“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from."
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Yes, I figured after 15 months of updating the same page, maybe it was time to get a newer News.
The old computer finally died. The new one has hateful Windows 10. I'd download and install files, and they would just vanish. (It also has the wonderful feature of making the screen go black while playing a jaunty four-note non-tune, then doing it again with a less jaunty non-tune. Sometimes it will do 3 pairs of this in 5 seconds)
So Itried to see if I could get a copy of Win7 from Jessica's awesome husband Ron. He's a high level programmer/engineer and many paygrades above installation, but I though his business software company might have clean, legal install disks for their customers. And he found one!
And I couldn't get it to install. Just getting error screens. On the second day, I said "Try again," and, despite me not doing anything different, bang! Well, it looked like bang, but was more of a whimper. "Partitions are out of order." Well, out them in order then! I got all the way through, and "Digital signature not valid." I tried again with the same results. Then I
It just did the non-tune blackout again.
Then I dug through every inch of the fucking drive and found where it was hiding files. There are plenty of other reasons to hate it, but let's leave it there.
Jess and I got together at Sturbridge Cracker Barrel Indoor Flea Market blah blah blah, you know what unpredictable freebirds we are. She got a haul of Disneyana and cat-related stuff. "Is that a coin purse?" I asked, pointing at something with Minnie Mouse on it. She said, "Actually, they're suspenders!" I said, "I never pictured you as a suspenders type of girl," and then found myself wondering how she could wear them. Backwards maybe? I'll leave it to you ladies of the female persuasion to figure out what that means.
For once I bought stuff! An SPI game called "Spies!" "Best for 5 players," so yeah, pretty much just to have it. A couple of fridge magnets, one for a hen feed named "LAY OR BUST," another made from a cut up Monopoly board space--Connecticut Avenue. We saw multiple versions of the Worst Board Game Ever, including Beatles Monopoly. There were spaces labeled Abyy Road and Penny Lane, oh, the wit! The Luxury tax space was labeled Tax Man. I didn't look at it long enough to see what Jail was called, but if it wasn't "Gaol"...
I bought a GI Joe comic book. No, not the 1980s toy ad, one from the Korean War. Here's the one I got:
He's landing at Inchon! Holding that puppy. While in
combat. This combo turns up on a lot of covers. My dog as a kid hated the 4th of July, so I guess his dog went deaf after the first dozen times Joe fired a machine gun an inch from his ears.
Now, you may ask, as you are an asky person, why did you get this, beyond it being only $2? Because there was a whole buncha them in a pile. I realize these aren't big images, but let's see if you can figure out why:
You gotta admire a man who loves his work. He has that same village idiot grin on every cover. And I mean exact--it's like the guy painted it once and said "Done!"
You can see that this is not an isolated trend here. Here's my favorite:
WTF IS GOING ON?! He's in Korea, fighting a top-hatted Voodoo priest?
WTF COMIC BOOK It certainly proves the old adage: "Don't bring a knife to a helmet fight."
And there is more than 1 cover in which he's beating someone with his hat. The stories in the comic itself are pretty boring.
I also got "Batman: The Cheetah Caper," a Big Little Book. For those of you not old enough to start pricing walkers with tennis balls on the legs, these were from the 1930s to 60s, with a page of hack writing alternating with a page of hack drawing.
The Batman book is...interesting. The Cheetah, who spends most of the story dressed as an orangutan, likes to put poisoned sponges in car tailpipes to make passersby "inhale the deadly fumes." He puts piranha in swimming pools. "The Cheetah enjoys watching people suffer. He'd rather listen to children groan in agony than anything else..."
"Except eat peanut butter!"
WTF Big Little Book.
I suppose I should mention that there's a beer strike on. There's basically 2 companies, both monopolies as far as the product lines. One has Miller-Coors and some relatively unimportant imports; the other has Bud and everything else. Guess which one's on strike!
I will always side with labor. I AM labor. It's complicated as to why it's happening (I won't go into "pocket loading"), but it's also about benefits. The Bosses want the Union to pay for a chunk of their health benefits. Well, this the USA, be glad you get any benefits. A driver for the other company told me "We went through the same thing when our contract was up. We agreed to not get any raises if we kept our benefits. Now, they want to make them pay and not give them raises!"
Oh, and it wasn't so much a "strike" as it was a "management lockout." They refused to let the workers in without warning. The latest rumor--who knows if it's true--is that if everyone doesn't turn up for work Monday, everyone's fired. Supposedly they've hired "200-300" people from North Carolina to replace everyone. That's oddly specific information from a Teamster who doesn't work there.
That's to replace the scabs who already crossing the picket lines. Deliveries are being done by scab drivers, and unloaded by the sales reps and some temps. We haven't had a delivery in over a week, so our beer cooler has that much-desired "Going Out of Business" look. Most customers understand when we explain about the strike--we can't get it if they won't ship it--but some get all pissy and say "I'll take my business ELSEWHERE!" Like "elsewhere" is getting deliveries using their time machine. "Screw you, Toys R Us! I'll go to Kay Bee Toys to buy MY Furby!"
We can pick stuff up at their warehouse, if we have a person and a van to spare and cross a picket line. I called in a 60-case order of essentials, and a guy of ours went to pick it up. I don't know how it ended, but after he'd been gone an hour, he called back. The owner said "They gave him the invoice, told him where to go in the warehouse, and a [scab] worker said 'I can't help you with that! I'll get someone who can!' A second guy came and said 'I can't help you with that! I'll get someone who can!' That guy didn't show up. So they're getting a fourth guy to talk to the other guys!"
So if the apocalyptic rumor is true, these scabs are mad that they're being replaced with different scabs. I will be polite and make it so any new NC drivers get in and out quickly, but it'll be a long time before I act like they're my "buddy." I'll really want to say if they try to be overly friendly, "Do you know the name of the guy whose job you took? Oh, look out, you cut yourself! I hope that doesn't turn into a scab!"
I finally watched the first Yes Men movie from 2003, the one with the inflatable penis suit. At one point, they say "We just got a big donation from Herb Alpert! The Tijuana Brass guy? He really likes what we're doing, and gave us enough funding for a bunch of projects!" I LOVE me some Alpert! Now, I love him for more than his music.
The Old News