn't want her brother to tell tell mom she had sex with another guy'."
      Woo, hot Sisto on Brak action! Although I think I may have the only page left in the world that has never used the word "grilse".

      I twice had to see the trailer for Lucy in theaters, because I went to the theater twice. It started off good, then Morgan Freeman says "It's said that we only use 10% of our brains! Imagine if we could use 100%!"
      Yeah, you know what else is "said"? Aliens landed Bigfoot to kill JFK, then disguised him as Elvis so people would think he wasn't dead. Also, smoking doesn't cause cancer, global warming is a hoax, and McDonalds is food. Point being: Yes, idiots say a lot of things.
      Where did this "We only use 10% of their brains" crap come from? No one is really sure, but my guess would be that a century ago, some scientist or doctor said "We don't know what 90% of the brain does, because we're only 20 years past the time we suddenly thought 'Hey, maybe we should wash our hands before surgery after we just did an autopsy'." And some popular magazine read that as "We don't use 90% of our brains!"
      As a kid I thought that didn't make sense. It makes no sense if you think about it at all. If I only use 10% of my brain, why isn't it 90% smaller? What are the other parts of my body that I only use 10% of? Usain Bolt should be able to run 300MPH, but he only uses 10% of his legs. I only use 10% of my stomach, otherwise I could eat a whole cow at once. Stupid hands, I only use 10% of them! Otherwise, I'd have 100 fingers, and then imagine how fast I could text! If I only didn't use 10% of my colon, I could wait months to shit, and you what would come out? What's left of that cow. Hooves, bones, perfectly tanned leather. I'm gonna need a bigger toilet!
      If 'Lucy' Was About Other Completely Wrong Misconceptions.

      DiGiorno's Pizza put a "design your own pizza" thing on their website, so of course it went horribly wrong. 90% of the abusers said "LOL me made a penis!" 10% of them used more of their brains and created something more. The big part of the fun is guessing what they're supposed to be, before finding out. Most are pretty obvious. 17.365% are not.

7/17

      The best DEVO song/video not done by DEVO:

      

      

7/18

7/19

      I have spectacular and awesome dreams, but if they go on long enough, they become Frustration Dreams. I'm trying to accomplish something basic, like exiting a building or driving my way home, and I just can't, stuck in an endless loop. I'm enough of a lucid dreamer that I can sometimes break from the loop, or at least get annoyed enough that I can wake up and get a drink of water and reset my brain to another dream.
      It's odd, as I'm not really that frustrated in my real life. Even at my job, beyond anybody's desire to not have to work at one for a living. This week I had a long frustration dream about my car, but that was understandable, given the $500 I've spent on it in 2 weeks.
      Last night was just one after another, no clue why. The longest started with me & Jessica going to college--Wait, I thought in the dream, she should be the same age as I was in college, and she was now 19 years old. (In reality, when I was that age, she was one) Also, it was 1978, but there were CDs. I was given one by a musician who turned out to hate music, and also video games (video games then were Pong; my brain didn't see the need to edit those parts), and part of terrorist group that wanted to murder everyone who liked music or video games, and I got badly shot to death in a massacre (Jess got away quickly and unharmed, thankfully) but the bullets hit the CD he gave me, so I was only partly dead, and I pretended I was a zombie and strangled a guy, then stole his gun and killed a bunch of them, and then other people fought back, except me, I died or at least was way in the background dying, and Jumpin' Jesus on a Jerboa, that was the whole damn dream, just me taking another first person's shooter POV and killing endless swarms of these really idiotic cultists in a giant video arcade, who believed that if they shot every screen it would lead to nuclear armageddon (which it would) but somebody convinced them that if they turned them off the same thing would happen (but it wouldn't) and OH GOD THIS DREAM IS BORING LIKE A BAD VIDEO GAME.
      And I don't even play video games. I woke up to reset the game, and thought "At least this isn't that stupid dream where I'm calling 911, and either my phone doesn't work or the operator doesn't care" and went back to bed.
      I dialed 911. The phone worked, and the operator cared. Not in a dream, at my job.
      A customer ran in, almost incoherent, about a man--at first I thought he stole something, but then I got that he'd fallen. An old man, and gushing blood from his head. Well, it looked like geysers at the time. A guy asked me to help him to his feet, with the victim insisting all the time that he was fine--blood running from his nose and from a good-sized gash above his eye. "He hit face first!" on the asphalt. I asked "Do you need 911?" "No, no, I'm fine!" he said. I thought "That's the exact same stupid response I'd give," and said "I'm calling 911." "NO! It'll just make my wife very upset!"
      We got him in the store to sit down and mop up the waterfall of blood with most of a roll of paper towels, all the time hearing "I'm fine! I'm fine!" After the 911 guy quickly established his condition, the next thing he wanted to know was his age (92!) and if he was lucid. "Yes, except for claiming he's fine. We have ice--should we put ice on--" "NO! Just let him sit, let him stop the bloodflow. I'll call the ambulance." When they called, I repeated everything--yeah, he's not going to die, basically.
      They didn't exactly rush over, no sirens, but with a town cop, and a paramedic and 4 members of Teen Rescue Squad. Seriously, they looked only old enough to just start thinking that Nickelodeon and Bieber weren't cool anymore. The paramedic spoke calmly, trying to get him to go to the hospital to get stitches ("It looks like you'll need 2 maybe") and him insisting he was fine. The cop--a big, shaven-headed dude who you would not want pulling you over for even a busted taillight--paced at the perimeter, with a look between impatience and worry. Perhaps he has an older and obstinate relative like this old man.
      "My wife will be very upset if I go to the hospital! She'll want to know why I was here, and what I was doing!"
      Paramedic: "Why are you here?"
      "I was buying some beer. Really, I'm fine!"
      "Oh, what kind of beer?"
      "Ballantine's Ale! That was a very popular beer in my day, and this is the only place that carries it, so I--"
      (jokingly) "And how many have you had today, sir?"
      "NONE!" (Teen Rescue Squad laughs)
      She gave a significant look at the cop, who came in as an authority figure to confirm that he really should see a doctor. The "I'm fine!"s persisted, and the cop stepped back, looking at me and shaking his head. While I'm not a doctor and not even one who watches them on TV, I was a bit frustrated and said what no one had said yet: "He could have a concussion, and he's not going to know that now!" And then my duty as a doctor called--at least mine as an unlicensed pharmacist--and went to ring people up. They convinced him to finally go to the hospital. Maybe I gave them the argument they needed, who knows.
      The cop sought me out after they took him away. "His wife and daughter are going to meet him at the hospital. I've locked his car up. Is it okay if it sits here for a few hours?"
      "As long as it needs! Did he get his beer?"
      The cop looked startled. "He--was leaving when this happened?"
      "Yeah, he paid for it. We'll keep it for him. When he gets home, he'll probably need his medication!" and we laughed.
      We mopped up the blood from the floor, which makes it sound like a Saw movie, but it wasn't that much. I was thankful that this happened when the adults were working, because the 21 year olds would've just taken pics of the poor old guy and the floor and tweeted "old fart blodd LOL!!!"
      I noticed that his license plate was something like "P353", which likely meant that he'd had that plate for many decades. (They started with just 3 numbers, then added a letter after there were more that 1,000 cars in the state) And 92! He most likely fought in WWII, when a face to the pavement wasn't a thing you complained about, not when your best friend next to you had his one removed by exploding Axis gunfire.
      I wonder what tonight's dreams will be like!

7/20

7/21

7/22

      I received a free sample of Rachael Ray Nutrish for Cats, and really, "Nutrish"? A food named that for humans I would assume would be for toddlers. It declares on the front "NO Ground Corn NO Wheat NO Soy." Second ingredient: Ground Rice. Cats, in their natural habitat, always hunt down the stealthy and wily rice. Third: Corn Gluten Meal. That corn wasn't ground, it was...mealed? Also, "NO poultry meal," so ingredient 4 is "Menhaden Meal" (it's a kind of herring) and 6 is "Salmon Meal," but no poultry meal, THANK GOD. Ingredient 5 is another of the cat's natural prey, Dried Plain Beet Pulp. Many a Russian has been mauled by a cat, stalking and then viciously attacking him for his borscht.

      At some point, Jess and I went from seeing each other once a month to once every two months. We agreed to switch back--especially as I've probably only one last chance to see Kev & Meg--and our next visit wasn't 8 weeks apart. Just 6. And we tried again, but it's been one thing after another. She had good reasons to postpone, just not for good things. She had a funeral to go to, then a week later her oldest cat Bogart developed some growth that was leaking something. (He's okay) Last week she couldn't, as narcoleptics have to budget their time. Today, I woke up after a night of awful non-sleep to see an email from her. Her husband had been up all night sick, and she sent it at 3:41AM, so she wasn't doing any better. She should be with her husband if he's sick, and I sure don't want to drive an hour on the Mass Pike on 5 hours sleep. (For those of you not from Southern New England, the Pike uses driving rules codified by the legal precepts of the Mad Max movies)
      So, yeah, 4 weeks is now maybe 9 weeks. Yes, you should feel bad. You're the one missing out on pictures of her 8 cats & kittens!

      In sixth grade, I really didn't want to participate in the Science Fair, but you had to. My friend Mark also didn't want to. Back then there was some "study" that claimed you could get plants to grow by talking to them nicely, and stunt their growth by yelling at them. As sixth graders, even we thought this was stupid, but it sounded easy. Especially as I didn't have to grow the plants.
      We had three. One we talked nice to, one we berated, and a third we left alone as a "control". Both of the plants we talked to/screamed at grew, but the abused one grew a little faster. The ignored plant--well, the only positive reaction to our lame-assed "experiment" was a teacher laughing at Mark's observation "The control plant was dug up by my cat."
      Soon after, real science said that the plants grew because we were exhaling carbon dioxide at them. Since it was more fun to yell at a plant, that one grew slightly quicker--or not; this happened over only a month, so maybe it got more light or water. Or just wasn't near a cat.
      One would think that after the conclusive 1971 Dwyer/Young study at the Ellsworth Middle School Science Fair, the books would be closed on the subject. But no! In the wake of such Nobel Prize winning books as "The Secret," it has been proved that wishing does make it so! Oh, how the beggars shall ride on the infinite ponies thus spontaneously generated by thinking magic thoughts a whole bunch. If one labels a jar of rice "Thank You!" it grows better than one labeled "You're An Idiot!" But the control jar of rice does all sad worse. The conclusion from this monumental study (by one guy with 3 jars and some rice) proves that no attention is worse than being abused all the time. Yeah, umm, sure. Who doesn't like being bullied over being ignored by bullies? And it must be true, because humans = jar of wet rice.
      As we in the scientific community say, "Well, yeah, duh!" and then point a test tube at you and mumble something about "We need a sample of derp, I think you can spare some" and then sweet-talk our soggy rice ("Only you understand me, Uncle Ben's!"). But then some buzz-kill skeptic comes along and tries the experiment with another variable: A Grain of Truth: Recreating Dr. Emotoís Rice Experiment. She asks the question "And what happens if there's a fourth jar? And you read it quotes from Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann?" The results may ASTOUND you!*
      (*Results may not "astound," only "startle." Do not leave knives by berated plants; they may grow resentful and stab.)

7/23

7/24

      Proof that you can't find an article on Wikipedia about everything: The Dick Nixons. They're Wikinvisible. This was a band that I loved from their debut 1990 album, which is also I think the only thing they ever did. They were the world's only Richard M. Nixon tribute band, trying to get him re-elected president in 1992. Spoiler: despite their best efforts, he didn't win.
      The band sells themselves with their deep commitment to getting Tricky Dick back in the White House, as opposed to "worshipping a burning [George H.W.] Bush!" Read about them here, in this serious 1988 article.
      They sang meaningful songs about how they needed Dick, so much Dick Nixon, with utter sincerity. Such as their plaintive song of outsider despair based on the Rudolph ditty, "We're a Couple of Misfits": "Just because we like Nixon, why don't we fit in?" Nixon's the One, emo kid. Nixon is the One.
      Exactly how such extremist propaganda made its way into Sam Goody, I will never know. But that's where I was working, so maybe it found me. I've been a Nixon supporter ever since. Yes, yes, he's "dead." But there may still be a chance that his disembodied head in a jar will be mounted on a giant killer robot, as shown in the documentary "Futurama." Then whose shiny metal ass shall thou kiss--indeed, WHOSE? (spoiler: Nixon's)
      Here's a page about the Dick Nixons, with songs. While many a heavy metal song sounds like it was sung by a guy choking on a pretzel, their singer sounds like he has one jammed up his nose. You may not like them, being a Watergate-aphobic philistine, but if you open your mind, it may let you into a new realm of consciousness.
      (Or, like me, just think they're hilariously awesome. Also, is fronted by a guy named Kirk the Jerk)

7/25

7/26

7/27

      I was listening to WWUH's Sunday Morning Ambience, as I do on most Sundays that have mornings. Today's hosts play some nice music, but their on-air delivery needs work. They also have a classical show, in which the utterly murder the names of any non-English speaking composer they play. I'll growl at the radio "Saint-Saens is not pronounced 'Saint Sayens,' like he was on Dragon Ball Z!" It doesn't help when one of them tries to read an album's credits without wearing glasses.
      They have a feature of playing old vinyl LPs, which is cool. Of course, you always hear the needle hit the end of a side, and it sometimes just clicks there until they remember to flip the record. Five minutes later.
      Today, they played a 1988 LP by The Durutti Column, which was kinda low-key, but not what I'd call "ambient." And three times the group was referred to as "The Durante Column."

      

      Pictured above: A 1980s British post-punk band. And they didn't even do their hit, "Inka Dinka Do"!
      I expect in future weeks, they'll play LPs by other 80s British bands, such as "Good Night Mrs Callabash Voltaire" and "Myrna Loy Division" and "Simply Hed(y Lamarr)" and "The Jean Cocteau Twins" and...um..."Martin Landau Ballet"! Wait, he wasn't from the 1930s. Man, it's hard to link up bands most of you never heard of with stars from the 30s none of you have heard of! I hope you got a good laugh at the ones I came up with, although I think "a blank stare" would be the likelier response.
      "Siouxsie and the Van Johnsonshees"! Oh god that's just awful.

      And now I shall review the 1968 Roger Corman movie Psych-Out.
      It was not good. NEXT!
      It's what I guess you could call a "hippie exploitation" movie. It's about far-out hippies taking groovy drugs, then wear clothes that stick it to THE MAN while playing the flute and dancing and holding blank protest signs.
      It stars Susan Strasberg as a deaf runaway. When she speaks, you'd think that she could hear! Because they wouldn't have a deaf actor play a deaf character. In 1968, they were just figuring out that Mexicans and Asians might be better played if they weren't performed by old white men.
      And there's another problem. In this era, the slogan was "Don't trust anyone over 30!" and not "Don't trust anyone who doesn't get a discount at Denny's!" The other star is Jack Nicholson, an actor only remembered today for his role as the President in Mars Attacks. He's 31, but looks like 20 years older, with a vast forehead wrinkle that looks like it could be used as a set in the last scenes of Star Wars, if it just had some super-tiny turbolasers on the sides.
      Susan is deaf, but can read lips. Jack realizes this, and hides what he wants to say to his buddies, right in front of her, by putting his hand over his mouth. One would think that Susan would find this creepy and suspicious, but she ignores it. Because she reads lips by never looking at lips. She reads lips by looking into the talker's eyes. Of course, she's attracted to Jack, because who wouldn't want to stare into those eyes for over a second. Because when you think of Jack's eyes, it's like looking into a crystal-clear lake of the purest "HEEEERE'S JOHNNY!!!" Maybe it's his fake ponytail. All the male actors look well into their 40s, and most are balding and have fake hair. I really love the headband that holds one guy's hair extensions, but not as much as the guy with mutton chops that the filmmaker got from a hipster doing Chester A. Arthur cosplay.
      They take lots of drugs, especially smoking the mary jane jazz cigarettes, all of which are always 2-inch long roaches. If you smoke the pots, you giggle! Just like in the documentary Reefer Madness!
      Then they take the acid, and it's not good. I guess, as this is the point on Wednesday that I fell asleep.
      I turned it on today, and oh, right. Jack's throwing a party for the hippies, and Susan takes some acids and decides to find her boyfriend. He has taken too many of all the acids, and is all crazy and looks like Rasputin, the lover of the Russian queen, a cat who was really gone. He has also set his apartment building on fire. Hugs not drugs, kids! Unless it's hugs that make you an arsonist. Then, I don't know, maybe take some drugs. And then, HER ACID KICKS IN.
      Susan runs away with Jack racing his Rascal Scooter after her, hoping to save her before Denny's closes. Susan's Bad Trip is really kind of terrifying--not because that it's supposed to be "all in her head," but because of what isn't. There are constant bursts of fire, sometimes clearly just gasoline they poured down and set on fire, and she has to run through these wearing a microminiskirt. And, yes, it's actor Susan Strasberg really running inches away from open and uncontrolled flame. It's fucking Roger Corman, what do you expect?! It's pretty harrowing, and I'd sure hate to watch this on acid. Maybe that was the point?
      Jack and his elderly hippie friends rush to the Golden Gate Bridge, using his AARP discount on the senior shuttle. Susan's in the middle lane, seeing fireballs flash by her, but they're headlights of rushing cars. In a nice bit of direction, she sees cars speeding by her, although they're really moving slow, just with the film sped up. Roger Corman's always got at least one bit of "I thought about this shot" in all of his films. This is, of course, followed by Jack screaming at her to stay where she is. She's on acid! And as the movie doesn't point out for once, she's deaf! And he's cupping his hands over his mouth to make her hear him better when she can't, and also making it impossible for her to read his lips! Oh, Jack, please don't also close your eyes! Which also isn't pointed out. It's like Jack lost his ear trumpet. Then, the 45 year old teenaged hippie who gave her acid rushes into traffic, then brings her back safely!
      Safely for her! Because, in a sacrificial move NO ONE could ever have foreseen, he's hit by a Buick, flies in the air and lands on the windshield, then flies back up in the air, lands on the hood, bounces and then hits the windshield again, then lands on the pavement, bounces again, and somehow lands right-side-up with his head smashing against a concrete wall. Not even his wig could save him.
      Wait! He can't be dead until he gives his final words! "Reality is a deadly place. I hope this trip is a good one." He says this as he knows he's dying, and gives it all the emotional weight of me talking about stubbing my toe last month.
      Then it ends, because the movie's over. I don't think anyone was expected to learn anything from this immorality play. Jack, hideous demon creature, hugs Susan while we get a big closeup of the replica of Valles Marineris he keeps on his forehead. I hope he wipes it dry after every shower, because otherwise, mosquitoes will breed in there.
      Valles Marineris! That's that insanely big canyon on Mars! It was a callback to the Mars Attacks ref! I'm trying to tie this all together!
      "A-Ha-rpo Marx"! ...No?

7/28

      After a month of trying to arrange a final get-together with Kev & Meg (they leave Saturday, giving that day a good reason to have "turd" in its name), we're getting together tomorrow. For a trip to the Vernon Diner and a viewing of 1933's pre-Hays Code musical, Footlight Parade, which I love and he already wanted to see.
      Of course, after 2 months of trying to get together with Jess, you can guess which day she asked for...But there's always next week with her. There ain't that much time before K&M go from the bluest state in the country to the only one barely beaten out of redneck bottom place by the F-state.

7/29

      I would think Kev emailing me 4 days ago "We'll do Tuesday then" would kinda mean we were getting together today, Tuesday. He wasn't home, so I thought "He's so distracted by moving that he again told me to be at his condo at the time he's actually leaving work." I called, and No, he thought it was Wednesday. So I could've seen Jess today.
      I called work and, since I'm working 43 hours this week, asked if I could come in 3 hours late Thursday and not get the overtime. Since A: they love not to pay you, and B: a coworker just was given 6 days off when she hasn't worked her "normal" hours in 5 of the last 7 weeks, he really couldn't say no, because C: you only get fired there for excessive time off if you have excessive melanin in your skin. I really don't need to be there at 8AM on any Thursday, and even less when I think that even someone with my tight emotional control may have a hard time getting to sleep tomorrow.

      There's only 1 Godzilla movie I've never seen, that miserable first American one. Everyone said it was in the "So bad, it's just fucking bad" category. I checked to see if Rifftrax's take on it would be replayed on a Tuesday--so I'm not asking to come in late on another workday--and it looks like it is. It's in that little special events theater that's otherwise unused, so if they can replay it without the same fee they paid for the earlier show, who cares if 10 people turn up?
      They're showing a film called Big, Loud & Live. It's all marching band music. Yes, tuba-playing readers, I thought of you. Then I saw that it's over five hours long. I couldn't sit in a theater watching any movie that went on that long, even if it was a Dawn Wells sex tape.

      I drink Salada tea. They're known for having "jokes" on the tags. Very old jokes. Typical: "A dog that swallows jewelry is a diamond in the ruff." It's funny because people say "diamond in the rough" all the time! How about "A kitty getting dressed for bed is the cat's pajamas!" or "A social insect that owes money to the Mob is the bee's knees! (which get broken)"
      Okay, I made the last 2 up. I tried to find another of these really stale jokes, but only came across "Punctual pool players are always right on cue." I'm surprised that didn't end with "23 Skidoo!"
      I can't find old ones because suddenly, Salada is all hep to the jive. Today I saw one that said "Thoughts and photos are always better when using a filter." WTF, that makes no sense as I'm driving my flivver down to the sock hop wearing my "I Like Ike" button! That only makes sense if it's about Photoshop! The next I checked said "All birds can chirp but only people can tweet." But that only makes sense if...
      And it was. Others I grabbed have such witticisms as:

      OMG LOL WTF BBQ! Yeah, one thing that hasn't changed: these are all Dad Jokes.
      I thought that there'd be some vast online depository of these sayings, but there doesn't seem to be. In fact, about the best I could find was a 1992 Harvard Crimson article.
      I have one from c.1978. "Accidents happen. That's why there's so many kinds of salad." No, I have no idea what it means, either.       
      

      


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