NEW 123

“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from."
--Jodie Foster

Jump to the Newest of the New



      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.

      Sorry about the last post. Win10 wouldn't let me preview images without me replacing the entirety of the New. So, I really didn't realize how damn tiny those comic covers were, at least until I was at the point of "I don't give a shit anymore tonight." Nothing is easy in Win10, unless you count the ease with which you tear your hair out in frustration.

      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!"

      "Bill, I need to sit down!" said our saleman from the beer company that's striking. Currently a deliveryman. The "mass firing" rumor turned about to be a rumor. As I thought, how can management fire their workers when they locked them out?
      But he said it'll last until July 4th, maybe into August. I can't see how that company is making any money--we got our first delivery in 9 days. But it's co-"run" by a pair of dimwits who hate each other, and are trying to get the other guy fired (who'd be firing them is not a thing I can guess at). They're splitting the company apart over stupid and petty grievances, against their own best interests! Who's dumb enough to do that shit?
      And, this is not a joke: of the 17,000 tracks on the iPod, as I started that paragraph, "Scotland the Brave" played.
      Ah, yes. That country.
      Not Scotland, but the Brexidiots. I really paid little attention to it until the last couple of weeks. But when it was 49% Stay to 49% Leave Your Senses, I said "Shit. All this takes is a bunch angry old white racists voting, and the sane people not voting, and there ya go."
      And so they went!
      From what research I did before the vote, mainly of American or British ex-pat blogs, I thought: If Leave wins, they lose. The world stock markets will go down, the pound will drop value, and I'll bet Scotland tries to be her own nation again, and then, if they win their Leave vote, immediately sign on for EU membership. Huh! Think the EU might instantly grant them that?
      (disclosure: I'm half Scots, half Irish, no English, by no means remotely an Anglophobe, but may be a bit biased)
      The ever perspicacious John Scalzi shares his Brexit thoughts.
      Ha ha! Silly English! Bigots in this country would never vote in a racist demagogue who'll work against their own interests!
      Inspiration for this post goes to NPR headlines, which involved Cheeto-Haired Mussolini in Scotland. Opening his millionaire golf course      Adventures in Scabbing:
      We're getting only the people willing to cross picket lines, and none of them have ever dealt with giant beer shipments, or sometimes even the use of a handtruck. The first one had a driver who came from New Mexico. Which, if you look at a map, isn't next door to CT. I saw him and thought "Please just be driving please just be driving," but he brought stuff in on a handtruck, bumping into things, gasping and wheezing. This guy was in the 400-450 pound range. I don't want to be even inderctly responsible for someone's heart attack. Did they not explain to him what the job physically entails? I lean towards No.
      8days later, we got another delivery. The handtruck guy was Aussie (how far ARE they recruiting these people?), and was quite hostile. I suppose crossing a picket line twice a day at minimum will do that to you. Plus going to a store that blames you for the late deliveries. But I Pleased and Thank You'd, and after 10-15 minutes, he was smiling and very helpful. There was a lot on the truck that wasn't on the truck. The trucks are loaded by scabs who also have no idea what they're doing.
      Today's guys--so far, it's always different crews, I wonder what the turnover rate is--were awful. It took them 2.5 hours to unload and broke stuff nonstop. They broke a case, and let it sit in the stack drenching the other cases before they were told to remove it. If you were in a restaurant and some passing toddler puked on your food, would you not call the waiter over? So much stuff was soaked, that things were breaking after they left. Bottoms would fall out of 6 packs. We get credit for breakage, but they asked "Do you want me to just throw this in the dumpster?" Yeah, sure, let's take a loss because you suck.
      In unrelated work stupidity, one of the beer cooler compressers died. Instead of 38 degrees, the cooler was 48. This was almost 2 months ago, when I said "The other one will go at the worst time, like just before Memorial Day weekend!"
      But a compressor was $3000 ( my smaller delivery today cost us on $2K), so they dragged their feet, not even ordering one until 3 weeks ago. "It's on its way!" was the answer everytime we called. And I was wrong!
      The other one broke just before 4th of July weekend. The beer cooler was 60 when I came in. The owner said "I thought it seemed a little warm in there." Crimeny.
      So they spent extra to have a guy rush down to verify that the compresser was dead (duh), and will now pay extra to get the compresser delivered before the weekend. With no guarantee it will be. And it will be one compressor, when we now need 2.
      I work with/for fucking morons.


      Samantha Bee looks at Brexit, with special attention to the Chump. Guest appearance by David Tennant.




      Message on my answering machine, just now:
      (long pasue) "shluurrrp"
      "Hi, this is representitive Chris Murphy" [the CT guy who led the anti-gun filibuster] "we're sorry we missed you, but we're having a telephone town hall debate, and there's still time to call. The number is" It hung up.
      How did he know he missed me?

      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.


      Oh, Brexiteers! Your likely new PM and key architect of the Leave Movement, Boris "Badenov" Johnson, has decided not to run. No doubt for the same reason current PM David "No, I didn't direct Avatar" Cameron retired instantly: "I didn't shit this bed, you did, YOU sleep in it."
      Brexit's very predictable negative outcomes began coming in the next day, and no one wants to be the one to stop the raging dumpster fire by peeing on it, not even the arsonists who started it. Pretty obviously it was just a propaganda move that the Baby Goebbels themselves fully expected to fail. It's really funny! Because it's not happening here. I may not be laughing after Election Day, when the crazy old racists turn out in their walkers and everyone else says, "Eh, why vote, Trumpster Fire can't win!"

      The only true "fair food" I've ever had was chocolate-covered bacon, and it was gross. Scotch eggs don't count, because they're awesome. The Most Ridiculous Deep Fried Foods From America's State Fairs. "There is no possible scenario in which the phrase 'he's running out of organs' is a positive thing to hear."

      Saturday was maybe 15% busier than usual, based on sales, no big deal. Sunday, about 3 times as busy as normal. That's a big deal. Six people came in as soon as I unlocked the door. We had 30 customers in less than 25 minutes. "More customers than minutes" is pretty busy. And it generally stayed that way. With people yanking on the doors after closing, as we were wearily walking to our cars.
      I've been a manager in a liquor store for almost 2 decades. And this question was a first:
      "Do you sell birthday cards?"
      I knew that this would happen once we started selling limes and peanuts!
      "Do you sell cantalopes?"
      "Do you sell aluminum siding? I only want it in taupe."
      "Where's your radioactive elements aisle?"
      "Do you sell monkeys? Oh! You do! Oh, come on! Only in bellboy costumes?! None dressed as a sort of idealized version of the complete Renaissance Man?"

      Library Cat's Job Is Saved. Before I read that, I thought "Some cat-hating dog person is behind this." From the article: "Council member Steve Ott is quoted as expressing concern about people who might be allergic to cat dander. As Mayor Ron White tells it, according to the Associated Press, the cat was targeted in retaliation when a city worker was denied permission to bring a puppy to city hall."
      Name of the town? White Settlement, Texas. Jesus Christ, Texas, was the city name "No Coloreds Allowed Town" already taken?


      Nigel Farage, the other super brave hero of Brexit, has courageously resigned as the head of his party. "My work here is done!" he said, just outrunning the exploding fireball that was once England.
      I think it's funny that his party is named UKIP. It reminds me of kippered herring, which is a tin of cold English fish with no spine and even less head.


      I've had an invasion.
      Of those obnoxious little beige pantry moths. I threw out all the open boxes they might be canoodling in. They didn't go away. So I got moth glue traps with pheromone bait. Hey, works really well! But they still weren't killing them as fast as they reproduced.
      So once those traps were full, I got more. I threw out the unopened boxes in the pantry. How they could sneak through a glued box into a sealed bag, I don't know.
      I became proactive. I'd already been squishing them at every chance, but damn, those things are fast. I started hitting them with a squirt gun--if their wings are too wet, they fly sloppily. I was still losing.
      So I bought more traps, and hoo boy do they work! Instead of little pumpkin seed-sized moths, I started getting fucking HUGE ones, that apparently thought my condo was a moth brothel. (A mothrel?) The first 3 were in the bathroom, so I drowned them by turning the shower on. Then didn't realize when I went to fill the cats' water bowl, which is also in the tub, that I hadn't switched from shower to faucet. Killsy got a very brief but very cold shower.
      Then these awful little fucks kept on coming. I need to build a wall! I'm sure that some of these moths are good people, once we weed out the rapey murder ones.
      And DJ went into Overkill Mode. He stalked and chased these moths. The first one he snagged, he carried in his mouth to the living room. And let it go, alive. He seemed baffled that it was still alive. "Good boy, Deej!" I said with a paper towel in my hand. "But you need to kill them!" I did just that, and he proceeded to show no mercy. He killed a total of 4 Mothras, and one stupid pantry moth that wandered into his bullseye. And ate them. Eww. Kilsy seemed a bit put off by the effusive praise DJ was getting, so I reassured her by saying, quite acurately, "DJ learned that from you! The White Ninja! You're his sensei!" And she loved that.
      I gave up on the squirt gun, and leveled up to air freshener. Since it works as a shotgun and not a sniper rifle, and isn't just water, the moths have lost. It glues them. They go nowhere but dead. I even defeated a giant housefly with Glade. At least twice the size of a normal one, which generally means "I need a place to leave my thousand maggots!" Not here you won't, or anywhere except maybe inside the sewer pipes I flushed your corpse into.

      My moth wall. You know how huge it will be, how fantastic? It will reach the top atmosphere air, so many hundreds of inches high, it's incredible. At the top this wall, there's nets, so great, the Chinese wall will be all "I guess I'm not so great!" Mosquito nets, except to catch moths, big moths, small moths, hey are you a moth? So sad. Also squirters, squirters of water that squirt, the Fantastic Four will say "Whoa boy, we're not so fantastic compared to those nets!" And they will be right, the only time Lyin' Reed Richards ever was right, my nets. Hey Fantastically-Overrated Four, know who else has a giant orange Thing? Me! Look at these fingers!
      I did not tweet that tweet that everyone is so PC about. It was someone on my staff. I did not publish a map showing where the Earth is, although I know where that is, I'm standing there, I did not tweet this so-called map saying "HEY GALACTUS! FREE EATS! CLINTON IS KOSHER!" My press guy did that, I fired him, and he was eaten by Annihilus. Now there's a bug man you can admire! He's strong, he says what he thinks in his little locust brain and he does it, he's like Putin that way. I applaud, with my large hands, Dr Doom's decision to leave the EU. How do you pronounce "EU"? "EEEE-YOU!" It will profit my golf course in Latveria, it will make all the money once no one has any, and can settle for a golf course with exactly 2 holes. You could say there are more holes than that, if you count the smouldering craters. Scenic, scenic, beautiful craters, with all the amenities murderous robots can apply to your face and body.
      I need to go, I know you love me, of course I know, but I have an appointment to stand over a mass grave or something and, I dunno, talk about Trump steaks. MAKE AMERICA ME AGAIN!
      Who Are All These Trump Supporters?




      Major Howdy Bixby's Forgotten Warbirds.



      Welp, just kinda using up time before the MST3K reunion showing.
      Busy day off. I went to the doctor for a follow-up on my new generic Ambien scrip. Which works quite well. Not as well as the samples of Belsomra he gave me last time, but my insurance refuses to pay for that. I have to be on Ambien for 2 years first, and have it not work. Why would I use something for 2 years if it didn't work? Sure, I might drive on 4 flat tires while replacing the gas in the tank with an angry badger, but for 6 weeks tops. Hipster Medical Student was sitting in for training, and asked "Are there side effects for Ambien? Is it addicting?" The doctor said "Yes. Belsomra not as much." Great. But I'm kind of addicted to sleep; it's a habit I picked up as a child.
      Then it was time to draw blood! Because I didn't have time to do it during my physical last month, given the optometrist appointment. Dr Hipster was to draw it, which meant I didn't have to waste 20 minutes waiting at the other part of the clinic. Just waste 10 because I was his CPR dummy. He hadn't done it a lot.
      "You have great veins!" he said. The doctor said after the tourniquet was tied, "That's a great vein. It's a thing of beauty." I said "I'll keep that in mind if I ever decide to become a heroin addict."
      I guess it wasn't that great a vein. As they used to say about cars with stick shifts, "Grind it until you can find it." "That's the side of the vein," said the doc. "Don't take it out, just ease over to the vein. And don't turn your head--the needle will go where your head does." After finally getting sufficient blood, he turned his head.
      So, yeah, expecting to be purple on the inner arm tomorrow.


      Before the MST3K reunion, I went to nearby BurgerFi. I ordered a cheeseburger, please thank you, and a Sixpoint Sweet Action from the tap. The clerk kind of apologetically waved the empty cup. I knew what she meant--old enough to charge me for a beer, too young to legally pour it. I smiled and said "I manage a liquor store, I know all about the rules!" A while later, another, slightly older woman brought me my beer. These are 16 ounce cups! I thought, having only been there once. Wait, there's more than 16oz in there! A very generous pour, and she gets kudos for for carrying over a plastic cup with maybe a quarter inch of free space at the top without spilling any. It was almost as if someone had yelled at the first woman because she didn't give his beer right away. Just before I finished my meal, some guy dumped his trash and gave me a long and pointed dirty look. Hmm. Maybe try Please and Thank You next time, jerk.
      645 on a Tuesday, and I couldn't even park in the cinema's giant parking lot? I was in some other place's lot.Well, it's summer vacation, and there are a couple of huge kid's movies that just came out.
      Rifftrax was very good. I'll admit that I've seen funnier ones, but seeing everybody (almost) was great. They all had good riffs, but I would put the Joel/Jonah one at the top, despite Joel over-relying on Frankenstein's Monster noises.
      The event suffered from the curse of the first Rifftrax Live shows: the camera didn't always point to where it should. Mike, Bill and Kevin announced their cohosts in the green room, "Trace and Frank!" and the camera's pointing at Trace and Frank. "Mary Jo and Bridget!" and the camera points at Mike, Bill, Kevin. "New meat, Jonah!" and the camera points at Joel pointing at Jonah, and doesn't switch until a fraction of a second before they announced Joel, when it swung back to him. During the Joel/Jonah skit, Joel yelled "PODIUM SWITCH!" and the audience found this the funniest part of the whole show! The audience physically at the live show, because the camera never switched from the film to the podiums. It lasted for 30 seconds. Only the live audience will ever know why this was funny.
      As I left, after spending the last hour of the show thinking "Even peeing twice before the show isn't enough after a giant beer," I saw that, given the number of women in saris, there must've been a Bollywood movie playing. And I saw the poster straight ahead. The movie wasn't listed on their website, but I guess they didn't need to advertise. I think that this was a big part of the reason why the place was so packed.
      Today, I saw my Mom for lunch. She told me "Movies are half-price on Tuesdays" so I guess that would be the main reason. We had handmade burgers, so I think I've maxed out on my red meat quota for a few months. We had our usual conversation--politics, family updates, politics. Then we went to the movies!
      Same place as I was last night. When I double-checked that Rifftrax was playing, I saw that listed right under it was Singin' in the Rain! Since we were already getting together, we decided to add that.
      If you haven't seen that movie, rent it. It's awesome. Great songs, great writing, great comic actors, unbelievable dancing (after Donald O'Connor's "Make Em Laugh" routine, I leaned over to Mom and said "It's amazing what they could do with CGI in those days!")
      Before we went in, the ticket taker tooked our tickets and said "You look like fans of classic musicals!" I guess because we're old. He said "You have to sing a bit before you can go in!" My Mom sang "Singin' in the rain" a bit. He said "How about 'Good Morning'?" and we dueted briefly on that. As we walked away, I thought that I should've said "I caaaain't stan' 'im!" as Jean Hagen's pivotal character said, through her nose.
      Then Mom gave me some awesome homemade blueberry mufffins, with blueberries she personally picked, and I ate 2 when I got home. Then, I bought drugs.
      From CVS.
      Busy 2 days off, but I'll remember these two far longer than I will next week's. I'm getting an oil change then!

      Strangely, this today-in-WWII entry leaves out the soldier's middle name, "FUCKIN'" That guy would eat your breakfast, then make you shit it.






      Killsy turned 17 last month!
      She's been getting skinny for a year, but she's 17, why wouldn't she? Although she eats a LOT, she looks like a greyhound.
      She's always licked her belly, sometimes too much, leaving her fur peach fuzz. She has a spot from 2 weeks ago, but since Monday, it's like the fur is gone, the skin is gone, it's like a lesion. It doesn't bother her when she licks it or when I touch it, but she's a cat and she'd hide it anyway. She isn't grooming it any more than any other part of her, and she's still super active and walking and running and leaping (and beating up DJ) like she always does, even though the Thing is close to her left hind leg. I made a vet appointment for the next day.
      Of course, I contacted the Cat Whisperer, and Jess said "It honestly could be anything. It sounds like to me like she agitated the skin (called a hot spot) and may have a scab and keeps pulling it off. That's the best I can think of from your description."
      After carefully watching her yesterday and this morning, I decided to cancel the appt for now. The Thing doesn't seem to bother her at all, but I'm keeping an close eye on it. She gets so stressed going to the vet that I'm worried that a visit might be too much for her. Obviously, if anything changes, she'll go to the vet.

      Speaking of keeping an eye open: Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong talked about looking at Earth from space: “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

      Speaking of one eye--"GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY!"




--Marissa Powell, Miss Utah 2013, when asked about income inequality between men and women




      A customer wanted to talk about his opinions on DC Comics movies. I would normally join in, but he was A) VERY loud, B) probably drunk, and C) it was 5 minutes to closing on a day I'd worked 10 hours. He yelled about how much he hated them (and Ghostbusters), while proudly saying he pirated them. I'd hate to see what he'd be like if he'd paid for a bad movie.
      I will now speak of movies I haven't paid to see, or pirated, or have even seen. The DC movies!
      I did see the Batman: The Dark Knight Mumbles movies. The last one put me to sleep, literally. And that beloved franchise tentpole, Green Lantern. After that box office disaster, the Warner/DC people said "No more humor in our movies! At all!" To which I said "...There was humor in that movie? I mean, there were parts I laughed at, but I laugh at Gamera movies." And so the "Dark 'n' Gritty DC" phase began.
      With D 'n' G Superman. Who wanted to see that? It's like D 'n' G My Little Pony. Sparkly Twinkle Starkiller does not lay waste to cities and flat-out kill people. Batman never uses guns, Superman doesn't kill, My Little Ponies do not drop piles of pony shit everywhere. What was so hard about that? Dark 'n' Gritty is how I like my coffee--dark, full of coffee grounds, and poured down the toilet without tasting it.
      Because why would there be any humor in flying people beating up the other people who wear underwear in public? Which is odd, given that DC decided to enter the movie business because Marvel was making money in tonnages that could only be lifted by the Hulk. Apparently their thought was "Let's do the exact opposite of what they do! Let's make depressing movies, and make the colors depressing, and make the heroes depressing! It am make perfect sense on Bizarro World!" This was so successful a strategy, that Marvel/Disney only made enough money to buy the continent of Antartica. A Disney/Marvel/Tyrell Corporation spokes-replicant said "And we really had our heart set on Australia. But who's using Antartica anyway?"
      DC then came out with Batmumble V. MassMurderman. I haven't seen it, but I don't feel I need to. Warner decided "too little Batman!" and just before release, mixed in some uncompleted scenes, mainly as dream sequences, and earned the movie a Rotten Tomatoes score of "WTF was that about??"
      Then Fox came in with Deadpool. It had the highest box office of any R-rated movie. I said "I guess now there'll be a bunch of comic book movies that are R-rated, with lots of violence. And maybe humor."
      And within days, DC announced that there would be an R-rated DVD version of Man V Man, in which I assume they just inserted outtakes and bloopers from the movie. Batman, in a scream mumble: "DO YOU BLEED?" Superman: **faaaart** (waves hands) "Guess I shouldn't have asked Taco Bell to supersize it! Fuck, okay, fuck, that was me, let's do it again."
      Then they announced that the delayed, probably-aptly-named Suicide Squad was going to be more delayed, so that they could put $10M in new footage in it, in order to give it some humor. Like in Deadpool! I'm sure that they can shoehorn that in gracefully if they use enough Crisco. Here's the latest trailer. Pretty hilarious! Why don't they just retitle it "Harley Quinn Walks Around With Her Fanny Out," may help sales.
      But DC will always go its own way. Dark. Gritty. No humor. Really ugly costumes. Boring ass story lines. No shoes, no shirt, no service. But they will never steal from Marvel! Look at their flops, like Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man! Nobody wants to see comic book movies that have comedy! Marvel made so little money during this time that their spokesman, Galactus, said "We could only afford to buy the Moon. Yes, I'm pouring chipotle sauce on it. So what?"
      The yelling guy yesterday told me to watch the new DC trailers. Here's Wonder Woman! It is so different than the first Captain America movie! You see, she doesn't fight World War Two Germans with a shield, she fights World War One Germans with her...shield. Boy, I sure hate the WWI Germans! Smash the Kaiser! Although no villain is shown, I assume that the world is threatened with very large zeppelins.
      And, on the same day (ComiCon was going on), DC finally showed the whole reason it was in this: the Justice Avengers!
      LEAGUE. Justice LEAGUE.
      Huh. I know there's a Flash TV show, but is he exactly like Spider-Man in Civil War? Other heroes are Batman, Wonder Woman (WOW! It's almost as if she hasn't aged since WWI! WHAT A CONCEPT), Black Guy, who is in the trailer exactly long enough for people to kinda realize that there's a Black Guy in it, and the sensation of the century--AQUAMAN!
      He's played up all hugely important. He has a beard and feeds hungry people fish--is he FISH JESUS? The Son of Cod? Part of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Mackerel?
      Also, Teen Flash: There have been 2 Quicksilvers in 3 movies. The "fast guy" thing has kinda been done before.
      Note that both of those movies have release dates of "Summer 2017," so the trailers may not represent the actual movie. They almost certainly won't, as DC will copy every succesful superhero movie until days before release.
      By then, the Marvel spokes...thing, some sort of glowing orb, hovered above the Earth. "THERE IS NO YOU. THERE IS NO ME. THE UNIVERSE IS NOW A DISNEY PROPERTY." In a blink of a nanosecond, the Universe imploded, and the next Big Bang began.


      TrumPutin 2016! Make America Dystopic Again!
      Alternately: TrumPutin 2016
      Asking America Wonder How Much It Needs Kneecaps,
      while a very large man smacks a giant wrench into his palm
      But today Trump says he was being sarcastic when he invited Putin to hack Clinton's emails, and the Russian government says it didn't do it. Good Enough Truths For Me!
      Truth/Put-On 2016!!

      Also, Miss Killsy's going to the vet next week. The Thing hasn't gotten any worse, but it also hasn't gotten any better. It's not making me feel better, that's for sure.



--headline on Representative Michelle Bachman’s (R-Michigan) website


      Hey, Stupdiest Things Ever Said calendar, I love you so. But next year you could be all one guy's sentences, although you might have to spread them out over a week to get them to fit:
      "Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us."
      Please note: that's one fucking sentence.


      Miss Kill Kill went to the vet today.
      If you're like me (and I know I am), you're going to skip to the end to find out if she's okay. She is! Mostly!
      Her self-inflicted wound via licking has been healing. But, given that she's 17 and has become even skinnier than me, despite constant eating, I took her in. She wasn't happy, but didn't fight too much. She knows she gets to go home.
      She also panic-drooled and hyperventilated. The doctor saw her as soon as she came in. The doctor, Dr Aronson, who has been seeing her since was still a kitten. She was weighed, and she's six pounds. I remember when she was almost 16. Her ears looked like they were crawling with mites. But it was high blood pressure, just from being there. After using the stethoscope, he said "Her heartbeat is over 200 beats per minute; I can't even count it."
      He thinks she may be hyperthyroid. She's burning off calories as fast as she can eat them. Her glands weren't swollen, and he says that the medicine is easy to give and that she should be fine. I find out the bloodwork results tomorrow. As soon as she went back in the carrier, the spots on her ears vanished, and her 90s-techno-BPM-heartbeat slowed to normal. She always insists on being let out of the carrier at the bottom of the common hallway, then runs up 3 stories to meow at our door. This time, she poked around neighbor's doors a bit.
      The prognosis looks good. So the Queen of the World, the Sun That Our Household Revolves Around, should still reign.


      "I’m not a schmuck. Even if the world goes to hell in a handbasket, I won’t lose a penny." Trump quotes.

      "Kill Kill is hyperthyroid," said Dr Aronson on my answering machine. "Her numbers are significantly above normal." He would've said "Reaching really spooky levels!" if my vet was Dr Krim from The Swarm. "You'll see some strong results from the medication! It's just a tiny pill, if you mix it with her food and she eats it, she shouldn't even notice it." Of course, you can see the caveat there.
      I gave her (and the Boys) her favorite Friskies, Giblets. She devoured almost all of it. You can see what was in the "almost" there. Left in the bowl: some gibs, and a little pink pill.
      I mixed it in, I added her brothers' leftovers in and mixed again, but the little pink pill remained. I really have no idea what else to do--there's a liquid, but given that that wasn't the first choice, it may have too strong a flavor. There's something I can rub on her ears. Yeah, that's happening. There's also...chemo. I want her alive, not alive and miserable.
      And then she finished off the rest of the wet food, PINK PILL INCLUDED! So maybe it needs to soak up the juice from the wet food? There's really no way I can premix it without her getting suspicious. (Her nickname's the Einstein Cat for a reason) We'll figure something out.

      That 2 month beer distributor strike finally ended. Semi-ended. Management locked out the union with no warning, giving them no choice but to strike. They're back to work, but they're still negotiating. Which is what the union wanted in the first place! I'm guessing that the bosses either couldn't handle the massive turnover in the scabs--you try unloading 100 or more cases of beer that are thrown in the truck at random, and usually wrong, because the warehouse was now all scabs as well--or Anheuser-Busch started leaning on them to end this crap, while the prime beer-selling months were around.
      I heard the work radio station begin its tiny news segment with a guy saying "HDI workers have finally decided to earn their paychecks again," in a dismissive voice. In my dismissive voice, I thought Fuck you! They weren't the ones who started this and then prolonged it. Yeah, it's like being on vacation, collecting unemployment while the bills pile up! The delivery driver said that he'd already started taking part-time jobs, even with the other beer company.
      Possibly it bears mentioning that the station is owned by Fox.


      And we are 2 for 2 on the meds! I was sure she wasn't going to take her pill this time, but it just needs time (like 75+ minutes) to marinate in wet food. Maybe that just makes it squishy enough that she can't tell it from a morsel of Friskies.
      Good news there! Because, as with me and my blood pressure meds, we're on this stuff for life.




      We're 5 for 5! Killsy has been taking her pills. She didn't yesterday, so I gave her the same pill this morning and down the hatch it went. It clearly depends on the type of wet food I hide it in. Yesterday, it was chunky, today a creamy/sauced kind. We're on the road to recovery!

      Wow, I write very little here, don't I? I guess I can give some short reviews of movies recently rented.
      I liked Deadpool more than I thought I would.
      I liked Zootopia less than I thought I would.
      Hey, I did say "short."
      One I really liked was April and the Extraordinary World, a France/Canada/Belgium animated film. It's set in an alternate France, where Napoleon III dies just before the Franco-Prussian War, which his successor averts. This leads to a steampunk dystopia in which technology stops at 1870 levels. There's no electricity in the 1930s, everything is powered by coal and wood steam engines, to the point where the French Empire is ready to invade Canada for its sweet, sweet burnable lumber. The technology is of the Jules Vernian 1880 lithograph kind (take the elevated tram! Paris to Berlin in only 82 hours!), but there is genetic manipulation beyond what can even do today. It's a bit of a stretch of suspension of disbelief. But there's a talking cat!
      The first half, establishing its world, was better than the ACTION! second half. But if you're already interested, I recommend it. And not because in the Making Of featurette, the music the animators listened to while working begins with Brian Eno. There's also a talking cat.

      This, however, is the GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD: Mad Charles! "So Be It! KA-RUNCH!"




      Huh. I guess mail order catalogs are still a thing. Whatever happened to Fingerhut?
      Let's see, on the back cover: "Natural Healing Bracelet: Genuine turquoise, coral and yak bone." Well, "genuine and reclaimed ingredients," since it didn't heal the yak much. "A portion of the purchase price benefits the children of Tibet." Hasn't Tibet been under hostile foreign occupation for 65 years? Chinese soldier: "Hey kids, keep a portion! Reclaim the bullet I put in your yak's head!"
      This looks girly. And OLD. I mean directed at old ladies. Looked, on page 2, it's a plush Flying Purple People Eater! The kids today, they love the 1950s novelty songs! In the song, he's one-eyed, but rather than make a cyclops, they just reclaimed a teddy bear and ripped one eye out. It is $29.95.
      Candy Corn Tuxedo Shirt, $39.95.
      Ha ha! A shirt with a moose that's been shit upon called chocolate moose! 29.95.
      Hand Painted Porcelain Turkey Earrings. 29.98.
      Shimmering Bee Stripe Top. "Houston--shimmering! Will history blame me, OR MY SHIRT?" Eee wee, a bee T! It should be a sweat shirt! MY SWARM REFS HAVE BEE-COME SO OBSCURE EVEN I DON'T GET THEM
      "Love You More bracelet," 19.95. That's quite the passive-agressive statement.
      Hey, it's the Grandpa pages! Nut Scratchers, 14.95! They're back scratchers but with walnut shells on them! NFL (R) Fox Sports (TM) Robot Action Figure, 29.95! "Fox Sports logo on shoulders!" Couldn't they fit it on his nuts? Potty Piano, 19.95! Remember the giant piano mat in Big? This goes front of your toilet, and you can tap out songs with your feet between the dried pee stains! Maybe wear the 16.95 Bigfoot slippers.
      Pet people pages! One can buy a plaque about cats being dead, or a sign about dogs being dead.
      Happy Trees! Yes, it's the DVD set of that PBS painter dude. 89.95. Happy broke trees!
      Pages and pages of lady clothes. And the order form has a sizing chart, just for the ladies. Wow, that's a lot of variables. Do you measure 32-26-35? Too damn bad! We only sell 32&1/2-26-35&1/2 sizes!
      Black Cat Pantyhose, 19.95. Don't worry, lady women of the female persuasion reading this! I'm certainly not picturing you wearing these!
      Grandchild pages! Yep, I have now stopped picturing your legs in those black cat stockings.
      The... OLD LADY LINGERIE PAGES?! Hey, can I have one of those stockings? I need to tie off the blood flow from a part of my body FOREVER.
      Did that "Love You More" bracelet your friend got you seem passive-agressive? Give them the "LOVE YOU MORE" pillow! Just leave that passivity behind!
      Pets! Cat Wine Bottle Holder, 19.95. The cat seems to be vigorously humping the bottle, so it would've made more sense if it was a dog.
      Another page of "Special Tees!" They really look like "ones no one bought." One is in a Chinese-restaurant font and says "SUM TING WONG." Is there...a joke there? Several of these are scattered throughout the catalog, and there are a bunch saying things like "Of course I'm right I'M BOB" or "That's Mr. Bob to you."
      Log Pillow! It's a pillow, and it looks like a log! Perfect for your Twin Peaks cosplay! And most of the rest of the page is devoted to owls. Wait--Logs? Owls? BOB?!
      Next: Jesus Pages. Okay, I guess the Twin Peaks page was coincidence. T shirt: "PRAYER: The world's greatest wireless connection." Where's my T that says "JESUS: 404 NOT FOUND"? Comfort Cross, basically a worry stone you rub except no one died on your worry stone, 19.95: "Handcarved of olive wood from the Holy Land," possibly at gunpoint, it "develops a patina over time." From the Ruffles grease on your hands.
      Grandpa time again! Gun Cylinder Pen Holder! 21.95. NFL (R) Towel! Held by a bikini babe who's young enough to your great-grandaughter's mother. T shirt: "TRUMP 2016 Make America #1 Again!" I make an American #2 every time I eat a lot of Metamucil! America #1, that's why I wear Depends.


      I flipped through that catalog again, because I know a woman who might greet Trick or Treaters while being the Twin Peaks Log Lady. I came across something I missed. Can you guess what it is from the description? "Sturdy, cotton-canvas bag displays rivets, studs, medallions, and a brass, carabiner-attached owl to watch over your progress."
      I have no idea what progress this owl is watching, except: BOB. Stop watching me, BOB!
      It's a "Steampunk Shoulder Bag."
      Steampunk is now advertised to grandmothers. If you have goggles, just throw them away. Or weld.


      Byron was poking his head in an empty box, not looking at me. I said to Killsy and DJ "Treats?"
      And Byron immediately came out of the box, looking right at me. When I asked "Treats?" he ran to his treat-getting spot. One of those things that apparently fall into his narrow range of hearing--and so far, the only word.

      The 2016 Bulwer-Lytton Contest



      Movie seen: The Martian. It starred Matt Brad Ben Damon Pitt Affleck or somebody. It gets points for the early line "I'm going to science the FUCK out of this!" It was never dull, but loses points for a lack of real tension. Did they make a $150M movie so that Johnny Leonard diDeppio could croak at the end? (Spoiler: Yes. He fucking so dies. Last words: "WHO KNEW ABOUT THE LEAPING MARS BRAIN LEECHES?!")
      Like that movie where Tom Hanks goes to the bathroom (meaning Castaway, to differentiate it from all the other movies that involve Tom Hanks pooping one out, which is all them), it's most interesting in the "How does he survive?" part of the movie. While Tom loses his shit, in the other sense of the term, Grizzly Puggsely Adams Addams just remains sane. He is not the only person on a Pacific island, but the only person on the planet, and for unknown reaons can only listen to disco. The disco alone was driving me nuts. Then Nasa discovers he's alive, and does everything it can to bring him back alive.
      For reasons that make zero sense, his crewmates going home are not told, nor do not hear one word about this. Apparently, something that's being broadcast all across the globe misses their ship. I can see why they don't get cable--it'd be a long wire--but they regularly commincate with Nasa. And their families. This never comes up? What is to be gained by not telling them? "They need to concentrate on their mission!" we're told, but when we next see them, they're just sitting around doing nothing. Hey, don't interrupt that guy's card shuffling! He's concentrating!
      The real problem for me is that when Nasa gets involved, spending thousands of man-hours and billions of dollars to rescue one White Male Celebrity--isn't there something better the government could be doing? Feeding the hungry, preventing gun deaths, curing diseases, fighting global warming, putting out that dumpster fire behind the 7-11, making Cheetos not leave that dust the color of Trump's skin on your fingers? Genetically altering chipmunks so that they do triple backflips whenever they hear "The Macarena"? (There's no progress there, it'd just be funny) Maybe starting dumpster fires with Cheetos and arsonist chipmunks? No, we've gotta go rescue Robert Cuba Harry Sammy Downey Gooding Connick Davis Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr.! With the help of China shoehorned in, because you don't make a $150M movie without getting some of those sweet, sweet yuans.
      Gravity was better. But overall, it makes science look cool, so I'm all for that. I give it 3 and-a-half chipmunk backflips!
      Next in my rental queue: "No! Not the bees! Nooooo! Not the bees! My eyes! Arghhhhhhh!"


      Hey, did I mention I'm on vacation?
      Not a very eventful one. My plans were minimal. I was going to visit the Coventry Farmers Market on Sunday, but it'd had been a week of crushing humidity and massive downpours, and every time it rains, that place turns into a swamp. Plus it's surrounded by forest, so bugs.
      I've slept a lot, because I'm tired and also old. Today was the big day--Meet Jessica at Cracker Barrel and go junk shopping, then go to the movies and watch Rifftrax do Mothra
      The Crack Bar was no busier than usual, but I guess it was. "I'm Mary. I'm not your server, she'll be with you in a minute." Mary? People today name their kids Mary? That's my Mom's name. She's so old, as a kid she once punched out a Hessian with her butter churn.
      We talked about cats a lot, as that surprises you exactly in the way it doesn't. And a lot of other things as well. And the people at the next table got their food, less than 10 minutes after sitting down. And I left the table to flag down Mary and say "We placed our order 45 minutes ago..." Not in a hostile or angry way, of course. Hey, we got free biscuits and cornbread! Two each. Jess hates biscuits, and the cornbread was about the size of an Oreo. "The grill time is a little behind." For eggs? Toast and some bacon? Our food was promptly delivered after that.
      I think it was a miscommunication between Mary and the server. It's not the first time this has happened to us there. The last time it did, a manager came out and apologized. This time a manager came out and was kind of hostile. Didn't apologize, just grabbed a couple of our plates. Did we ask for a manager either time? Were we making a scene, demanding Cracker Barrel comp our meal? Just a bad day to be there I guess, at least for us.
      In her car, I gave her some Funny Times and that catalog. I opened it to the black cat stockings and said "Please don't buy these and wear them around me! Don't ever, ever wear these around me...Is the reverse psychology working yet?" She laughed and said "I have a pair of those! I wore them for Christmas!" I said "GUH" and fell over dead.
      We went to the indoor flea market, where the prices are low and you can find some great bargains. She does anyway. "Hey, Bill, want a Nixon pin?" I flipped through the tiny box of political pins. I said "There's a Pluto pin."
      "Pluto, the Disney dog--here's a Minnie Mouse."
      "oh my god."
      She collects those. They turned out to be first generation ones, worth more than the $3 she paid.
      She found a lot of cheap little things, mainly cats and Disneyana, including more stuff she thinks might be worth

      more than

      they were charging

      Here's another not-first for us at the Crack: About 20 minutes after leaving, all I can think is I'm going to puke the bacon.
      She said that she stopped getting their bacon because it made her feel queasy. There are certain foods--especially red meat--that I've noticed problems with. Likely a gut bacteria thing. We walked to the antique place across the street, which used to have a shop cat named Cleo. They left the store's doors open literally feet from an incredibly busy road yeah, you know how that story ended. "We do still have the dog!" he said. Jess and I telepathically shared the thought "Dog? Who gives a fuck?"
      There was a dog in the store, who was fascinated by me. He was about half the size of Killsy, who is currently 6 pounds. He did look exactly like Speck from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Then I went outside and threw up a bit, and I was sternly told "Bill, it's time for you to go home!"
      Returning to the restaurant we shall never visit again, I used their bathroom. Hey, you're the guys who sold me this food, let me return it to you.
      Got home, toilet heaved, got that worried look and little meow someone gives me when she knows I don't feel good. Mothra replays on Tuesday. I can see it then.
      I did get to see Jess. One out of two ain't bad! 0.5 out of two, could've been better.
      Also: Cranky Cracker Manager Guy, who wears a tie with a fucking red plaid lumberjack shirt? Crimeny.


      I should mention that I pointed out to Jess the log pillow and suggested she give out Halloween candy as the Log Lady. She said "No one will get that!"
      "EXACTLY! The kids won't get it, their parents won't get it! That's what will make it extra creepy!" Then I acted out a little skit as Log Lady Jess greeting children.
      "My log tells me many things. It has shown me your futures. [points to each child in turn] YOU--in a car crash. YOU--chokes on a pretzel. You...the badgers, so many badgers, the angry hungry badgers! Do not try to escape them! They will find you." [pause, then brightly] "Who wants a Snickers?!"
      And I will not be surprised if she does that.

      Wednesday discovers the Ramones:


      You might want to let it autoplay after that 2 minutes. "The Best of Wednesday" is enjoyable. The actor playing TV Weds--I'd say they were happy if she remembered her lines. The actor playing Movie Weds--how old was Ms Ricci? 10 or 11? She could already do more with an arched eyebrow than actors 40 years older. The funniest/creepiest/funniest part to me is the simple line "Wait."
      My theory: TV Weds (the character) is too young to have realized yet that everyone thinks her family is a bunch of aberrant freaks. Morticia and Gomez, they're long since past caring what others think. Movie Weds is exactly old enough to know what people think about her family. And is becoming defiant about it. "Be everybody else" is a thing others want, not a thing she wants.

      I left my first Yelp review! Not of Cracker Barrel. But of my vet!

      Today, their business manager left a review of my review:      Anyone who describes Byron as "mischievously adorable" has obviously never been in an exam room with him. Unless they reviewed Texas Chainsaw Massacre with "that mischievously adorable Leatherface!"


      Other synoyms for "mischievously adorable Byron at the vet"!
       Inextinguishable furnace of rage
      "WHERE WALKS THE WERE-CAT?" with a 1963 Kirby cover
      Fulminating Satan Scythe
       Walking and not very happy about it Sarlaac pit
      Ancient Order of the Merovingian Shit-killers
      Tony Award Winner for Bloodthirsty Non-Stop Screaming, 2003, please stop screaming already, it's 2016
      Most 911 calls during the Tony Awards, 2003-2016 (ongoing)
      Several mangled Vet Tech smoothies
      Scrubs that are really more like "throw in a barrel and burn! Burn the barrel forever!"
      A piece of French toast that looks like Jesus! Being punched out by Rasputin! ONLY ONE MAY LIVE
      Ed Gein in a cat clown suit
      Ed Gein EATEN by cats in clown suits
      GHOST TANK! Destroyed by the Huns on this very day in 1942! Ask for LARGE SARGE MARGE--and BYRON
      "No! Not Nick Cage! Nooooo! Not the Wicker Man remake! My eyes! Arghhhhhhh!"

      Hey guess what movie I watched with my eyeballs yesterday.
      I was expecting to do a scene-by-scene destruction of it, but, well, it's bad, but not good bad. I almost turned it off early on. I guess it's a pizza movie, which is a thing I just made up. The first hour is boring, but that's enough time you and friends to share a pizza and a beer without paying much attention to the film.
      It begins with Nick Cage, future Ghost Rider but current Cali motorcycle cop, so he's in CHiPS--I'm sorry, I must pause here--
      --when he sees a Beanie Baby thrown out of a station wagon and he returns it to a panicked woman and her unpleasant little girl. We repeatedly see tractor trailers race by at speeds normally used by Nasa planetary probes. The adorably mischevious little girl throws the stuffie back into traffic, and Nick says "It's all a part of the job" and retrieves it in exactly the time you think "They're gonna creamed by a truck trying reach escape velocity," they get creamed by a truck. The car, remarkably, dosn't move that far. It does catch on fire, all over it, like the tires were inflated by gas left over from the Hindenburg. The mother is dead, the awful little girl resists Nick's attempts to rescue her from the BBQ, the mile-long truck apparently reaches hyperspace, as it isn't even seen again in this movie, or this shot. Or any of the other shots involving the accident, and Hoo Whee! I hope you liked the accident, it's going to be flashbacked a lot.
      Nick becomes an addict to Some Pills overnight. Nicky eats them like Reese's Pieces, if Reese liked Valium, or whatever the Some Pills are supposed to be. This movie could be called Requiem for a Trainspotting and there would be less pills.
      Then Lady Cop comes by. Is she the love interest? She would be, but this is the point I almost stopped watching, saying "I'll bet the writer-director-coproducer man had a messy divorce and lost custody of the kid."
      But I kept watching, because I love my readers more than I love my neurons. There's fan mail for cop Nick (...what?), one of which is from some lady whose daughter girl has been female-napped. This is the point where we get repeatedly told that Nick is named Ed Malus, pronounced "MALE--US!" for the edifcation of those guy audience members who didn't have a bad divorce.
      But where did this mysterious letter come from? Why, it's an island, apparently invisible despite having a website and being in Puget Sound! No one has ever spotted this IN PUGET SOUND?! I live in fucking New England and know where that is!
      "It comes from that island no one has ever seen! To the east of New York City!" (points at map)
      "I'm...not seeing it."
      "Of course not! It's a secret Island! It's called--LAWN GUY LAND!"
      "What? Is it by Long Island?"
      "I just said it was! It's--LAWN GUY LAND!"
      "Still not seeing it."
      "RIGHT THERE--GAWD! You are wicked retahded!"
      We hope you have enjoyed today's lesson in NESL (North Eastern as a Second Language)
      I'm just pointing that out because it's some major plot point. James Bond SPECTRE bases are better hid, and they put one in a Japanese volcano. The only connection to the mainland is a single floatplane. It's pilot is sworn to secrecy, so he gets bribed by ONE HUNNERT DOLLARS. "Ulysses and his twin bother Grant!" if you want to know exactly how much the dialog sounds like random words.
      Nick is the dumbest cop in the world, or at least in the Forbidden Zone of Puget Sound. That's okay! Because the Sisters of Mystery Island are even dumber. EVERY discussion is NICK: "Me cop! Me want find girl!" SISTER FUCKING I HATE MY WIFE: "Well, there certainly isn't any human sacrifices for the Harvest going on here! [pause] Did I think that, or use my outside voice?" NICK: "Huh? Wha'? DUUUH. [pause] ME COP!" These women ladies keep secrets worse than squirrels hide nuts, and I'm talking squirrels that try to pretend they have pockets.
      They keep photos of the sacrifice girls on a WALL at the ONLY CAFE. Why do they? I mean, have a cafe? NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD OF THIS ISLAND. Except for pilot guy, and--
      THE BEES
      Oh yeah, Nicky don't like bees. He's allergic. He carries a pair of "Bee Epi-Pens." That's how they're labeled. Chekov's EpiPen!
      He visits the town doctor, Dr BEE Arthur! She also has pics of the sacrificed little blonde girls just...lying the fuck around in plain view. She quickly hides them in a book titled "Rituals of the Ancients."
      It's in a fine binding, the kind one used to see in Time-Life books about ancient astronauts. Then--she goes away. So Nick can poke around her cottage--O M G!!Fetuses! Jars of fetuses, maybe you should put those in the fridge, they'll go bad like potato salad. You see--they're ABORTIONIZING LITTLE BOYS oh no!! Like my damn blue-eyed blond ex-wife I'll bet!
      This is actually the point where the movie gets enjoyable. There are little things before this, like Nick wearing a fucking suit with tie and jacket with leather patches on the elbows all movie. The blue-eyed blonde woman hatred, while no men have any speaking roles, and are shown wearing aprons like dresses in a "Hey, did your wife cut your balls off?!" way. The ridiculous concept of an island that no one knows about (besides its webpage) that gets increasingly larger as the movie slogs along, including its redwood forests and the shot that makes it look like it's within dog-paddling distance of the coast, with mountains RIGHT THERE. And its bike trails! Yes, this movie really thinks that repeated scenes of Nicky riding a beat-up old Schwinn are that exciting. The line Nick delivers with a gun in his hand, "STEP AWAY FROM THE BIKE. Keep your stupid mask!" You see, they're wearing masks as they sacrifice! The fact that we know the island, a whole half-mule from the coast, [editing: I meant "half-MILE," but it might as well be as long as half of a mule] is a desolate wasteland because there's no cell phone reception. We know this, as Nick waves his 2006 clamshell around like a fucking geiger counter, it going "BEEP BEEP" the whole time. Oh, right, masks. This would be the part where the Bad Ladies wear masks, and Nick is dressed in a full-body bear costume. This island, as forgotten and distant as Catalina or Manhattan, with its only source of food being honey and what they get from ONE guy in ONE Cessna, which has pubs with polished wood tables and elaborately-furnished Victorian mansions, has a FUCKING BEAR COSTUME PLACE. No wonder no one has heard of the island. They're too embarrassed to admit it.
      Also, every woman in the world is conspiring against Nick. Remember the car crash? I sure do! They replay this like EVERY 15 MINUTES as a dream sequence. One dream sequence literally has its own dream sequence. Apparently the mother and girl weren't killed when their car got creamed and we saw them fucking die! Not, it was part of the conspiracy to capture Nick Cage, avatar of the bitter writer/director/coproducer! Remember Cop Lady? WHY THE FUCK WOULD ANYBODY? Yeah, she was in on it too.
      Then he gets burned in a giant wicker man thing and dies. And we are told in the first credit "For Joey Ramone." "Teenage Loboto--BEE!" "Blitzkrieged COP!" Give me a sec to come up with some Ramones...bee..puns...
      They spent the whole movie building up his bee allergies and Bee-Pens.
      When I first put the DVD in, the menu listed "With SHOCKING Alternate Ending." Then, it listed the movie as "Encino Man." And told me it was pan-and-scan, not letterboxed. A 2006 movie doesn't have widescreen? I flipped it over, and it was WS--just like a DVD from about 1996.
      However, it did have the alternate ending. For those who are curious, this is the difference:
      "No! Not the bees! Nooooo! Not the bees! My eyes! Arghhhhhhh! Arghhhhhh! Arghhhhhh!"
      Then, they stick him with the Bee-Pen, so that they can kill him another way.
      There might be more differences, but even I'm not masochistic to watch this twice.
      Now I want pizza.


      Thanks to reader Roger, who gave a link to something I can only respond to with "Wak."


      A student asked "Did Adam and Eve and Noah's Ark happen?" The teacher said "Those aren't meant to be taken literally. Those are parables--old stories that tell us truths about ourselves."
      It was the 1960s. the teacher was a nun. I was at Catechism class, which sadly has nothing to do with cats. It was today what's called (I think) CCD, or basically Catholic Sunday School. (But it was on Saturdays, so I had to miss cartoons) A 1960s nun said that the Bible was not literally 100% true. Except for the New Testament, the Jesusy bits. And I got it, despite being pretty devout. I was always baffled by Noah's Ark. Everything came from 2 of each animal? I was too young to understand the concept of incestuous inbreeding, but I got just how weird it was. How did they feed them?
      I was even more baffled in the early 1980s, when fundamentalism rose in the US, and people actually believed the Ark was real. The Obsession With Biblical Literalism. If the bible is literally true--go read Leviticus. The second chapter is about how to properly serve God some waffles. OK, griddle cakes, so that is 99% true.






      I was rereading "Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader," published in 1998. It's what it sounds like--a trivia book with interesting, short chapters you can read while making your doodies. I'm surprised that this, on page 118, hasn't been mentioned recently:
      "One year Trump visited the Bronx's Public School 70 (located in a poor neighborhood) for the school's annual Principal for a Day event. On his way out, Trump dropped a $1 million bill in the bake sale cash box. (It was fake, of course--Trump's idea of a joke.)"





      Once upon a Laborious Day, I used to explain how the world did not end this year, despite predictions to the contrary. In remembrance of this hallowed if forgotten tradition, THE RAPTURE IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN! All true Christians will go to Teh Heavan, especially the ones who are assholes about it!
      ...On August 30th, 2016.
      Well, either it didn't make the news, or no one's worthy, or mabe it got some very devout squirrels. But don't worry!
      Rapture September 2016? That ? inspires confidence!
      "It should be clear that judgment did not begin Yom Kippur 2014 as Torah Calendar is off exactly one year as the year 6,000 will begin September 2015 with the year 6,001 (the beginning of the 7th Millennium) beginning September 2016 as being the most logical date for the Rapture September 2016. For those of you not familiar with my logic of the tribulation beginning in September 2015, then I would recommend reading my recent article titled, the Final Shmitah Connection to 2021. This article lays a good foundation of this concept as well as a good foundation for my book, September 2021."
      That makes it sound all Torah-ey, but trust those people to confuse 6000 BC with 6001 BC!
      You might note that the url goes to "september2015-rapture," but the Rapture is going to happen this month. Unless it's in 2021. Maybe "Next Sunday AD!"
      The book that pretty much created the Rapture obsession in America was "The Late Great Planet Earth." The Rapture was obviously going to happen in exactly 40 years after Israel was refounded in 1948! Or when it captured Jerusalem, in 1967. And, plus or minus 7 years. This was "exactly" between 1981 and 2007.
      (looks at watch) Jesus Christ! What's taking you so long, Jesus Christ? There are Rapture parties to plan!
      "Hello, Bill! Welcome to our Rapture party!"
      "Umm, yeah, kinda surprised you asked me here, what with my atheism and all."
      "AHH-HAHAHA! We're going to HEAVEN, and we want you to see us go, and YOU NOT! Canape?"
      "Sure! Can I have a drink of the demon liquor?"
      "You'll be thirsty--WHERE YOU'RE GOING! AH-HAHAHA--ha...ha?...AAAARRRGGGH THE PAIN"
      "Whoa! Raptured! Funny how they didn't go to a cloud in the sky, instead all of them went through the floor into a flaming abyss with laughing pitchfork guys. Huh. Well, more canapes for me!"



      I'd say that those people were pretty smart, if their goal was to not have to do jury duty.

      Speaking of smart: Be smart and buy a Hewlett-Puker desktop. Get it at Best Buy, open your car trunk, then leave the computer behind your car while you drive over it multiple times. You'll just be cutting out a step.

      I've never seen a house where the bathroom had no windows. My condo is the first I've seen where the window is in the shower, and has a wood frame.
      So I have to buy a shower curtain liner and pin it over the frame, so that it doesn't dry-rot. And don't you just love that new curtain liner smell? The way it outgasses vinyl stench, eventually permeating the entire fucking house?
      It doesn't even have a brand name on it, unless it's called "2/$3.00 SUPER VALUE!" I'll not make any attempt to find an image, because--well, have you ever seen Repo Man?


"shower curtain liner."
      One is also carefully instructed "Do not machine dry. Do not iron." Yes, do not iron a sheet of Chinese vinyl. Do not throw in the dryer and fuck that thing all up. Do not attempt to use in place of a blazing Yule log. Eat not of this, unless you use much mustard. Perfectly fine for wrapping your Laura Palmers.


      Stupidest Things Ever Said could use this next year:
      "Lauer then asked if that means Trump would take women out of the military. He said, 'No, not take them out, but something has to be happened.'”

      I should tell you that Ms Killsy is doing very well! She's been taking her meds, and has an identfiable belly again! She takes her meds when she doesn't know that she is, anyway. I break them into little pieces and mix them into her wet food now.
      That's since I thought "Her salmon Friskies are the same pink as her meds...Maybe I can just drop it on top." She took 2 big bites of her food. Then stopped, walked over to me, and gave me the Kill Kill Glare. She refused to eat the salmon, even the next morning. Sometimes, she's too smart for her own good. But I'm confident about her next weigh-in at the vet.


      Were there people yelling "NEVER FORGET!" on December 7th 1956? Probably. Were they also yelling "KEEP NUKING THE JAPS!!" Probably not.



      I've had the 45 for almost 40 years. Is this the Worst Best Song, or the Best Worst Song? It certainly has the most intentionally bad guitar solo. But I love it for the non sequitur lyrics:
      "Camels lack reality, and camels lack a brain.
      I guess that ain't the truth, but there's a villa in Spain!"




      She was sleeping peacefully right next to the carrier, which was convenient. Not good, as she was sleeping peacefully, and now she had to go the vet.
      (pauses to rub the World's Cutest Belly)
      We were in the room longer than I wanted. I heard someone outside say "It's kind of chaotic here!" It also sounded like it was a sales rep, and if you've ever been to the human-doctor, those guys give away free stuff so fuck the actual patients. My sales reps and delivery drivers know that if there are customers, they have to wait.
      The doctor came in, weighed her, and she's gained more than half a pound! Which sounds like nothing, but that's a 10% gain in her weight in only a month.
      She let out a tiny hiss and kept her mouth open in fear when the tech stupidly left the blood-letting needle in front of her face. The tech said "Her ears are bright pink from the stress!" Yeah, how about not doing that in the future?
      The results were in today. Better, but not good--something about her thyroid level going from 14 to 9, when it should be 4. So I'm to double up her pills. I'm hoping that I can just get a double-dose single pill. But she IS getting better! Not good: "We'll have to take blood tests every 6 months." My reaction: "...Oh." That's more than I want to subject her to. But if it keeps her alive...

      Did you like yesterday's earworm from the Swell Maps? I'll bet you didn't! So here's more terrible songs that are terribly catchy! All of them are SFW, especially if you don't like your coworkers. If so, PLAY LOUD

      I've linked to some of these before. For instance, It's Cheese Day in Monroe!


      I like how they present "yodeling too!" as if it was not a bug, but a feature. If I had a band, I would insist we learned this song. Yodeling would be replaced with an electric guitar. And more cowbell? No, MORE TUBA.

      Here's another repeat, and many thanks to Kitsplut for putting this on a CD for me. "Rah Rah Rasputin, Lover of the Russian Queen!"


      Just a small change from disco to even worse disco--It's a "song poem." Suckers would send their brilliant lyrics to people who would make very limited edition 45s (limited to how much you wanted to pay) and they'd record it. It gets points for being the only disco song that tried to make every line rhyme with "disco." Yes, the second line already sinks to "I am going to buy some Crisco."


      Disco, for those of you lucky enough to live through its domination of everything, spawned a lot of kids records. A lot for a genre that was basically designed for people having sex after snorting coke. Here is a sample from "Sesame Street Fever."


      Are you playing this loud at work yet?

      I remember a vacation to Cape Cod in the 1960s, when my dad had to pull the station wagon over because he, and everyone else in the car, was laughing so hard at Napoleon the Fourteenth's only hit in the world:


      After all that, you may have noticed that I've subliminally GIVEN YOU THE WORST EARWORM EVER! Yes, and here it is!


      Well...maybe not.

      "It's a world of hatred, a world of fear! It's a world where death suddenly appears! Those are so few who care, that you all must beware,
      It's a Fucked World After All!"




      Seen while taking the used litter to the dumpster: an Audi. The Audi symbol is 4 concentric, conjoined circles. But there was something off about it. When I got closer, it was done in a similar font, but said "DOPE." I guess that's how the guy made enough money to buy an Audi.

      My dreams are vividly detailed, like a big budget movie with a large cast, great set design, and weird props. Almost all of it is nothing I've seen in real life. I don't know who the people are; if it's about a job, it's some amalgram of ones from 25 or more years ago (usually KB Toys and Sam Goody). Even the cats aren't my cats.
      So it was odd Sunday when I had a very long dream set in my actual workplace, featuring the store's owner and our new hire nodding off from heroin.( I wasn't there, but that's what happened Friday--he took a 70 minute lunch, came back nodding off, and eventually puked in the trash can by the registers in front of a line of customers. What is WITH my job and the heroin users it hires?)
      In the dream, I was taking in a giant Budweiser order, and the delivery guys kept smashing the product they were bringing in. The store was flooded with spilled beer, and they just kept smashing more through incompetence. As I started to wake up, I groggily thought "...What day is today? It must be Tuesday, we don't get deliveries on Saturdays, why would I dream about a delivery, but I don't remember Sunday at all...No, it's Sunday."
      I got to work and the owner was emptying a mop bucket. "It's a mess in the cooler!" Seems we'd had a giant Bud order, and the driver did a "lazy man's load," when someone puts too much on a handtruck just to maybe do one less load overall. The owner heard "OH SHIT FUCK!!" CRASH and yep. The driver had smashed 5 6-pack cases and a 30 pack. The cooler was flooded with beer. It looked like a rice paddy. "Whoa," I said, "WHOA."
      I even had thought when I was fully awake, "I sure hope that's not a prophetic dream." And this morning's A Word A Day email had the quote "We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams." -Jeremy Irons
      I think I'll try to dream about winning lottery jackpots from now on.




      Today began at 7AM with the cats rampaging through the condo. It became bad enough that I got up to say "I had to get up at 7 the last 2 days for work, I'm not doing it today!" If I'd known that it would happen on the hour, every hour, I would've shut the bedroom door to at least localize it.
      The y had food, water, and clean boxes, so no idea what that was about. They get wet food, but currently enormous trencherman DJ only nibbles on that, so, no idea what it was about beyond beyond "Cat Emergency." I fed them, got ready for work, thought "Golly but I'm thirsty" and drank a pint of ice water very quickly. I sat at the computer for about 2 minutes, suddenly thought "I think I'm gonna throw uuuuLLLPP" and puked a bit. I made it to the bathroom, emptying my stomach, and saw that...I'd puked on myself! Like a 6 month old baby or a 19 year old frat boy. I thought, "What a great day this has started out to be. Can't wait to see what happens at work."
      But it turned out not to be so bad. However: Young's Syndrome has again raised its ugly head and my gorge. "NOW! Just add water!"


      To continue talking about puking: Who, in the GREATEST COUNTRY OF EVER, which apparently is also terrible so it needs to Great againer, is going to watch Monday's presidential debate?
      I won't get home from work until 30 minutes after it starts, but I think I'll stream it on my cheap tablet while doing regular browsing on the main PC. I can catch the highlights--or lowlights--as after it ends, on Facebook or anywhere. Definitely when I have lunch with my Mom on Weds. I've already emailed her "Remember: mute the sound and take deep breaths before the chest pains begin!"
      I think Tronald Dumpster will be annihilated through sound logic, but his supporters haven't spent a lot of time living in LogicLand. So it won't matter. The LESS presidential he acts, the higher his polls will go. He could call her "Prune Cunt" and the whole South would vote for him.
      Candidates prepare for these debates by practicing against someone acting as their opponent. I read that Clinton has a problem, in that she can't find anyone to practice against, as no one has any clue what Donald's going to do. On his side, he's said that he's not going to even try to prepare. Just speak from his gut. No prep for anything important, that's what I want in a POTUSA! "We have nuclear weapons, why haven't we used them? LAUNCH!"
      Does anyone else realize that "the gut" is very near "the colon"?


      I was almost to work when a van in the left lane stopped to take a left into the cemetery. The SUV behind him said "I don't want to stop for 2 seconds," and cut in front of me with apparently no concept of "rear view mirrors." I slammed on my brakes, and that's the only thing that kept him from putting me in the cemetery.
      As to the debate, Mom said "I know I will try to watch it but doubt I will be able to take much of it. I certainly will have the remote in my hand." I decided to skip it--I was working until it began, then had to stop at CVS, so by the time I had fed the cats and settled in, it'd be half over. Then a rabidly anti-Trump coworker began a screaming match against a pro-Trump customer. Interestingly, she's black, and so was he. I left the register area, but his calmly stated argument was "They're all crooks!" which is no argument at all. I really don't think political arguments belong at work, especially with customers. They finally both left, and she called back asking if we'd found her glasses. The other coworker was sure she'd put them in her purse, but was so white-hot with rage she didn't remember putting them there.
      On the drive home, a car was doing below the speed limit in the passing lane, with a truck to pass that was going the same speed. I coasted in behind him, then braked to put some distance between us. Every time I did, he slowed down more. It's really hard not to tailgate someone who keeps doing that. In a 65 zone, he dropped below 50, apparently to just be an asshole. The other car in the right lane passed him on the right, and if you're purposely blocking the passing lane, I feel that you want to be passed on the right. So I did it as well. Then the guy finally pulled to the right lane--after the red and blue roof lights behind him came on. "As soon as I get on the main highway, I'm getting a ticket" I thought. When I did, he just switched lanes and turned the lights off. I remembered that I was the second car to pass on the right, and that it's illegal to block the passing lane in this state. Cop was trying to tell all 3 of us to cut out that shit.
      As I was feeding the cats, I heard the sound of a running faucet from the bathroom. But it was coming from the cabinet underneath the sink. Not for long, but long enough to cover half the floor. Great! The plumbing leaks! I have silicone sealant and caulk, so I'll see what I can do tomorrow besides throw down paper towels and put a plastic cup under it to catch the dripping.
      So, yeah, blood pressure successfully raised without watching the debate.


      I guess that in the debate, Donald sniff Trump didn't do so sniff the best ever, believe me. Sad!
      Trump blamed his performance, sniffing thusly: "They gave me a defective mic! Wonder, was that on purpose?" Must've been one of those microphones that lets people hear what you just said.
      Seen on Facebook: a rant against Clinton, which inevitably included "She can't be president, she's a career politician!" Is that just a USA thing? Saying that you're qualified for a job because you've never done it? That's like me saying "I'm not a career heart surgeon, I'm a liquor store manager! Ready for your triple bypass?" Does anyone run for the House, Senate or President because they don't want a career in politics? Are you a hobbyist politician? Do you apply for jobs by spending the entire interview screaming "FUCK THIS PLACE"?
      There were a lot of comments, but this one stuck out:
      "Umm Hillary??? No way!! I just vote for one Who hasnt commit a crime. That's Trump is who I will vote."


      That's Trump who is also who I vote too!! Unles OBUMMER try take guns mine away frist!!!







      Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: A walking tree, and a talking raccoon.
      Disney's Pocahontas: A TALKING tree and a WALKING raccoon!
      Makes you think, doesn't it?


      Last night I was awkened by puking. In this house, that's not a reason to jump out of bed.
      Around 3AM, I got up to pee, and tiptoed carefully. Where is it? I can even smell it--ah, on the bedroom desk. Well, now I knew who did it. Only Byron hangs out up there at night.
      There was a lot. I idly thought "Looks like the trail mix I spilled a week ago." After mopping it up, it hit me--where was Byron?
      I looked everywhere, and couldn't find hi OH SHIT. Cats aren't going to eat trail mix, but what if there were raisins in it?!
      I checked the puke, and it was definitely the new dry food I'd put in the bowl that day, and B must've eaten too much too fast.
      I called in Detective DJ: "Where's Byron?" He went to the bedroom and looked at the clothes closet. It took a flashlight and a while, but waaay in the back was Byron. I had to touch him to make it was him. It was great to find him, even if he hissed at me, but I worried that he might be going back to self-exile. And why would he hide just because he puked? Was he okay?
      I slept as best as I could, then got up earlier than usual to serve wet food. Byron wasn't anywhere, even the closet, but then appeared. He turned down the wet food, which never happens. I went back to bed. At least he wasn't hiding!
      And 2 hours later he was. DJ was hanging out in the living room, so I knew he must be--yep, behind the bookcase. Where the Exile started 3 years ago. I then left for work for, including commute, 10 hours. I tried not to overthink things.
      And of course, I did. The last 2 hours made me increasingly worried. What if he really was sick? What if I get home and find him, and he isn't moving? Or breathing?! I closed the store and headed home.
      The light I take a left at that is normally red for 30 seconds max was still red 4 minutes later--a very long 4 minutes--when I turned right and pulled a u-turn. I raced up the stairs, hoping he'd be in one of his usual spots. He wasn't. Or behind the bookcase. I found him in the closet again. Looking at me. He trotted right out and devoured his wet food. "Thanks for the heart attack, Byron" I said. In my panic, I'd forgotten that I knew if something had happened to him, Killsy and particularly DJ would act differently.
      And now, he's resting by my feet, as normal as Byron can be normal. And my new motto: You can't say you truly love and care for someone until you've willingly shifted through their puke.

      High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history


      My work jeans are ventilated in the crotch. So I replaced them at KMart.
      Signs just past the doors read "The Blue Light is BACK!...with a VENGEANCE" Or "Like Fleas on a Dog" or "Your Recurrent Syphilis," I didn't pay it that much attention. At checkout, the cashiers were wearing Blue Light colored t-shirts that said "ATTENTION KMART SHOPPERS" on them. I thought it was amusing. Then I noticed the back of one cashier's shirt: "Your One-Stop Shopping for the Zombie Apocalypse." Another's read "ERRMEHGERRD SO MUCH SAVING" thus combining 2 tired memes. The third woman's read "shh Ninjas Are Everywhere" and I don't even know what that means.
      I'm going to apply there, but only take a job if I can get a shirt that says on the back "ALL YOUR BLUE LIGHT ARE BELONG TO US." Or says on the front "Shop Smart! Shop S-Mart" and on the back, "HERE'S MY BOOMSTICK. Groovy"

      If you haven't seen Captain America: Civil War by now, you probably have no interest in seeing it. So--spoiler alert, not? At the end of the final battle between Captain America and Iron Man, Stark says "That shield's not yours! My father made it!" and Cap drops it to the floor, and walks away.
      In the comics, Captain Rogers quits (after Watergate) and is fired (in the Reagan years). The Captain is supposed to be the embodiment of what America should be. I suppose that "Captain US Constitution and Bill of Rights" would be to long a title. But he's also not called "Captain American Exceptionalism Racist Xenophobic Tool of the Military-Industrial Complex" either. I was late into reading Captain America comics simply because of his nationalistic name and as a kid, I lived in the era of the Viet Nam War and "AMERICA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT" bumper stickers. But the book was done by East Coast Elitist Bleeding Heart Liberals (as I assume they'd be called today), and Steve Rogers fought for what was right, not right wing.
      Hey, when Reagan fired him and made him turn over his shield--wasn't he replaced by a new Captain America? Who, in those 80s days of Rambo, was a violent jingoistic asshole? Is the next movie appearance of Rogers going to be Stark giving him the shield back, or is it going to be Stark giving it to U.S.Agent?
      I don't recall the character's name, but he since got his powers from what were basically super-steroids and became a brutal rageaholic, let's just assume he was named DinkyScrotum McBackAcne. That last link goes to the Marvel wiki, and this, the most perfect of paragraphs:

      ...You can calm a raging psychopath down by shooting him in the butt? With an arrow? How about offering him some chamomile tea and a lovely scone? I hope that, after the Thin Man killed that ruler of Madeitupistan, Nick and Nora Charles and their pooch Asta ruled with a just but firm hand. Hands firmly gripping their breakfast martinis.
      "U.S.Agent: Making America Take it in the Butt Again"!


      Twin Peaks Tarot Deck.


      I'm watching a slim robotic hero battle a giant, angry, frog-faced monster that screams a lot through its blowhole!
      Ultraman, 1966 series. The presidential debate hasn't begun yet!
      The Japanese title in the subtitles is "THE APPEARANCE OF THE BLOWHOLE MONSTER GAMAKUJIRA," but "The Pearl Oyster Protection Directive" is the title on the DVD (and you can watch it there). The director must be getting a bit bored of doing kids' TV shows, because there were 5 scenes in the first 4 minutes in which the camera filmed actors reflected in mirrors. I actually liked that.
      Girl Science Patrol agent likes shiny objects! So she stops at a pearl store. Why are pearls so expensive? Boy says "I bet you think there's a monster eating pearls!' Girl says "YES! There must be!" Hey, Boy: you live in the Ultraman universe. If I woke up one day to discover that my car battery was dead, my first thought would to be to blame it on a giant monster that eats electricity, then notice I'd left the car door open.
      "Honey-san, where are my keys?"
      "I don't know--wait, did you drink all the milk?"
      (stare briefly at each other in horror) "It's KEYOLACTOSAUR!!"
      The monster is a frog-faced screaming asshole. He overturns a truck full of oysters, all of which are filled with costume jewelry pearls, and then sucks them up with his goofy vacuum cleaner hose tongue. Hey, it's time for the boring part! Where the Science Patrol attacks with their mighty air force of 2 planes. Has there ever been a monster movie/TV show where Godzilla, Jason, or any monster ever died from the first attack? When this fails, they camp down on a rocky island with Pearl Jammer making gurgling noises, because (I should point out that the DVD, despite also being from Shout Factory, is dubbed, while the online version isn't) "It's a COW!" Pearls are its cud, and Maxi Pearl is digesting them. They actually did an FX for this. There was a guy whose job was "Make the critter's tummy look like it's digesting a lot of fiber." There obviously was also the job description of "Make it Look Like Model Planes Aren't On Wires Technician." This must've been a thing you put on your resume. FILM EXEC: "Hmm...says here you've moved model planes on wires in a lot of Godzilla movies?" APPLICANT: "Yes! But...I admit to starting on Gamera." EXEC: (laughs) "Who of us didn't start at the bottom? HIRED!"
      Big frog monster also has a crocodile snout, and Muppet google eyes that are painted so they always look up. He looks like he's always saying "WHATEVER." Lady, because she's bleeding from her wherever, tries to tell the monster not to digest pearls. "Who bows to a monster?" asks her coworker. She says "Men wouldn't understand this feeling!" Wimmen! Golddiggers, am I right? Just grab them right by the pearls! The Boys all make weird faces.
      The monster awakes. His tail looks like Pac-Man. No wonder he eats the pearls! Sadly, tail does not go "wakka-wakka-wakka."
      Bombing him makes his blowhole splooge! The upward-cast eyes--well, if you ever wanted to see a kaiju's O-face, here ya go. The SP shoots him with balloons, no really. This way, they can follow him when he submerges a mile from fucking shore. Floaty balloons. They now attack with missiles, which are launched by dials they stuck in a cardboard box. El Monstrosito sufaces, and again the rolled eyes--he's all "Come ON! I just eat damn pearls, why's that a crime?!"
      "Begin the electric net attack!" They turn the knob on the Radio Shack 8-Track player they found in the Salvation Army dumpster and a giant net appears, linked by ropes between the 2 supersonic jets WHAT HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? All those missiles fired at pointy-blank range, no use, but they scoop it up in a big net and flies it away. The monster must not weigh much, maybe measured in metric chihuahua tons. The net is electrified for attack. This goes on, like most of the show's action sequences, so long that you may have seen part of it in a past life and are only just now catching up. But not as long as the pearl digestion scene did, with its SFX rumbly-tummy. Did I just type that?
      As you're saying "Drop the net with the monster on the pointy rocks of the island!" it gets dropped into the sea about 30 feet away, and the plane crashes on the pointy rocks. Of course, it crashes because it's piloted by the guy who's secretly Ultraman, so he's fine. He lost a plane and a billion dollars, now he won't to pay taxes on the plane! Because he's smart!
      This leads to a not-at-all gratuitous scene of a bunch of hot Japanese girls in swimsuits being (uselessly) menaced by the monster. I think for like 2 months, it's just a lot of screaming girls in bikinis, who make sure to run away carrying only the essentials, such as their purses and beach umbrella. C'mon, Gamakujira! They'll let you if you're a star!
      Their convertible that seats 6 gets stuck in the mud, and I guess they get away? Because, while grabbing their pic-a-nic baskets, they left behind the pearl necklaces they wore to the beach. In 1966! Marge Simpson totally stole her look from them! Mr Picky Eater feasts on the necklace, although given the fact he's the size of a battleship, it would be like you or me licking a bit of corn of the cob off of our teeth and saying "Whoa, I'm stuffed!" Girl says: "What a horrible monster! Going after the shine of pearls, just like a woman!" This inspires the Guys to attack the monster wiiiith...a pearl bomb! Like the balloons and electro-net, just a thing they have in their plane. Did you know that hogs will eat snakes? This is why I carry a spare hog in my car trunk! I'm safe from snakes, but dang, my car smells.
      The monster, whose name is Tony Perlowski, begins to explode from the inside.The pearl bomb...I guess it's a thing monsters eat? Through their blowhole? I don't know, I ain't no biologist! The bikini babes bounce back and are now saved. I did not say they were saved earlier, I did not say that, believe me.
      The monster ejaculates from his blowhole. I mean like, whoa, money shot over the entire prefecture. All over his own face. We're told this is how Bukkakemon protects himself and "His jaws can now bite through steel!" So they shoot a rocket up its ass.
      No. Really. They shoot a rocket up his ass, and Loserpalooza flies around helplessly. Again, what does it weigh? A thousand hamsters worth? This scene is worth the price of watching this (begins around the 20 minute mark). He flies around, and Ultraman finally appears. He rams Ron Pearlmonster, and explodes him, the end, that was your big monster fight.
      Epilog: GIRLS SURE LOVE TO SHOP! Grab them by the Visa!


      I would've been better off just watching Ultraman last night. 930 is around my normal Sunday bedtime, so I watched the debate, but didn't retain a lot.
      Typical exchange: COOPER: I'm holding up an orange. What color is this orange?
      CLINTON: I passed laws that help all the people of America, everywhere in America, even on the Moon, I am here to fight for you like Lincoln, I shall now smile a lot, I would smile even if a snapping turtle clamped onto my ankles.
      TRUMP: ISIS. ISIS beheads people, they use their heads to go bowling, it's a disaster, everyone in America is already dead, for 30 years she has given lollipops to ISIS, I have a plan. It involves Hilary's emails, and also burning her at the stake, and not a Trump steak, the best steaks ever, believe me. Now I will scowl like I'm passing a kidney stone the size of Gibraltar. Also: SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF.
      They just gave their canned responses with little relevance to the actual question, although Clinton tailored her remarks better. Trump didn't do as badly as the first debate. But what could he have done that was worse? Fuck a dead squirrel? The only interesting thing was watching Trump trying not to explode, stomping around behind Clinton, twitching his face, and frequently grabbing one wrist with the other hand, as if he could barely keep from murder. Huh, reminds me of something, I wonder what...


      We'll see how things shake out over the next few days. Here's as good a summation of the debate as you'll get.


      I did the Usual with Her, junk shopping. Jess and I only do it in 2 places. My mind went on autopilot and I drove towards the place we weren't going, not catching it until I'd skipped 2 exits. I apologised for being 20 minutes late, but she just said "It's not like I've never kept you waiting!"
      Putnam has changed. A new store or two, and the YMCA project, delayed for years, may have now stopped. The Pink House, long closed and renamed by us The Mold House, still rots away. It's now so gross from the busted, leaking radiator spewing mildew that you wouldn't go in there even if you were Donald Trump's soul.
      Just our usual good time together, catching up and cracking wise. She said "Ooh, Tales of the Crypt! I loved that show!" I said "I think this was the most terrifying monster they ever had," and pointed at a picture of Reagan.
      The usual. I bought nothing, she bought a lot of very cheap things. Almost all were old children's books about kittens, a 1970 issue of "Walt Disney Presents," and a 1971 magazine called "Sex to Sexty." It was naughty cartoons with naked ladies and sex. She'll put it with her 1966 Playboy in her coffin table, which is a coffee table except it's a coffin. I'm sure you've read this page long enough to know that Jess is a little bit odd.
      At our usual Putnam lunch place, Something Special, we looked through her collection of cards. bought for $4 for a bag of, I dunno, a hundred? All sent mail, all to the same family, and almost all dated 1957. I mentioned that they were sent before I was born, which led to a conversation about the 18 year difference in our ages. We've known each other for 19 years, we've been friends for literally half her life!
      We shared memories and laughed, shared other memories and didn't. Serious to laughing and back. The Usual. The Usual Awesomeness one shares with a good friend.



      I had one of those days off where I just sleep all day. No reason, beyond "I'm tired." Happens every 2 or 3 months.
      After crawling out of bed at 5PM, I watched Ultraman. I wasn't planning on a scene-by-scene commentary like last week, so here's the plot:
      A Kenny--you know, a kaiju-obsessed little boy in ridiculously short pants--draws a monster on a concrete sewer pipe. Because of "light factions of the cosmic rays," all 2D drawings now become ALIVE, and his shitty graffiti turns in to an ACTUAL HUGE MONSTER that looks remarkably like a used condom. This hideous crime against reality promptly DESTROYS TOKYO AND KILLS THOUSANDS actually, it just lies down and takes a nap.
      Of course, Our Heroes, the psychopaths of the Science Patrol, proceed to bomb the fucking shit out of some giant banana slug catchin' some Zs. This outrages the planaria so much, that it wanders away and disappears. I mean literally fades away.
      Whoa! Exciting!
      This prompts our hideous child gang of brats, all in booty shorts, to draw a bigger monster on a sewer pipe, because...Wait. Everything 2D comes alive? Shouldn't billboard pictures become alive? Or Banksy graffiti? How about SOME 12 YEAR OLD BOY'S SPRAYPAINTED DRAWING OF A DICK?! Or is it just restricted to concrete sewer pipes? (Which are guarded by a guy with the phoniest paste-on mustache ever. Shouldn't his FAKE MUSTACHE COME ALIVE?)
      Ignoring the science of this, this new and bigger and more vicious monster stomps into to town, and ruthlessly
      ...takes a nap.
      Then the brats are somehow on a dam (I think these episodes were longer in the original Japanese. Or involved a lot of opium dreams). Ultraman proceeds to beat the shit out of a monster that has literally done nothing but sleep. Dude, just put his hand in some warm water. The horrible brats who magicked this lazy thing into existence beg Ultraman to not hurt him. So, after beating the shit out of it, Ultraman flies it into the airless void of space and tells the little jerks to "Look for him in the STARS," by which he means there's now a constellation called Sleepy Kaiju. Or maybe some orbiting corpse, asleep forever.
      So it's a battle against a monster whose only crime is Sleeping in a Public Space. It's like some gentrified city where, instead of putting spikes on the park benches so the homeless can't sleep there, they put land mines that kill passersby.
      Watch it here, if you think I'm exaggerating.



      Ultraman, "The Science Patrol to Outer Space." You'd think that there'd be more words to that title, but there
      This involves an astronaut, who goes to space in a rocket (despite the SP having, you know, actual rocket ships). He is wearing a space suit, and under it, a 3-piece suit. Not wearing a tie? Forget the Third Encounter, the aliens won't talk to you after the Second one!
      An alien baseball lodges it self in the rocket's butt and makes it fly around. This is now the SECOND time "rocket up the butt flies something around" has appeared. Out of two.
      Using a translator gadget that a character invented last month, we find out the bug-headed, paddle-footed aliens called the Baltans are behind this! Nothing is actually translated, unless the Baltan's voices are translated in Dalek. (THEY TALK LIKE THIS! THIIIIS!)
      Speaking of speaking, if you skip to the 7 minute mark, you can hear a Science Patroller making disgusting "NOM NOM" noises. If you click to the 12 minute point, you can hear the Baltan say (direct quote):
      "UURT. Moo! Duh. WHA! WHA! Mra. MRAA? Whoosh!"
      ASTRO-TIE-WEARING MAN: "OH! You're going to enter my consciousness! Don't do that, DON'T DO THAT!" BALTAN "MWAH HA HA!" acid trip ensues
      Go click on the link. That's what happens. I don't have to make this shit up, it's already there.
      Now, Baltan is in Tie Astronaut's hand, the size of a Pez dispenser PLEASE READ PREVIOUS SENTENCE ABOUT MAKING IT UP
      Major Tom Tie blows mini Baltran from his hand, who then regains his full size. He flies to Earth in his butt-plug spaceship. After a brief glimpse of Frank Lloyd Wright's outhouse, SP is flying a spaceship. It launches because of its superior design, Estes model rocket engines and visible strings. But the butt-plug reaches Earth, and oh no, it's an ovum! Multiple Baltrans are birthed by it, while making a squeedely-squee-diddle-dee noise.
      WHY WOULD I MAKE SHIT LIKE THIS UP?! Watch the YouTube!
      Dialog: "MMM! Uh hmm OOH!" followed by "OH! Oh OH!" What am I, your UltraStenographer?
      Lady SP agent talks into a shoe.
      Idiot SP guy shoots the babbling Baltrans buzzing his ship with a ray gun that fires from a hole in his 2000KPM ship, from behind a wad of cotton. The Baltrans go back to the Space Ovary. Astro-Tie has been rescued--still in his perfectly pressed and dry cleaned suit--but has been consciousness-entered. "AHHH-HAHAHAHA!" is what he says, and his terrible laughter causes this other SP ship to wobble--wait, did I not say there's another ship? This one has a lot of rivets, because the airless vacuum of space fears rivets.
      Crash landing! I guess, we didn't get to see it. "UHHH--mmm, ow," followed by Suit Man waving adorably from a rock, then laughing "HAAAAAA...HAHAHAH!" and the hero grunting, this ep has some Pulitzer Prize eligible dialog is all I'm saying.
      Well, 2 minutes to go, so--ULTRAMAN! Baltran Giant deflects his Stink-Eye Beam with rearview mirrors, Ultra responds with--wait. Are those pixie boots? Is Ultra wearing shoes stolen from Santa's elves? Rudolph:
      "We are Santa's elves!
      Stole these boots ourselves!
      No toes on our feet, Santa loves frostbite!
      Death to the Jolly Elf!" (uprising begins)
      Baltran tries to kill Ultra with a big fart. Ultra cuts him in half with a flying donut.
      The Baltran sperm are back, wreaking havoc to stock footage! Also, Giant Baltran is back for Reasons. Ultra's donut attack fails, so he gives him his Laser Eyeball Cruller. This also fails! So Ultra does both again, and now they work. Some SP guys are trapped on Planet R (wait, what?) but are rescued by some other SPs on a ship I've never seen before (Whaaat...). The End.
      Do you know how much harder it would be to actually make this shit up? How many plays do think Shakespeare could get away with, if 2 in a row included the stage direction "Exeunt left, with a rocket up his butt"?


      It took some research, but I've found Shakespeare's First Folio v0.1, which includes the lines: "Once more into my britches, my friends!"-- Richard Rocketbutt the Third, and "Out, out, damn Sputnik!"--Lady MacButtnik.

      This Ultraman episode/descent into madness is titled "Passport to INFINITY, man! WHOA HOLY POPPING POPE WITH A BANDSAW, WHAT THE FUCK THE FUCK THEY SAID DON'T TAKE THE BROWN ACID BUT I DID!"
      Like all Ultraman eps, it begins normally, as a guy named Sir Yesterday uses a tack hammer on a space turd. Then...I'm not going to try. This was made around the same time Ralph Bakshi was doing his Spider-Man cartoon Dementia 5. He saw this and said, "I thought we were on ALL the drugs! What are these Japanese smoking, expired sushi? GET ME SOME!"
      The space turd now looks like Deadpool passed a giant kidney stone. It becomes...umm...thong underpants? Look out Trump, this pussy's gonna grab YOU!
      Then it starts getting weird.
      I will say no more. Except that Kenny appears, wearing a fedora, a long sleeve shirt, little booty shorts, black dress socks with...Well, they're on his feet, so let's call them "shoes." I leave the rest for you to discover. I will point out that I watched this under the influence of the Weed with Roots in Hell. And I didn't need to. This shit is fucked up. I will say that if you thought, as I did, "I sure hope I get through this without seeing a space turd and a kidney stone noisily fucking," you won't.

      Okay, this is kinda mean (after the Trump Toys bit)


      Note that this page has updated frequently since 10/14, despite what my FTP tells me.


      Another quote that may be things only said between me and a cat: "DJ, simple physics says that your butt and mine can't occupy the same space at the same time!"


      If he thinks the election's rigged, why is he running?
      If it's rigged, why is he asking people to vote for him?
      Does he not get that when he loses and refuses to concede, he still lost, and doesn't get to be Half-President for 4 years? There are legal reasons he could dispute the results, but "I WANT IT I WANT IT!!!" isn't one.
      Yeah, he's planning a thing called Trump News, for people who think Fox News isn't coming in clearly enough through their tinfoil hat. He should do a reality show instead, and call it "The Sorest Loser."


      Crimeny! (And you it's getting serious when I say "crimeny") I still have 3 eps of "Ultraman: Blunt Force Head Trauma Theater" to watch! Let's get through them briefly, as it's hard to type with a DJ on your lap.
      Brother from Another Planet: Alien, who is alternately 3 feet tall and 7 feet, crawls a wall, gets shot in the crotch with a ray gun (why would I make that up?), and looks like Tom Servo if he worked out except is also like a baked potato in tin foil, talks like his mouth is full of mashed potatoes, and has a literal sphincter for a mouth, says...something. Seriously, it's like trying to understand a sphincter that ate mashed potatoes and is drooling brown gravy, maybe I mentioned something that will make you never eat mashed potatoes with brown gravy ever again. Did I mention he's killing all of Tokyo with poison gas? I love children's TV!
      Oh, and the Alien Spudboy makes the gas that he made to go all away, and now he's a hero WTF seriously, that's just so fucked up, don't get me started. The rest is the standard mind control tropes. Tater Tot Tom says "GOM!" which from context I assume is "COME!" Shut the fuck up, Creature from Another Idaho. I want Ultraman to not be boring, but insane. Or at least understand the endless alien monologs that are always "GUM GLOM MUH 23 SKIDOO!" I'd rather listen to opera sung by a Dalek. Last line, from the Kenny: "Ultraman is our friend, and I would like to hear someone say different!" Much as I would like to just say "Different!" I'll stick with "STFU Kenny."
      Okay, the next one is called "The Demons Once More," which I assume involves demons, but begins with an archaelogical dig that unearths a giant dildo. Rest of ep: Boring. Two monsters appear and fight, the air force is obliterated again, the Science Patrol shoots at them with pistols and this works somehow, and then "USE THE ATOM GUN! AIM FOR THE EYES!" and it fires a Nerf dart, Ultraman appears in the literal last minute and wins ("Ultraman WON!, he WON!"), the fucking end. This the dullest kaiju I've seen, and I own a copy of "Monster From A Prehistoric Planet."
      Okay, maybe I'm losing interest, or these eps are getting less psycho as they reach the end of the season, but I think I'll put this to rest for the night. The last ep begins with a security guard frightened by honking swans, and is titled "Terror on Route 87." Look. I'm from Connecticut. The only terrifying title we'd have involving a route number would be called "Tractor Trailer Overturns on I-95 in North Haven; Evening Commute may Devolve to Cannabalism." (We here call that "Friday")
      For people east of the Connecticut River: "Mass Pike Overwhelmed by Zombie Pilgrims with Arrows Through Their Hats; Expect a 5 Minute Delay to Run Over Corpses." The rest of you can insert your own words like Mad Libs.





      Customer, quite happy to find Mount Veeder cabernet at $30 a bottle: "At a restaurant they charged my $20 for a glass!"
      Donald Trump Is Opening The Dumbest Cocktail Bar In America. Best part: "There is also, inexplicably, a section of the menu called BY THE CRYSTAL SPOON that offers literal spoonfuls of wine for anywhere from $15 to $140."



      I have hit the point where, even if I agree with someone's politics, I don't want to talk about the fucking election. My Mom is now like that, and Mom not talking politics is like her giving up eating and breathing.
      There's an idiot Trumpie at work who believes everything he reads on right wing nut job websites. There's also a pro-Clinton one who is caught up on more accurate news. Trumpie at least shuts his cakehole, you Nazi! with most customers. Pro-Clinton does not, to the point I saw her screaming at a customer about it.
      Ever work with a Jesus Person, who tries to proselytize and convert you and everyone who comes in? Yeah, that's her.
      I think I made her mad tonight. She brought up the FBI email thing, and I said "Remember in June, when he basically cleared Clinton on that, and all the Republicans hated FBI Boss and said 'IT'S POLITICAL!' and hated him, and the Democrats said 'This is a reasonable decision' and loved him? Now the Democrats are 'It's political and we hate him!' and the Republicans are 'The system may not be rigged and we love him!'?"
      She said "YES!" and then proceeded to do that exact same thing, even blaming Repubs for their hypocrisy. IT' S THE SAME GUY! PICK ONE VIEWPOINT AND STICK WITH IT! Around the 20th time she tried to engage me, I just went and--I don't know, stock the shelves and cooler like I get PAID to do? She didn't talk to me the rest of the night.
      I never thought I'd side with some drooling moron Trumpie, but I'm thinking of telling the Owner to ask her to tone it down. She's working both this Monday and Tuesday nights...I can't wait.


      I'm about 25 minutes into X-Men: Apocalypse. So far, there's been a lot to laugh about that I don't think was meant to be laughed at. Such as its depiction of 1983 East Berlin, where uniformed East German officers and spiked-mohawked guys comingled, and the USA high school with a course apparently called "Exposition Dump About Mutants" for students with more forehead wrinkles than I have. Hint to members of a cult secretly trying to resurrect a mega-mutant from 5600 years ago: Maybe don't go to work with obviously visible neck tattoos that say "We're members of a cult secretly trying to resurrect a mega-mutant from 5600 years ago." Maybe wear a turtleneck that day.


      I checked "How far are we into X-Men: Apocalypse?" and groaned when it turned out to be 40 minutes. Or 15 minutes after yesterday's post. Note: 100% spoilers from here on out.
      It was like a Transformers movie: You kinda knew what was going on, except that every third scene seemed to be missing, and every fourth contradicted something from 10 minutes earlier. If Apocalypse has been entombed for 7,583 years, how come we see him in Christian imagery? How do you know "He always has Four Horsemen"? He's "the First Mutant," and his vaguely-defined power seems to be stealing the powers of other mutants. But if there aren't any other mutants...It'd be like being the First Person Who Can Only Live on Cheetos, and Cheetos haven't been invented yet. (Correction to yesterday: the opening scene isn't 5600 years ago, it's set in 5600 BCE, which I think means "Before Cheeetos were Eaten."
      His evil plan is...I'm not super sure, I think steal Prof X's powers, even though he kind of has those already. Also...I admit to thinking "This is boring" and partaking of a single hit the Weed with Roots in Hell, but...why did he launch all the world's nuclear missiles? And into space? Where they disappear, and I mean from the plot. How he does it is even more baffling. He mind-controls everyone nuke-launching guy in the world at once, and also the people who chose the targets? Maybe a bit of the first draft got left in by mistake? Maybe I missed something, but I'm not renting this again to find out.
      And let us not give recognition to the scene that makes fun of Return of the Jedi (for it is in the year 1983 that our story begins). "The third movie is always the worst one!" someone says. Yes, director/writer Bryan Singer, Ratner's X-Men: Last Stand was the third X-Men movie, and also bad. It was also 10 years ago. And also? This is your third movie in your reboot. Maybe not a thing you want to draw attention to.





      Customer, to coworker: "Do you have Barefoot California Sweet Red wine?"
      "Yes! It's right here."
      "That says Barefoot Sweet Red Blend. I want Barefoot California Sweet Red."
      "This is the only sweet red they have."
      "I want Barefoot California Sweet Red, this says Barefoot Sweet Red Blend."
      "This is their only sweet red, right here."
      "I don't want Barefoot Sweet Red Blend. I want Barefoot California Sweet Red."
      It should've taken 5 seconds, but this Moebius loop of a conversation went on for five minutes. It only ended when he called his wife, and she confirmed that she wanted the...well, the only thing they make with that name.
      Then he wanted help with the beer. "I want Heineken," he told me, "but this is Heineken Light."
      "Here's the regular Heineken."
      "That's Heineken Light, I don't want that. I want Heineken."
      "This is the regular Heineken, right here."
      "I don't want Heineken Light. I want..."
      I hope the guy isn't conscious if he ever needs an emergency blood transfusion. "I only want Type O." "This is Type O!" "I don't want Type B-Negative. Only O. Let me call my wife..." (dies)

      Different, rabidly pro-Trump coworker, to a fellow Trumpie customer: "If she wins, are you going to riot?"
      "...No, I'm going to say 'whatever' and move on."
      The eagerness with which he wanted the guy to say "Hell yeah, white riot, WOO HOO!" was obvious, as was the other guy's unspoken "Wait, what? Are you nuts?"
      And of course, this is why you can't say "I can't wait for this election to be over!" Who says it will be? In the probably likely event Trump loses, he's not going to bow out with dignity. At best, he's going to try and sue his way to the White House. At worst, he'll do that while inciting his goon squad supporters to cause violence. And there will be, even on Tuesday. We'll have to see how his voter intimidation brownshirts--sorry, "poll watchers"--do to anyone going in to vote who they think looks like they'll vote against. I'm not expecting this in CT--at least not in my very white suburb--but I've already set my phone to speed dial 911.
      Also, if there is violence, do you think the police will do anything? These are white guys, not some redskins peacefully protesting a pipeline, leave them alone! Like we did when those white guys occupied that state park in Oregon! And then we found them not guilty of doing what they so obviously did!


      I went to the dumpster. Then, after voting, I threw out the clumped cat litter ha ha ha!
      I threw the litter out first. Then I voted.
      I got the second closest spot, thus eluding the local candidates in their designated zone. One of the GOP guys had Captain America's shield. I'm guessing he didn't know too much about the character. Steve Rogers would've voted for FDR in his first election!
      I guess it's good to live on a road beginning with R in my town, as it was the only table with no line. I dropped my ballot in the machine with no line. I got in my car at the same time a really old guy got into his next to mine ("really old"="older than me"). He had an SUV with an NRA sticker, so I guess we just cancelled each other's vote out.
      And now there's nothing to do but wait.


      In the meantime, here's a question I fully admit I should've brought up months ago, one which could decide the Presidency:
      What do the candidates smell like?
      CLINTON: The blood of the 32,000 people she personally ordered murdered, 4,127 of whom are Vince Foster, who she has repeatedly brought back to life through her skill at necromancy just so she could kill him again; an Afghan wedding party with cordite; probably a hint of vanilla extract
      MCMULLIN: Smell of Mormon magic underwear that hasn't been washed since August; gun oil and Axe spray; oatmeal cookies
      STEIN: Mulch; bongwater; Jennifer McCarthy's ass
      JOHNSON: "A Smell? What's A Smell?"; Gollum after a shower; Ayn Rand's farts; flop sweat
      TRUMP: The best ever; take a whiff of this armpit; you have never smelt anything better and I dealt it; naked Putin riding a bear; the inside of Mussolini's hat
      You now have all you need to vote!


      I went to bed at 930, got up around 130, said "Are you fucking kidding me?" and went back to bed a couple of hours later.
      My new downstairs neighbor woke me at 730, stomping on his floor. Note: I live on his roof. As I laid there, I noticed that it was 3 stomps towards the bedroom door, then 3 stomps back. For almost 5 minutes. I thought "I bet someone just found out the results of the election."
      Ever read that Marvel one-shot comic in which, after much scheming and plotting, Doctor Doom finally, and literally, takes over the world? He gives it up at the end, because running the world is actually pretty boring. How long do you think Donald J. Temperment of Explosive Diarrhea is going to stand managing the nuts and bolts of governing? I have a feeling that the GOP will have buyer's remorse by April.
      I'm glad that this was the first election that I closely followed, because it'll be the last. Could they have been any more wrong? Nate Silver's next job is going to be saying "I believe there's a 52.8% probability that you want fries with that."
      I had lunch with my Mom today. It was not the victory toast we thought it'd be. I was hoping I'd greet her with "When you were planting your Victory Garden in 1943, did you ever think you'd see the first black president followed by the first woman president?!" Instead, we're dealing with the type of guy that she was planting vegetables to defeat. She said "There won't be a woman president, at least in my lifetime." She had tears in her eyes.
      Also, if Stump had won the popular vote and lost the electoral college, would he and his stormtroopers accept it?
      On the plus side: no one can blame me for whatever the government does for 2 to 4 years, and Massachusetts passed the legalization of pot. I may need it.

      And this may cheer you up: MechaTrump vs Mexico.





      Let's talk about toilets!
      Mine started leaking all of a sudden earlier this week. Coincidence, or omen of a prophecy of a harbinger of the election, with a side of rancid orange kimchi? (Coincidence) So I had to get that fixed, because everything I tried to do made it worse. So I turned the water off, and flushed it by pouring a bucket of water down the bowl.
      But it leaked into the downstairs guy's ceiling, so it needed to be fixed. The condo ass wanted it done yesterday. So did I! I was home by 430, but the handyman never returned my call, and there was a lot of calling back and forth before I scheduled an appointment for today. It meant leaving work early, but there were enough people on that it wouldn't matter.
      All he did was tighten a rubber gasket and charge me the what would translate to $75 an hour for him to use a really big screwdriver. Hell, I'll pay $25 to have functioning indoor plumbing!
      Byron kept a watchful distance; Killsy peered from a nearby safe spot; DJ disappeared under the bed. It was suggested yesterday that I leave a key somewhere so that the handyman could get in by himself, but NO, they'd be traumatized every time that the front door opened, even if it was me.
      To continue about toilets, the Trumpie coworker who eagerly asked customers "If she wins, will you riot?!" spent all day whining about anti-Trump protests. "What are they protesting? It was a free and fair election!" which is exactly what he would've not said if Cheeto Mussolini had won the popular vote and lost the electoral college. The oldest right wing trope is "We have free speech in this country, so you'd better not use it!"
      He then believed a "news report" on his phone that said the Clintons were getting divorced. I will grant that he said "I want to believe this, but it looks fake!" After 2 hours of trying to find confirmation and failing. It's called, check it out sometime. It's easier to read if your head isn't up your ass.


      Fal-chan, from the Comments:      The first election I voted in was Carter vs Reagan. I was not happy when I went to bed, but I thought "Reagan barely got 50% of the vote, so he can't claim any 'mandate'!" Next morning's Hartford Courant headline: "REAGAN LANDSLIDE! Gets 50.75% of the popular vote." And then the media worshipped his Mandate.

      Very short cat video: "I wasn't doing anything!"


      Don't know about you, but I'm spending Thanksgiving with some comfort food and watching the Shout MST3K Turkey Day marathon in my pajamas. (Typical for Shout, there's no link yet. I'll put one up as soon as they announce it. Which, typical for Shout, will probably be the day before)
      My work schedule just isn't conducive to Thanksgiving. I work the day before, then have to be there at 8AM the day after. I'm always the first to leave, usually around 730. And it's always "Appetizers at 3, dinner at 430." And then I look at my watch and think "It's 615! Where's dinner?!" I sometimes don't even stay for dessert.
      Usually, there are 16 or more people there. Last year there were only 8. I don't think I'll be missed if it's 7. I sure won't miss some of them.


      A cold and grey rain fell yesterday, as the Queen of the Everything went to the vet for another blood test. The visit...could've gone better. I had to chase her around to get her in the carrier, and she pee'd in fear. The scale in the room there wasn't working, so I had to carry her to another room, her screaming the whole way there and back.
      She weighs 2 ounces less, which was an unwelcome surprise. The results of her blood test were "Kill Kill’s thyroid reading is still too high. He [sic] has come down from 14.6 to 9.6 to 6.2. A normal reading is under 4." So "he" needs an increase in her meds. A slight decrease in her weight and a big decrease in her thyroid is still a plus.

      This video was titled "Only in Russia would a cat get his own T34 tank":


      C'mon. That's not a T34, that's a KV-1! Duh!
      It was big and slow because it was massively armored. The Germans called it the "Russian Colossus," and their tanks usually ran when they saw it. Firing cannon shells at it basically just dinged the paint job.
      Since nothing succeeds like excess, the Soviets built the KV-2. It was bigger, with a bigger gun, even more armor, even slower, and even more--well, look at the damn thing.


      "When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a KV-2 on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth KV-2 stayed up! Mainly because it was resting on top of the other KV-2s, so when I moved it, it sank into the swamp. I just made me a road of sunken tanks and drove out of the swamp, is what I did."
      If you're wondering what the KV stood for, it means Kliment Voroshilov. He was notable at the time for not being killed by Stalin. While the KV-1 slowed the Nazi advance, the KV-2 is the second in "tanks you shouldn't name after a guy who's currently making tanks."



      Wow, bacteria, you picked the worse time of the year to make me sick. So I'll just leave with something that may make you feel good: All 92 episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast are now available to stream online for free


      The MST3K Turkey Day Marathon will apparently be at this link. Starts noon EST. I forget on what day.




      Well, that was fun. And it's not over yet!
      I caught a cold the evening before a week when I not only worked every damn day, but is also the week before Thanksgiving. This means increased business at work, and constant deliveries. 250 cases of beer yesterday, which I put away myself, because I didn't want to eat into everyone else's phone-staring time.
      Every cold is caused by a different virus--that's why you can get a chest cold or a head cold, but never ankle mumps or strep knee. This one was chest, with constant hacking coughs, fatigue, and a voice that increasingly sounded like Darth Vader choking on a chicken bone ("Luuuke--I am your GAK! Heimlich! Heimlich!"). I also walk 1.5 miles an hour at work. So, with no time to simply sleep it off, it just kept going on. I'm off today, but back at work at 8AM for the 2nd busiest day of the year tomorrow. So I could continue to stay sick.
      I did leave an hour early on 2 days. Yesterday was one, thanks to a coworker who said she'd close the store in my place. That was good. I bought 2 weeks worth of groceries last week, because I sure ain't going to a grocery store this close to Thanksgiving. But I was out of melatonin, and sleep is the thing I need the most. And 830 on a Monday is the time to shop, as there really wasn't anyone there. Even Sartre would've said "This isn't hell!" sorry I'm still sick. My melatonin didn't ring up on sale, so I told the person minding the self-serv roboregisters. She hit a button and fixed it. I thanked her, looked at the monitor, then turned to her and said "I just needed to get to the last screen, didn't I?" She smiled broadly and nodded.

      Thing that randomly occured to me: Nothing rhymes with nothing.
      Go ahead, think of a word that rhymes with nothing.
      There's this awesome song:


      But he's kind of rhyming "nuthin" with "sumthin," and it's in the middle of a line. He does better rhyming "soldier" with "told ya."
      Of course I checked, and found a page of near rhymes for nothing. Basically, it's just words that end in "-ing." Interesting ones: dressing, upswing, northing (what?), puffin, plumbing, augustin, dauphin, farthing, cufflink, suckling, gunflint, flooring, rawlings (?), hawfinch (??), Marvin, and my personal favorite, cummings. I assume that's e e cummings, the poet who never rhymed anything.
      Now that you haven't been able to come up with a good rhyme for nothing, try and make a song with lines that end in "nothing" rhyming with any of those words. "Got a puffin in my plumbing, but that ain't nothing. Stole the dauphin's cufflink, hid it under the flooring, it's worth a farthing. I got a doodle in my noodle and I call it MINKY BOODLE!"
      Gives this song a whole new meaning, doesn't it?


      Nothing rhymes with Oranges.

      In 12 hours, I'll be back at work. And probably catch toe measles.




      I think I may be ending this cold, which has gone on for 10 days. I think the cough and raspy voice will still linger, but at least I can finally sleep in for a few days. I'd make progress on my only days off, then go to work the next day, bust my ass working, and set myself back at square one. It probably wasn't helped by the fact they turned the heat off at work.
      Yes, in New England in late November. The owner's solution was to prop open the baathroom door (until I pointed out that that would just make the tiny bathroom colder), and to crank the heat in the upstairs stockroom, in the hope it would trickle down like tax cuts for the 1%. Since there's only a long narrow stairway connecting the floors, and it passes by the back door where it's always been the coldest, that worked about as well as cranking the heat in a car, rolling down the windows, and parking it with the engine running inside the store.
      The heating place was supposed to get back with a quote and didn't. He forgot about it until the day before Thanksgiving. So it won't get done until who knows when. It'll cost $4-5,000 to fix. But, Owner, maybe you can skip one of your monthly weeklong vacations out of the state, or out of the country, or out of the hemisphere for a month?
      So why did they just turn the heat off? Back when this was first discovered--and 2 weeks before the heat was turned off--he found out that the 12 year old heating system was spewing carbon monoxide into the store. Me, I would've gotten on that right away. But he's not me. And it was like we HAD parked a car with the engine running inside the store.


      The work phone rang a half hour before closing. A coworker mockingly said "What time do you close?" as I answered.
      "Hello, [store name]."
      "Yeah, we're open till 9."
      "I'm looking at you, and it sure looks like you're closed!"
      "No, we're open," while thinking "Why the hell else am I here answering the phone at 830?"
      "IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE--wait, are you [other store]?"
      "No, we're on the other side of town."
      "Oh...umm...never mind." And he sounded disappointed that he couldn't keep yelling at us..



      I fully agree, football announcer Kevin Harlan!

      I went junk shopping with you'll never guess blah blah blah.
      But! In an answer that may shock the more sensitive of the LTRotD, we did NOT go to Cracker Barrel--and we did not junk shop!
      C'mon, deep breaths there, deep breaths.
      We went to Traveler Book Restaraunt, a place we've never been. Unlike our last meeting, I did not go on autopilot and drive 2 exits too far. I went on autopilot and reflexively left as if we were meeting at our usual 11, not 1130. To kill time, I drove across the Massachusetts border 4 miles away where they have cheaper gas. I took the exit back to Traveler, and got lost. Which is crazy, as it's right off the damn highway. And Jess was 20 minutes late, having misjudged the time it would take her to get there and...also getting lost. The sign off the exit said "Union CT" this way and "Holland MA" that way, but it was as accurate as "All of Canada is north."
      It's diner/truck stop food. We both had a grilled cheese with fries, and it was just food. Edible, nothing exciting. We talked about our families on holidays, the election, cat litter experiences (between her 8 cats and her feral colonies, she goes to PetSmart and buys it by the literal pallet!). The best part of Traveler is the book part. You get 3 free books each with a meal! She got a children's book about cats. I got "Tarnished Heroes, Charming Villains and Modern Monsters," about scifi on 21st century TV--Who/Torchwood, Galactica, Heroes, Whedon. It...apparently is a textbook? I'm not sure. And "Six Armies in Normandy," because I guess I need to read about D-Day again, it was free.
      There's a bookstore downstairs. The 5/$1 bin no longer existed, and I got an InExOb or two from there. She Who Walks in Beauty Like the Night got another kids' book about cats. "Cross Country Cat," I think, about a cat who goes cross-country skiing, with gorgeous 2 page paintings of the silly subject.
      I got "I Lie for a Living," about the greatest spies. It's from the International Spy Museum, and I'd say that's a real thing, as the bookmark is a ticket to the ISM, dated JUL 10 12 10AM, $15.85 paid by Visa, Status: MUSEUM YO. I assume that means "Youth," because "My name is Bond. James Bond, YO!" just doesn't work for me.
      "Weird War: Curious Military Trivia," which may or may not be interesting. It was $4. "If the Allies had Fallen: 60 Alternate Scenarios of WWII." Doesn't all seem to be "Wouldn't it have been AWESOME if the Nazis had won?!" Although the only section the previous owner had circled in pen was "What if Hitler had left the soldiering to the soldiers?" Having read the first 2 pages of that section, I think that the author (the book has 19 authors) says "Pretty much the same."
      And I found "Uncle John's Biggest Ever Bathroom Reader," which has some overlap from the other UJ books, but $2.40 for a 750 page slab seems okay to me. This also had several bookmarks, and I shit you not, someone took the title a little too literally and they're pieces of toilet paper. Unused, thank gourd.
      I skipped on a book from a time when people were easier to entertain. It was how to make cat's cradles out of string. It was 400 pages.
      In the parking lot, she dealt with the unresponsive used iPod 160GB I bought. It works perfectly, except for the whole "transfers music from iTunes to itself" part. Jess, who knows a lot more than I do about electronics in general and iPods in particular, plugged it into her laptop and spent about 20 minutes trying to get it to transfer music, and no go. The seller has been super helpful. All I want is a replacement, but the whole thing is baffling. I restored it to factory settings 3 times, ran the diagnostic test that sure seemed like the drive wasn't about to fail, I dunno. I'll try to see if the old computer reboots one last time (it won't), and then send it back.
      Then she gave me a little bit of something that will be legal in her state in 2 weeks. You may have picked up over the last 2 decades that she's my favoritest human ever for so many reasons.

      Xmas ornaments I might buy, if I didn't despise Xmas. Needs one that's 3 Japanese carolers singing "Si-il-ent Night, Sho-nen Knife..."

      Hey, Spy Museum Guy! From that ticket, I already know a lot more about YOU then you'll ever know about ME! In fact--I've been expecting you!







      Huh. I haven't been too writey here lately, have I?
      I could've written about Saturday, when coworker Trumpy decided to drink. A lot. He bought a 4 pack of Back East Imperial Stout, which is 8%ABV. I don't know if he drank all of them at work, but if he did, that's like 8 Buds worth of alcohol. Then he bought a Kahlua white Russian. Or 2. I saw him drinking Coke, and thought "Maybe that will sober him up." Then he said "It's like peppermint and Coke!" and he was putting peppermint flavored vodka in it. By the end of the night, he wasn't drunk, he was totally shitfaced. He's a "life of the party" drunk, at least in his mind. He began singing misogynistic rugby songs, made a rape joke, then began singing them AGAIN. I told him to shut up. He didn't get the clue.
      As we left, he slurred to me "I'll beat you to Vernon!" because we live in the same town. I blew out of the parking lot and made sure that he was nowhere near me on the highway. Yeah, you'll beat me home. Assuming you don't drive your fucking car into the Connecticut river.

      Now that I have spoken negatively about mind-altering substances, let me now speak postively of them! I'm sure that none of you guessed what Jess gave me last week due to my clever obfuscation, so hold onto your pants: it was marijuana! It was the first time I'd ever tried it, and 5 days later I'm hooked on heroin. Those Just Say No guys were right!
      It's of the medical variety. I assumed it she got it because of her curse of narcolepsy, but it turned out her husband had connections. Weed just falls into this guy's lap. Once they became regulars at a new pizza place in town, they began taping little baggies to their pizza boxes. Free. Without him asking. Since this wasn't after 12/15/16, when it becomes legal in Mass, they were eventually shut down by the cops. Note to Bay State residents: this is the perfect business. How many pizzas get ordered at 4:20? You could call it "The Pizza Pot" or "The Weed & Feed." I might call my business "Pizza Splut," but most people wouldn't get it.
      My usual thought with my old--like, 3 years old, at this point--stuff is "Do I want to smoke it and add 2 hours to my bedtime?" I didn't take into consideration that hers is medical. "It's a body high," she said as she gave me a tiny bud to try. I asked "What's that?" She said "It doesn't go to your head, like--" and she made the slack-jawed stare we who imbibe all know, "Instead, it makes you feel good all over." And this is the opposite of what I have. Feel really good for 90 minutes, then go to bed and sleep with awesome dreams, so that's its medical purpose. Can't wait for this to be legal this side of New England.

      In total proof that I've been slacking off here--and not from that stuff--I totally forgot to link to the annual Kirk Israel Advent Calendar! Always entertaining gizmos, and the first is a fun game. Because I can play it and not totally lose!

      Peter Sellers not-sings the Beatles:





      Long-time friend Lily asked this is the Comments:
      "I'm confused about why you didn't stop your drunk co-worker from driving (by, say, calling the cops on him, or a cab). What if he hit a car full of kittens? Or a weed delivery truck?"
      I don't have much to say in my defense. I should've mentioned that all the obnoxious behavior I witnessed came in the last 10 minutes before closing, which was when I became aware of how fucked up he was. I can't really call the cops and say "Watch a white pick up truck heading east." I don't know his license plate, or even the make and model. I don't even know what route he takes home, except that I take a slightly different one, as I never see him. And, while this is no justification for my inaction, I worked 11 years with the Drunken Toddler. I kind of got used to it. This job, even under its new owner today, is remarkably tolerant of drinking at work.


      Have a Froggy-Stabby Christmas!
      That line will make more sense once you see these Victorian Xmas cards!
      I didn't say the card would make any more sense.


      I'm sending back (with regret) the iPod that wouldn't sync. Not for me, or for the far more technically proficient Jess. Hopefully I can get a new-used one that works; thta's all I want.
      I was looking for some packaging to send it back in--yeah, the box it was shipped in went into the recycling, and may currently being processed into toilet paper that might one day wipe my ass. I went looking in some old shipping boxes.
      I do mean old. A padded envelope and a small box, USPS dated Oct 19 '99 and Jul 14 '00. They were in a bigger box, and--why the hell is an empty box so heavy? Hidden under a piece of cardboard were two Dungeons & Dragons modules. Not a thing I would ever order, and the way they were packed...either the shipper left them in there by mistake, or they were just worthless as more than packing material.
      For the none of you who particularly care, the AD&D modules are "Al-Qadim: Corsairs of the Great Sea," part of the "Arabian Adventures" series, and thus likely soon illegal to own without deportation. The other is something called "High Adventure Cliffhangers," some other TSR system based on everybody's favorite sci-fi franchise, Buck Fucking Rogers. Based on the comic strip only read by people who are currently dead.
      I guess some simpler RPG, as stats aren't numbers, but instead seem to go "OK, Good, Better, Best." The Western Hemisphere is divided into "Orgzones," places where one has orgasms maybe. (Individual locations are called "G-Spots") Very midwestern-USA oriented, with such major metropolises as Coumbus, Davenport, and Omaha. "To the eyes of a 20th century native, New York's skyline might not have changed much over the centuries...the familiar Empire State Building and World Trade Center are still standing." (Copyright date: 1993)
      It was on a table piled with old clothes. Poking around the area more, I found 2004's "Book of the Dumb 2" by Scalzi, in unread condition, that I had obviously bought and completely forgot about. Maybe, umm, I should tidy up more?



      I quickly dropped off my returned iPod at the UPS store. In the parking lot was a car with no visibilty through its rear windshield. It was covered in stickers. Such as "WAY 2 LOW," "Speed Bumps are my Hell," and "PANTY DROPPER." Plus 5 more. It seemed to be au unmodified Honda CRV, aka a mini-minvan. Vanity license plate: LOWLYFE. Lady readers of the female woman kind, are your panties still secure?

      Yesterday I was taking out the recycling as a neighbor was coming in. She held the door open and said "Are you coming out?" I said "But you're coming in, with a pizza! It's getting cold out there!" Rock beats scissors, pizza beats recycling, yes?
      Her box had no logo, so I knew it wasn't from the People's Choice Pizza Soviet Collective. I haven't been there since my old downstairs neighbor worked there, and hated hearing my cats romp, and I don't want a free topping called Saliva. (DON'T LIVE WITH SOMEONE ON YOUR CEILING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR WALKING ON YOUR CEILING, christ I knew that before I got my first college apartment at age 19)
      She said it was from Paul's Pizza, which I wasn't aware of. I ran into her today while grabbing my mail, and said "I just came from Paul's Pizza!" She sing-songed "You're going to en-joy it!" CRIMENY, was she right. I've lived by the best pizza in town for THIRTY YEARS and didn't know it. Me eating all but one slice of a small pizza is unheard of, and that was only because there was no room in my stomach for another slice.

      I've been flipping through those D&D modules I got for free somehow. The Buck Rogers one has illustrations from the 1930s comic strip. Is the game supposed to be as dumb as the comics? One of your allies against the evil Yellow Peril Mongols/Han Dynasty/buck-toothed monkey stereotypes is Chile. They have the world's best sunken navy. Meaning, very good submarines. This is helpfully illustrated by a picture of a sub underwater, with captions pointing arrows at "SUB" and "WATER." This is like "PIZZA" and an arrow pointing at "MOUTH-HOLE."
      The Al-Qadim (R) rulebook has a suggested retail of $18. There's a lot of stuff in that box, maps and guides and such, but $18 is kind of a lot for one game.
      Oh, wait--The introduction lists no less than five other things you need to own before trying this. Before I buy my Chilean sub, I have to buy Lake Titicaca first? One is called the "AL-QADIM (R) MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM (R) Appendix (MC13)." You just know that you're going to look at your library of Monstrous Compendiums, and see that you have every one up to MC12, and the next one is MC14! But here's MC87, the one called "Diseases you can get from Monsters: Volume 1; Trolls and their Genital Warts (T). That's just TYPICAL.
      At least I can say about these manuals, "Hey, I didn't pay for this, someone gave me a compendium of troll genital warts!" Wait that's not better


      Connecticut had a Severe Cold Weather Protocol yesterday, which is only the word "Bourne" from being a Robert Ludlum title. It was cold, like 20 F, or below zero for people with rational temperaure measurements. What I was worried about was the wind. Casa del Splut resides on the top of a hill, and high wind sucks the heat right out of the place. (Although I should point out that I whine when the indoor temp drops below 70)
      The threatened 60 MPH gusts didn't happen. I doubled up my pajamas to be safe. I eventually put on a ball cap (logo: Catalyst Records, a defunct modern classical music label). Byron fixed an unblinking stare on the hat for a solid 15 minutes. He never made eye contact with me, just stared at the hat. When he finally walked away, DJ jumped in my lap and pushed his nose against the hat's brim to knock it off my head. The only time my hat has ever got this much attention was at the Salvation Army, when a college girl kept staring at my "Disney's Angels of the Outfield" hat, which I modified by writing on it "TOLD ME TO KILL YOU". In retrospect, I should've just slowly turned my face and smiled at her with dead eyes, never breaking eye contact. Seriously, try doing that in front of a mirror and see how quickly you creep yourself out.


      After Friday's apocalyptic weather forecast, Saturday was going to have snow. Going from life-threatening wind chills one day, to 3 inches of snow the next, with it getting warm enough that it would all melt. "Changing to rain by 9AM." Perfect! I thought. I don't have to be at work until 11.
      And when I got out of bed at 945, there was already 6 inches on the ground, at near-whiteout conditions. Perfect.
      The condo association hadn't plowed the driveway, so I crept down the hill in low gear. What, the town hadn't plowed the secondary roads? Or the busiest one in town?! Just get to the highway, there's no way the state hasn't
      NOPE. Nobody plowed any fucking which where, because "It's all going to melt!" Well, tell that to my car, which is pivoting across the highway with the anti-skid light constantly blinking. It took me 20 minutes to drive 3.5 miles, and my math said it would take me at least another hour to get to work. On a day when I was scheduled for only 5 hours anyway. I said Fuck This, pulled over and called the Owner, then began driving home. He callled after he got to work about 15 minutes later, when I was still driving the 3.5 miles back. He said "I live 10 minutes from the store, and it took me 45 to get here." I said "I'm not coming in," as there was already an extra person coming in, and he said 3 times "But you're the only one who can do the beer cooler!" Well...Maybe it's time that you had more than person do a job that's "Is this missing from the shelf? Maybe I should find it and put it on the fucking shelf then." IT AIN'T HARD. It's harder than standing behind the counter staring at your phone, arguing about sports, while getting drunk, sure. "Oh, Bill! No one can feed themselves; please come in for a few hours to regurgitate food into their mouths, you're the only one who knows how to chew!"
      He said he'd call me if he needed me, so I kept my phone by me until it became "I'm sure not fucking going in for an hour!"
      He didn't say anything today--when it was raining and nearly 3 times the temp on Friday, global warming is a hoax, everything is normal--so I guess it was okay that I didn't try killing myself to get there. On Saturday, we did $5700 in business, which is pathetic, and Sunday (when I was there) we did $3900 in half the time.
       Most annoying: slogging on the way home Saturday, the state and town still hadn't plowed, but the private contractors were clearing all the parking lots. I should've plugged in my GPS and told it "find me a way home that only goes through parking lots."

      The AV Club's 20 worst films of 2016.



      I have no idea how they managed it, but congrats to the person in Seattle who found this page out of 43,900 hits for "Trojan Super Value Pleasure Pack Lubricated Condoms, 100 Count".

      I carded a couple from Indiana the other day. I realized I don't know a lot about those weird states in the middle of the continent that begin with I. Illinois has Chicago, and...Downer's Grove? Iowa, Indiana, who knows. All I know of Idaho is the amazing slogan on their license plates:
      "We need a slogan that will bring tourists from all over the world to our state! You've been brainstorming this for weeks, let's hear what you got!"
      "...Yes, yes, we have potatoes. But I don't picture someone in Europe saying 'I'd sure like me some taters right 'bout now! Better charter a jet to Boise!' C'mon, think of something else you experience in Idaho every day!"
      "Umm...on the way to work, I stepped in cow shit."
      "That's not going to fit on the plate! And our slogan is NOT going to be--" (everyone begins scraping their shoes) "How'd that cow get in our front lobby anyway?"
      Thanks to our slogan, Connecticut is the first destination for tourists with chronic diarrhea everywhere! Oh, sorry, our slogan is "Constitution State"; I read that as "Constipation State."
      State license plate slogans run the gamut. Believe me, I ran a 26K gamut just yesterday. There's the foreboding of NY's "EMPIRE STATE," and the latent threat in New Hampshire's "Live Free or DIE!" Why they didn't add "MOTHERFUCKER!" is a mystery. I know that they were trying to shorten "Give me Liberty, or give me death!" but it doesn't come across that way. "Dude, bro, brah! You spraypainted 'Live free or die' on the synagogue?!" "Man, I don't know how to spell 'swastika.'"
      Well, let's have a look.
      Alabama: Sweet Home Alabama. The only state slogan with a 1970s dis against Neil Young.
      Alaska: North to the Future; The Great Land; The Last Frontier. You can almost see the progression there, from a shot and a beer to 5 shots and 10 beers, followed with "I LIVE IN FUCKING ALASKA!" bitter weeping, then being eaten by a bear. The bear is on meth.
      Arizona: Grand Canyon State. "World's Biggest Pothole."
      Arkansas: "YOU! Idaho guy! What's our slogan?" "I've narrowed it down to Opportunity Land, Land of Opportunity, and OpporLandity."
      California: The Golden State. The Burnt Sienna State with a Hint of Ochre was already taken.
      Colorado: Colorful. Go home, Colorado, you're stoned.
      District of Columbia: The Nation's Capital; A Capital City; Celebrate & Discover; Taxation Without Representation. No, really, that's what their slogans are.
      Florida: Sunshine State. That's funny! I guess they didn't want to use "The Humidity Makes Us All Batshit."
      Idaho: Potatoes; Scenic; Vacation Wonderland; World Famous Potatoes; Famous Potatoes WHAT US WITH YOU AND THE DANG POTATOES?!
      Illinois: Land of Lincoln. Yeah, ride that funeral train for another 150 years. "Land of Emo Phillips," ever think of that?
      Georgia: Peach State. Indiana: Amber Waves of Grain. Iowa: The Corn State. Kansas: The Wheat State. Kentucky: Bluegrass State. Wow, Idaho guy, you sure got a lot of slogan jobs!
      Maine: Vacationland. "Where you going for winter vacation?" "Maine! I'm going to spend the whole time scraping frost off a moose!" Maybe in the summer, vacation in Piscataquis County, which is twice the size of CT, with a population less than my town, assuming you don't count the 4 billion blackflies. "I haven't been swarmed by clouds of bloodsucking insects in years, and my skin has so few welts!"
      Maryland: Drive Carefully. That's so--wait, what?
      Massachusetts: The Spirit of America. Here's your participation trophy, Mass.
      Michigan: apparently, there's a lot of water there. You get no trophy.
      Minnesota: 10,000 Lakes. I counted, there's only 9,986 lakes, you OWE ME LAKES. GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR!
      Mississippi: The Hospitality State. It does seem like a state where you'd spend time in the hospital.
      Missouri: Show-Me State. Look, I did, and got arrested on every street corner!
      Montana: Big Sky Country. "Our state is flat and boring, and you will look at our endless sky, yearning for the sweet release of death. It will come soon--just trespass on Ted Nugent's ranch."
      Nebraska: Cornhusker State. Famous cornhusks? Idaho Guy high-fived himself over this one, and then realized Nebraska paid him in husks.
      Nevada: The Silver State. Because, when you think of Nevada, you don't think of Las Vegas, you think "They're next to the state with the world's biggest pothole!"
      Apparently New Hampshire's alternate slogan is "Photoscenic." Not actually a word. Point that out, and you will DIE!
      New Jersey: Garden State. "G-A-R-D-E-N! That's a funny way to spell garbage!"
      North Carolina: First in Flight. Ohio: Birthplace of Aviation. WHICH STATE IS IT?! They also continue their rap battle with NC's Drive Safely and Ohio's Seat Belts Fastened? I wanted a damn knife fight over the flight thing!
      North Dakota: Discover the Spirit. No, really.
      "FUCK, I'M PERKY!"
      Oklahoma: Is OK! Well, good thing that you aren't named Stinklahoma!


      Tennessee: Sounds Good to Me. Giving Oklahoma a run in the low self esteem category.
      South Carolina : The Iodine State; The Iodine Products State. SC, thank you for doing my work for me. "The Iodine Products State" Idaho Guy is walking away, sadly shaking his head.
      Washington: Trojan Super Value Pleasure Pack Lubricated Condoms, 100 Count.
      My favorite of all of these: Wyoming: none.

      All you need to do is change a surname from 1981--"Reagan"--and history will repeat itself.




      The Reason for the Season is FUCKING HATEFUL XMAS MUSIC AT WORK
      The croaking of Bing the Undead. There are about 20 Xmas songs with a thousand versions each, so I hope you want to rum-a-pum-pum every hour! Say your prayers, because Santa Claus is coming tonight--and HE'S IN YOUR HOUSE. Of course I recall that guy, you just fucking SAID he's the most famous reindeer of all! What's an obscure flying ruminant, Adolph the Dead-Eyed Stuka? The only good Xmas song is about Frosty the Total Badass!
      Wait--Broomstick in his hand?! I thought they sang boomstick!





      I've always liked that quote, because 1) it assumes children who believe in Santy are watching Fox News, and 2), compares a fictional character with another fictional character. Maybe this year, they'll throw in the Wall-Building, Hilary-Jailing Swamp Drainer.

      Possibly because of the saccharine misery of Xmas music, at work I got the unpleasant earworm of the theme to Casper the Friendly Ghost. Which is weird, because I hated that cartoon even as a cartoon-loving kid. It's the same damn plot every time! If you are lucky enough to not already have that song in your head, I won't look for a Youtube of it. The key part:
      "He always says Hello, and he's really glad to meet cha!
      "Wherever he may go, he's kind to every living creature!"
      So he's a total dick to the rest of the unliving? Why's he always trying to befriend the living? Is that some weird spectral fetish, like reverse necrophilia?


      Who...who sells elk meat? That's like a sign that says "HIGGS BOSON MEAT" and instead they sell some hog-bison hybrid.

      Customer, 15 minutes before closing: "Do you have a bathroom I can use?"
      Coworker: "Yes, it's the white door on the right." (About 75% of customers then go to the black door on the left, which we find equally hilarious and baffling)
      "Can I bring my lady friend in there at the same time?"
      After he left, she said to me "You're not using our fucking bathroom!" and I said "You mean not using our bathroom for fucking."


      I decided to treat myself to a pizza as a reward for surviving Xmas. I went to A-1 Brick Oven Pizza. It was in a tiny strip plaza, with just a liquor store and nail place. The parking lot was festooned with with signs that said "PACKAGE STORE PARKING ONLY" and "NO NAIL SALON PARKING" and "I JUST GOT AN EXCUSE TO USE 'FESTOONED'." It didn't have signs saying "PARK HERE FOR PIZZA" so this pretty much left me with "Ramp your car onto the roof."
      I got a small Acalpulco pizza, which had Mexican hot sauce, something resembling hamburger, and pepperoni, because "Acapulco" just screams "the meat residue that is slightly better than hot dog meat." First bite: "Wow, this is greasy." After the first slice "WOW this is salty!" Was there a parking spot marked "Ambulances with Defibrillators Only"?
      I will spare you the details, but you should say when eating "This pizza is the shit!" and not the next day "That pizza gave me the shits."


      "Body, WAKE UP!"
      "Brain--fuck off."
      "Guess who's going to scream about it until you do? Hint: Me, YOUR BRAIN!"
      (sloughs out of bed)
      "WRITE IT DOWN!"
      "It is...writed down."
      "GOOGLE IT!"
      "Ugh, shut up...wait, 'asymmetric symbiosis' and...a 1950s TV sitcom called 'My Teenage Flapper'? The fuck?"
      Strangely, Google said neither of those were actual things.
      "Harrumph! I don't think that we should've taken our daughter, the teenage flapper, to this speakeasy in this, the 1920s!"
      "Oh, Daddy! This party is the cat's meow wearing the cat's pajamas! Also, may I show you something under my bobbed hair, with its hideous mind-controlling proboscis injected into the top of my spinal column?"
      "Harrumph! You teenage flappers, with your fringed skirts--What the Dickens is that?"
      "My symbiote!" It pulls from the hole it made in her neck, and says "hissss!" It's carapace opens, and 23 squirming larvae look out. It says "23--SKIDOO!"
      Shrieking, they leap out and attach themselves to people wearing spats. "GET IT OFF GET IT OFF...It is now in my spine. I find this oddly calming."
      "I feel the need to Charleston." (does the Charleston)
      "I feel the need to vote for Coolidge. Return to Normalcy. This is our new Normalcy!"
      "I feel the need to wear a raccoon coat, whilst drinking bathtub gin!"
      "I find myself with a compelling desire to overinvest in the stock market, crashing the world's economy thus helping the rise of global fascism!"
      "Oh, Daddy! You're the bee's knees!"
      "Well, the fucking symbiote stabbed me in the knee and it's swelling horribly, so indeed! Well--(shrugs to camera) That's My Teenage Flapper!" (audience applause)
      Announcer: "Be sure to tune in next week, when My Teenage Flapper causes a wave of lynchings! And then her visit to Rome, with My Buddy Benito!"
      Yeah, well then you come up with something from those 2 non-awake concepts.





      Well, that was an interesting week.
      Most of my free time was either "cat on lap" or "asleep," so little typing.
      One CT's many arcane liquor laws are that we can't have a public bathroom. I assume because people might drink their crappy vodka pint in there, then drive. This preventitive measure leads to them just openly drinking in their cars, half a mile from the police station.
      But we'll let regulars in there. Others I'm not so sure about--the very first customer to use it when we first opened bought nothing, asked to use it, then left. The next employee discovered that he'd pissed on the floor and shit on the seat. Apparently that was his fetish, defiling virgin bathrooms.
      Last week started with:
      CUSTOMER: "Can I use your bathroom?"
      COWORKER: "Yes, its the white door on the right."
      "Can I bring my lady friend in there with me?"
      (He leaves, visibly disappointed)
      Cleaning up shit is one thing. Having to bring in a bottle of bleach and a blacklight...

      It snowed. Of course, we had the panic buyers, despite the forecast that it'd be 1-3 inches. (It was 6 in my parking lot when I got home, and still coming down) It got slower, so I called a coworker--who also lives 20 miles away--to not come in, and text the owner what he wanted to do about closing. But the owner was on a 6 hour flight to Canada, which I'm sure took longer, and may not have been able to use his phone. He finally got us and said to close 2 hours early.
      They had barely plowed the roads, but the highway was semi-OK. I could drive safely at 40-45MPH. Not the 65-70 many people were doing. The idea isn't "Get home fast!" it's "Get home alive."
      I did the latter. I hung up my coat in relief, and then ran to the bathroom to violently dry-heave. The drive wasn't that stressful. I took off a shoe and thought, "In about 10 minutes, I'm gonna puke." And I did! I get more predictions right than Nostradamus and Criswell combined!
      And that's how it was. Horrible, gut-emptying puking every 10 minutes. For 3 hours. What was it? Not food poisoning--I didn't feel sick, just weird, and food poisoning doesn't happen so suddenly. The old horror movie, "Scream, Young's Syndrome, Scream!"? Some bug from a customer? I collapsed into bed when it seemed to stop, keeping a vomit pot near the bed.
      I laid there awake for an hour, then got up for 30 minutes to tire myself out, while whatever was in me now decided to escape from the other end. I went back to bed at 11:10. Then I repeated that exact 90 minute process until 6AM. It was a fun night.
      This did me much time to think back on whether or not this had happened before. Yeah, when I got that free sample of a probiotic pill, except that made me go through it immediately. But I did switch from store brand Greek yogurt to Chobani 3 days before...So, maybe I was having a gut bacteria war? I'll have to check if they have different active cultures. And if they do, who won, my old gut fauna or the new one? The only way to test it would to be to eat another Chobani, but I'm kinda leaning towards throwing three 88 cent yogurts away instead.

      Here's an entertaining depiction of my guts yesterday!




      Comparing the ingredients in the 2 yogurts, they have the same bacteria, even listed in the same order. The only difference is that Chobani contains chickory root. A quick search says that it can cause "bloating, nausea, diarrhea." So, hmm...Although I don't think "nausea" is the same as "3 hours of projectile vomiting," I'm still going to toss the stuff.

      Apparently, the guy who asked if his lady friend could join him the bathroom returned yesterday. Because a couple were seen having vigorous Sexy Time in a car in the parking lot. The temperature that day never cracked 20F.




      Yeah, I haven't been writing much. Here's something you probably read a long time ago, but that was a long time ago, right? There's very little I write that actually makes me laugh. Several InExObs, a couple of Trick Lobsters, and one other thing. Here's Monkeymaniac's LiveJournal. Yes, you have to scroll all the way down, then read the first post, then click on the comments, because that's where 90% of the plot is.Kevin asked me "Where did you come up with that stuff?" and I answered "I just channeled my inner moron."
      And to anyone who has ever asked me "Why don't you write humor professionally?" there's why. It sputtered out after only two weeks. And sputtered pretty badly in the last 3 posts.


      The strip mall property manager--we are adjacent to the mall, we own our store and its surrounding area, because mall management has always sucked--came in the other day. She asked what dumpsters we used. "Those are the ones we use," said a coworker.
      Who cares? We generally generate only cardboard, which goes in the recycling dumpster. Our "trash" trash is mainly paper towels and scratched lottery tickets. It's the multiple restaraunts that have the most, and the most rotting, garbage.
      The next day, dumpsters were continually moved around and/or replaced by the sanitation company. Did you know they have specialized trucks that don't empty dumpsters, just move them? Wow, this country has a big garbage removal infrastructure. The name of the company is "USA Waste."
      And then this was in the major newspaper:      Yes. Yes, we own SEVEN DUMPSTERS. No wonder I never get a raise! And 2 are for used cooking grease, something liquor store uses when frying whiskey. And of course, the mountains of food trash bags just dropped in front of the dumpsters. Also, I personally cram giant sofas in my Honda Fit, drive them 20 miles, just to drop them in front of the dumpsters. Yes, I throw out about 5 old big screen TVs out every year. You know how many stained mattresses I go through? It's a lot!
      No, as I told the property manager, it's random people throwing crap out of their cars, and the food is from Carbone's and Ginza. Is the dumpster full? Maybe you could call for a pickup, or just throw it on the fucking ground. We thought it was just cold weather that caused our sudden mouse problem, when there's no evidence of them eating anything in the store. But there's an all you can eat buffet outside! If we call about their festering mounds of putrescence, maybe they'll clean it up. You know who sweeps up all the broken glass Carbone's leaves in the parking lot? It ain't them!
      I'm glad that the mall's owner apparently flew from California just to review the problem, and blame us for it! That's dedication! Although the article makes brief mention that the town asked the mall to clean it up last summer, and they did nothing.
      A major local TV channel's news van turned up. They didn't film anything, but were here for a while. Never asked us anything. Probably saw that the lot was hurriedly scoured. Then had lunch at a restaraunt that created the mess. Hey, if their garbage gives us a few mice, what do the rodents do to their food? "Wow, this has a lot of tiny round capers in it!"
      And that's why the lying fuck in CA blamed us. We pay no rent, we own. How much business are the slovenly eateries going to get when people hear they can't be bothered to put their rotting food in the dumpsters?
      The article ended with the property manager: "After visiting the mall, [Name] said that it was unclear who owns the dumpsters on the grass near the sidewalk." The property manager doesn't know who pays for the fucking dumpsters.
      Besides the mice, you know what else the mall has an infestation of?
      Turkey vultures. They must feed on our cardboard.


      Trump quotes as old comic book covers.


      As we enter the Inaugaration of the Boy-King, let us sing his praises! Here, one of the crown jewels of the show, Scott Baio, performs.




      In case you're wondering about the current state of the Dumpster War...
      Apparently, the mall owner owes the town back taxes, so they used the dumpsters as a way to get to him. He is now suing the town for Reasons. We just got caught in the crossfire. So now we have to get our own dumpsters. We offered to pay for the mall one, but they turned us down. Wouldn't it be cheaper for them if they had another store kicking in? I guess we're just in "vendetta" stage now.
      The mall manager apologized for the weird newspaper article, as did the newspaper, who could've avoided this whole thing just by talking to us before publishing it. There will be a retraction, most likely in a tiny box on the bottom of page B19.
      We got our new dumpsters today. They were dropped in our front parking lot. Yeah, that's what we want to be the first thing our customers see. We may be forced to have the PlanetAid clothing donation bin taken off our property to make room, because if the mall can get out of paying its fair share of taxes, why not make people in Third World nations suffer too?

      It looks like the Dumpster--er, Trump--inaugaral will be a bit short on acts. It's currently an American Idol runner-up, the members of the Rockettes and Mormon Tabernaclians who need the money/can hold their noses for a bit, and Third Door Down. Don't go in the third door down, the toilet in there won't stop overflowing. Trump lost the Bruce Springsteen cover band. HE LOST A FUCKING COVER BAND. I should've offered the services of the Deep Pile Shag Rugs, which is my cover band that only does covers of other cover bands' covers. "And now, here's 'I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley as covered by Eric Clapton as covered by a Styx cover band as covered by us!" I would play lead electric glockenspiel.
      But don't worry! There's a big production number coming to DC! Trump looked around, and then he found the band for you and he!




      My last computer was a $350 eMachine that lasted an incredible 7 years. Since eMachine was bought out by HP, I thought a $450 HP would work for my needs, which are basically just browsing.
      That was 6 months ago. I should've returned it after the first day. What a piece of shit. It continually, and randomly, blinks the monitor off while making an annoying 4 note tone twice. If I turn the monitor off, it does it constantly. This was obviously designed. I leave the internal speakers off most of the time, but it's no fun trying to watch a movie or anything else that requires internal sound. I plug my iPod into the outside speakers to have music.
      Well, it's developed an exciting new anti-feature! Now it randomly reboots itself. I said "If this happens a third time, this fucker's done." And it did it tonight. After 15 minutes of it just showing the Spinning Windows Ball and it refusing to even open the task manager, I did a hard reboot. AGAIN, as I have to do that every few days. Then for 10 minutes it just spun, still not showing the programs pinned to the taskbar, but this time ctrl-alt-del brought up a message from Win10: "Do a hard reboot." This is like going to the doctor after a heart attack, and he just gives you a defibrillator attached to a car battery and says "Carry this with you at all times."
      Can anyone recommend a good computer? Since the Nobel Prize committee gave me a lifetime achievement Golden Globes award of a billion dollars, price is no problem! (Note: this is called an "alternative fact," much like how "alt-right" isn't the same as "blatantly fascist") Something under $700 or so, and even just recommend a brand that isn't HP.


      Believe it or not, there once was a very brief window of time when the USA was not in unending wars! It was the post-Viet Nam Carter administration, and I was still a teenager. They didn't even have drones striking random civilians!
      It was such an innocent time, when "NUKE THEIR ASS AND TAKE THEIR GAS" sounded like the ravings of a madman. (Apparently, after the nuking there would still be sufficient infrastructure to fill your SUV) I even heard people say "War accomplishes nothing!" To which I would say "Tell it to Hitler."
      Because there are legitimate reasons to go to war. Such as, you're attacked first, and go after the people who actually were responsible, rather than the ones who would best boost Dick Cheney's stock portfolio. Maybe you're fighting against brutal fascism instead of for it! I know, it's crazy!
      I'm largely against punching people in their smug ugly faces who have goofy haircuts. But if by some weird fluke, you live in a country where that guy says when pulled over "This cop had better not give me a ticket for my busted taillight!" as opposed to "I'm black, so I hope I live another 10 minutes", and the guy getting mashed in the piehole is a fucking Nazi...Well, hard to call, huh? A presidential candidate calling for violence if he loses is apparently normal, but a fucking Nazi who sobs "Owie my feels!" and then gets sympathy from Fox and their fellow alt-right bedwetters, where does one draw the line? It's a slippery slope! Next, we might upset the President by pointing out reality he doesn't like!
      I leave the solution to the complex moral dilemma of punching guys who support genocide in their manscaped face-asses to you, and instead just link to 10 old comic book covers of Nazis having their day totally ruined. Mouse over the covers for more--don't the Germans have a word for it? Schaden-fuhrer-something?


      You know what you should do if something mildly embarassing happens? Don't talk about it. People will forget and move on.
      Here's a comedy routine about the inauguration:


      ...which was a week ago and why not talk about it, when someone else won't STFU about it? He even ended his first press interview with photos that "prove" he had the bigliest crowd ever. Now, I am a short, skinny guy with tiny hands, and let me tell you: there's no way a male that obsessed with size doesn't have a smaller dick than me. Like the size of a pencil eraser. With a couple of BBs glued to the bottom. He could masturbate using tweezers. Or the hole in a Twizzler! But only to this picture.
      Since you probably need a mental cleanser after thinking about Donald Dick, here's a thought. What if the hair on his head is the same way he styles his pubes?
      Vomit buckets, only $40 each! Line forms here!
      Does it sound like I'm making insults that would only be expected in a middle school cafeteria? Yes! And now think about Your President's behaviour.




      I was able to get The Far-Too-Small White to the vet. She's gained another half pound! And her thyroid level went slightly UP. So, increased dosage. Again. One worries.

      The Will of Triumph:


      Most of the idiots just laugh, not because they're idiots (I mean, they are, they voted for Lord Dampnut) but because this is happiest day of their hideous lives, and are probably thinking how Dear Leader's closest advisor/puppet master is a literal fucking Nazi! See how much you laugh in the Boncentration Bamp!"

      I'm sure Cheeto Mussolini doesn't have a favorite Sparks song, but if he did...


      (At time of the song's release, a 1959 model would've been 17)





      You've no doubt noticed that I've entered low/no content mode. Here's your work update: It keeps getting worse. I do not want to talk about my job any more.
      A month ago, I thought "I'll see Jess and have at least of few hours of nonmisery." No, that's when she gave me her 75 minute long angry lecture. The work thing makes me feel tense, depressed, helpless, worthless. Getting it from, let's face it, my only friend doubles those feelings. I was depressed for days. Like I was'nt already.
      A few days ago, she sent me a birthday card. In it, she continued her lecture. Hint to everybody: Never begin a sentence with "I'm sorry" unless you plan to apologize for something you did. Otherwise, it can come across as "I'm sorry you're such a failure."
      You know that mega-meth super-speed she's on? They give it to special forces in war zones. They take 1 and are awake for 48 hours. She takes 1, and she's awake for 8. I've watched every change she's had with her narcolepsy. She seems to be becoming an angry, critical, judgmental person with a big dose of "I'm always right" on her meds. (No, you tell her to her face) It just me hit that it's been a long time since I heard her mention any of her friends besides Emily, who lives in DC and sees her once a month. She talks about her family, but she's critical and judgemental of them.
      Before the card, I thought "I'm going to tell her that when we get together again, if she says 1 thing about my job, I'm going to leave." I think she'll take that as a challenge, because She's Always Right.
       I'm completely on my own. I've got work to make me miserable, and her to make me feel worse.
      And while I'm sure some of you will want to send a reassuring message, I don't want to talk about this anymore


      This amusing memory kinda popped up from nowhere, but since you're close to either stop reading this blog or moving it to a folder called Miserable Whiny Bastards, here it is.
      It was, I dunno late 90s, prly 98 or 99. My parents had a lovely home in southern Vermont (Wilmington, nearest "city" is Brattleboro). They were leaving it for the weekend, so they offered it to me. Mom said "We finally got a computer! It has the Internet, so use it as much as you want! It's paid for!"
      The computer was in nook with a skylight at the top of the 2nd floor stairs. I walked past with my bags, looked at it and thought "Your new computer is a 386?! When you walked in the door, the saleman knew he had a mark."
      Back in those days, the internet was such a novelty that it wasn't a series of tubes, it really was a dump truck. There wasn't even cable net, at least on my side of the CT River, where we smoke corncob pipes and use our shootin' irons to shoo them dang revenooers away from our stills. If you had a 56.6 modem, you were golden. After getting my stuff put away, I really needed to see what the internet they had "paid for" was like. A 14.4's better than nothing!
      Oh, they have AOL. Good choice when you're just starting with computers. I'll just check my email and...Why is the AOL startup page taking so long to load? What's the connecton speed?
      It wasn't a 14.4 kps. It was a 2400 bps. They were trying to get online with a fax modem.
      I mentioned it to Mom, and she said "Oh, we just use it to play solitaire." I'm sure they bought the cheapest computer in the only store they went to, but that's still a lot to pay to have something shuffle for you.


      I could've spent all of March in a coma, and probably would've been better off.
      I ended up with deadlines to meet. Last week, I renewed my licence and registration 2 days before they expired. There was a 20 minute line at AAA, which is long for them, but once out of it, I was done in 10 minutes. 30 minutes at the DMV is the line moving forward a step. Bring a backpack with water, energy bars, and maybe a sleeping bag.
      Tuesday I did my taxes with a week to spare. I felt really good when I was done; in fact, I felt really up. Probably because it was the first endorphins my brain released in 6 weeks. Feeling good when you use free Turbo Tax is, umm, that tells you something. I also was able to cancel my automatic withdrawals to my IRA. I like saving, but cancelling all my saving for now should make up for my lost work hours. I'd rather have $100 a month in my checking, rather than add to the $33K in the IRA that I can't touch. I can, but the gummint will take 20% of it. I'm not allowed to use my own money, while the oil companies get a free $4B a year in subsidies. Capitalism is really awesome, in the same way pyramid schemes are!

      PRESIDENT OF UNITED AIRLINES: "Why is Delta getting all this free publicity?! I want some!"
      AIDE: "Sir, their publicity is because they used police to--"
      "Sir, I don' think you want that kind of pub--"
      "Don't tell me what to do! Your salary is cut in HALF!"
      "Sir, I'm an unpaid intern. You don't pay me anything."
      "What?! You use the vending machines and the bathroom! PUUUU--BLIIII-CITY!"
      "I...kinda need a starting point. Umm, how do you feel about female passengers wearing leggings?"
      "DISGUSTING WHORES! Unless they're my current wife....ahh..." (looks at photos around desk; grabs one) "BAMBII! God, look at her wrinkles, what is she, 25?"
      "Thank you sir, I can work with that."
      (A few days later)
      "...And they were escorted off the plane by cops."
      "How much did they get beat up?"
      "...Beat up for leggings?"
      "They tweeted about it! You should have at least broken their texting thumbs! Filthy sluts, just like my old shrew ex-wife Bambii!"
      "Sir, how about throwing people off our flights because we overbooked?"
      "It's not OUR fault that it's our fault! They're that eager to get where they paid, let 'em lash themselves to the wings!"
      "Sir, is there any one group you specifically hate?"
      "Hmm. Tough one. Well, you. That janitor who said 'Look out for the wet floor,' and the clumsy oaf falls down anyway, after I hit him with his mop! Ex-wives. Okay, women. Foreigners. Even the band with that name! Ethnics. You know, the browns and the blacks and the dot-heads. And the Irish. And the GEEKS!"
      "You hate the IT department?"
      "No, no, GEEKS!" (holds corners of eyes up) "Ching-chong, ding dong! Me name Wang!"
      (depressingly) "You mean...god...Gooks?"
      "YES! You know how many of my friends were killed in the Vietnam? None, we all had bone spurs, but could've happened if we went. And my doctor, Doctor Chink, he's "Oh, solly, Chollie, but you need to change diet or you get heart attack, big time!' Who's he to say I can't eat baby hearts wrapped in bacon? He eats dogs or something."
      "Sir...I need to vomit."
      "On your own time! There you go, using our bathrooms again! Hmm...Actually, I hate everyone except white male billionaires."
      "Are you sure I have to do this?"
      "What, are you refusing to volunteer?!"
      "You'll get your publicity." (gets in elevator; pukes all 25 stories down)
      "THIS is what I wanted! This'll last several news cycles!" (hits intercom) "Britney, I want to smoke a cigar. Send someone in here whose face I can light my match on! Also, Britney...You free tonight? Oh, cheerleading practice tomorrow?" (picks up phone) "Close the high school tomorrow. Bomb threat, I don't care, DO IT!" (hangs up) "Why does my left arm hurt?"

      Yes, that was over the top. But we currently live in a country where Sean "Idiot Spice" can say "Even Hitler didn't gas his own people!" and say it on Passover.


      I'm rewatching the old Tick cartoon on DVD. Still hilarious! In Dinosaur Neil, their take on Jurassic Park, Neil's showing the Tick and Arthur around his lab, eating from a Petri dish labeled "PASTA SALAD." He picks up another dish, this one marked "DINOSAUR TISSUE," and you probably remember what happens next. Thing I didn't notice before: the sign in the background that says      Much as I hate to reference the Hellmouth...
      SHAWT: "I locked my keys in my car. I have to be at an appointment. Can you call the police?" No, but I can dial the number and hand you the phone.
      The police, strangely, never consider unlocking someone's car as very important. You know they hang up the phone thinking "You dumbass."
      After 20 minutes, asshole co-worker asks "When is your appointment?"
      "930." He called the cops at 930.
      "Can't you call them and tell them you'll be late?"
      "I don't have my cellphone and I don't know the number." Wow, you're pretty much prepared for everything. I'm surprised you remembered to wear pants.
      10 minutes later, he called the police again, to know why they weren't there yet. "They said they had a lot of emergency calls." They're across the damn street and we haven't heard any sirens all morning. Call them to unlock your car car, you're at the bottom of the list.. Call them to complain, you're on the "When we're goddamn good and ready. Sunset work for you?"
      For some reason, he decided to say "Let me tell you the truth. My appointment was to meet my wife at the gym. If I called her and said I was at a liquor store, she'd kill me!" He then got a refund on his pint of Dubra, the cheapest, shittiest vodka we sell. The gym he was going to is about a 3 minute drive from the store. So he was planning to chug it, in that 3 minutes. And your wife thinks you have a drinking problem! You should divorce her and marry a distillery.
      Then, at the hour mark, he did what anyone with a brain would've done first: called a garage and paid to have them instantly open his door.
      When I was say "anyone with a brain," co-worker Mrs Smith said "I was really trying hard to think of what else he could do after calling the cops!"
      I've said it before, I'll say it again: Crimeny.





      There's an area liquor store mini-chain called M&R. I've always said that it stood for "Mean & Rotten," because it's clearly one of those places where no one working there likes working there. I would go there about every 18 months, as it was the closest big store, then instantly remember why I hadn't been there for 18 months. It's the place where they owed me 70 cents in change, and without asking, dumped in the take-a-penny tray. I took my change out, and we exchanged mutual hostile looks. I never went back.
      Last Tuesday I was directly across the street, in a hardware store getting a spare key made. I glanced at M&R, as I was taking a left into traffic. I didn't know that I would be one of the last people to look at it.
      It was a shithole when it was first built in the mid-80s. They got grandfathered past having a sprinkler system or a fire alarm. Hey kids guess what, it completely burned the fuck down. According to the local Fox News site:      1) I think the phrase you're grasping at is "engulfed by flames," and 2) it fucking collapsed right as the firefighters got there, so, yeah, there probably were flames that were notable.
      Why can't that happen to MY job?




      Kid, with a sliver of ice from the freestanding beer cooler: "Mommy, was this around soda?"
      Mom: "Don't put that in your mouth."
      "I didn't! I put it on my scab!" She then began handling shots at their tops with her scab-water fingers.

      Interesting: KK is going to be 18 soon. I think her hearing is starting to slip. She's always been awake when I got home, because I assume she can hear me going into the garage. Now, she's sleeping through it. Yesterday, she didn't notice me even though I was in the room. She was looking out the rear window, possibly hoping to see Raymond Burr murder someone. She's always been a ninja, pretending not to notice me by looking forward, while her radar dish ears swivel 180 and follow me around the room. In human terms, she's in her 80s. I myself hear not so hot, due to worsening tinnitus. Don't spend the 1980s listening to headphones on max, kids! Wait, is it too late for that warning?
      Oddly, Byron can only hear in a very narrow band of sounds. For almost a year, this has apparently included the sound of the garage door! Three flights down. When I get home, he's in a spot he's never in otherwise, and squeaks hello. "Squeak" and "bloodcurdling Byron Siren" are his 2 meows. DJ remains jumpy around any sudden noise, especially me sneezing. At least now when I do, he doesn't run from room to room yammering "Ow gao ow ow yao!" He seems to think a sneeze is an actual animal that sneaks in here.

      A regular customer is briefly using a cane (I did not ask if he needed ice for his scabs). I carried his purchase out for him, and you--or at least I--would be surprised how many people are legitimately impressed by such a simple service. His car had a vanity plate: "EGO TAG." It took me a second to get it. He said "I was hoping to get 'VANITY,' but someone already got it!" So maybe 1 of Prince's exes lives in state.
      I told him about 1 I'd seen just that morning: Navy veteran plate and "MIDWY ISL." Meaning he was at Midway Island, the pivotal WWII battle that's the biggest part of the reason Japan is a peaceful nation, and why Hawaii hasn't spent 70 years under Imperial fascism. (Russian version "STALNGRD;" British "BATL OF BRIT;" French "GETTF OUT OF MY COUNTRY U NAZI SCUM")
      I also talked about decades ago when a woman paid with a check, and I said "Your last name is Heck? That's awesome!" She said "I wish you'd tell the DMV, because they won't let me get a plate with it because it's 'a swear word'!" I told her about a plate I'd seen many times going to work on I-84: "COPUL 8." Get it? Copulate?
      About 6 months later, I saw an article in the newspaper (under the fold, but on the front page) about vanity plates. It interviewed a guy who had COPUL 8. "One time this woman kept honking at me and flashing her lights and gesturing for me to pull over. I was thinking 'Oh no,' but she just wanted to know how I got the plate. She said the DMV wouldn't let her get one with her name..."



      Hitlerboy was watching hockey on his phone--gourd forbid he do any work--and a guy bellowed "O Canada." I thought "Why are national anthems so pompous and suckass?" and remembered something. From 40 years ago.
      I was at Oberlin College. Very old college, and the first to admit women, and the first to admit African-Americans--in 1837, decades before the end of slavery and women's suffrage. Its motto: "Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good."
      I was there only a semester, leaving with a GPA of...0.0. It was the first place where I felt accepted by peers. Because we were peculiar. I majored in "finally having a social life." If I recall correctly: 1/6th of the students were people of color, 1/6 foreign-born, 1/6 Jewish, 1/6 children of millionaires, 1/6 gay/lesbian--openly gay, in 1978!--and 1/6 everybody else. If you've been keeping count, that's "heteronormative white kids, but smart and weird anyway."
      It still has a very famous and exclusive music conservatory, and also, to most students' bafflement, a football team. Terrible, terrible football team.
      Some arty weirdos noticed that we had no marching band. So one was formed. It was mainly of music majors. This was 40 years ago, so I don't have a perfect memory of it. I believe they had a trumpet, a tuba, a trombone, a viola, and a guy who played triangle. Once at the start of each piece, then stood there, arms at the ready, and dinged it once at the end.
      There were--possibly "non-musicians" isn't a sufficient description. I think there was a music major, who kept her elementary school "Flutaphone" (a cheap plastic flute/recorder) as a good luck talisman. And some things that were sort of musical instruments, played by random English and Art majors. An upside-down bucket played as drums, and a slide whistle, and things that wouldn't even be particularly audible, such as a kazoo, and a guitar. Electric, and plugged into nothing.
      My roommate Andy couldn't come up an instrument no one else had already claimed. After some deep thought preceded by bong hits, I said "The Ben Franklin sells cheap toy machine guns..."
      At the game opening, they took the field. "We shall now play the National Anthem. Of Indonesia."
      Knowing the school--it probably was the National Anthem of Indonesia. There was a kind of melody, accompanied by a cacophony of kazoo and toy Tommy Gun. Starting with the triangle, it went like this:
      *ding* National Anthem of Indonesia *ding*
      I'm unsure of the rest of the playlist. I think the next tune announced was "The Stars & Stripes Forever, by John Philip Sousa." It went like this:
      *ding* National Anthem of Indonesia *ding*
      They left the field and returned at halftime. Some highly specific classical tune--let's just go with "Franz Schubert's Piano Quintet in A major, D.667, the Trout Quintet."
      *ding* National Anthem of Indonesia *ding*
      They followed this with, and I know my dorm neighbor chose this one (the guy who introduced me to Devo!): "The Ramones, Teenage Lobotomy."
      *ding* National Anthem of Indonesia *ding*
      They left, and it was cold and drizzly, so their fans left. Paula and I right after one of the Oberlin players started to run, and fell flat on his ass, with no other players around him. I forget the final score (Obie 0, Visitors 153 or something). Apparently they found the marching band's only appearance uninspiring.


      Spam I didn't read before deleting: "VIAGRALICIOUS!"


      For those of you who, like me, live above some imaginary east-west line across North America, this is Spring! Or as we call it--Pothole Season! The woodchuck is a terrestrial, day-active animal that hibernates in snowy climes, then wakes up and digs potholes in our roads, hoping to incapacitate any vehicles that may carry wood that they chould chuck. FUCKING WOODCHUCKS.
      They've been digging nests for their hideous woodchuck eggs in the parking lot of That Place. They are smart, oh how they are smart, and won't dig too close to the Hellmouth. That Place owns its building, no doubt to raise the undead corpses of Nazis, and the parking lot along the periphery. The rest is owned by the crappy, ancient strip mall which is owned by landlords and the reason that Place has its own cursed ossuary. I mean, doesn't pay rent. That, and SATAN WILL ONLY BE PAID IN IMMORTAL SOULS, not checks, and it is thus very hard for the bookkeeper to itemize.
      The lords of the land fix not the potholes. Mainly because, while these chasms are on their side of the parking lot, they are--okay, they're on their side of the parking lot, and they don't fix shit. Especially since they're on an entrance only used by people who are using That Place (cash, major credit cards, and mewling unbaptized babies all accepted!)
      I tell people that they aren't listening to any complaints from Hellmouth, but they might from customers. "They'll fix it as soon as someone bends a rim or loses a tire, and says they're going to pay for it!"
      This is called "foreshadowing."
      When filled with water, the things, despite being the size of WWII tank traps, effectively become invisible. Shitler said "I call them the Grand Canyon, or when they're filled with water, the Marianas trench! I prefer Grand Canyon--" ME: "Because I came up with Marianas Trench!" Sorry, Grand Canyon is just so obvious. Maybe it's too many decades of MST3K, but I think jokes are funnier if it takes your brain even a fraction of a second to process it. I've used Grand Canyon in years previous, but I phrased it as "If they were more like the Grand Canyon, I'd charge $5 for burro rides to the bottom!" I think that's funnier. If you don't get it, go watch YouTube videos of some guy getting hit in the balls.
      Is it just CT, or is it all the snowy climes that are getting their rounded, asphalt roadside curbs replaced with those right-angled cement things? Is our state in the pocket of Big Woodchuck? Can you guess where I'm going with this?
      After a few unintentional swims in the Trench, I bumped a deathcurb, drove about 10 feet and thought "Tires don't sound like that." I pulled onto a side street and pulled in front of a house with a for sale sign and no lights on, because I didn't want to bother anyone.
      I had the spare, the jack tire iron. I don't think I can get lugnuts off with my teeth.
      "Maybe Advance Auto Parts is still open!" They were very close, but also very closed. An employee swept the floor, and I'm not going to be the asshole who punds on a door yelling "He-LLOOO?! OPEN!" Since my smart phone is as dumb as I am--it's a $15 clamshell--all I wanted was the number of the closest garage. Instead, I used the extra light from their store No, my $15 phone does not HAVE A BACKLIGHT IT WAS $15, to call...ummm...I know what garage I want, but not what town it's in, so I asked 411 for the local PD. I should've just said "I need the garage to get a tire off, and a tire on," but instead they would send a cop.
      I went back to the car to listen to the jazz station, and then realized "That is the whitest thing I've ever done. 'I'm white, so Officer Friendly is going to come and I don't have to worry about being DEAD in 10 minutes.'" I get pulled over for going through a yellow light, and even then I'm "Keep your pale hands at 10 & 2 on the wheel, explain everything you're doing before you do it--My license is in my wallet, my wallet is in this pocket, let me get it for you. My registration is in--one of the 2 glove compartments," and I try to keep one hand on the wheel at all times. I work in a town that's--let me Wiki that:"35.7% White, 57.5% African American...Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population." As a liquor store, we see a lot more police than most businesses, and they're a lot whiter than that. They also have a tank. It's a "mine-proof vehicle," because central CT has a lot of ISIS, and it's the size of a house. Not a big house, maybe 1.5 stories, but also on wheels as tall as my car and it's bazooka-proof. When the Ferguson protests happened, it drove around town, and I leave it to you ponder what message the PD/Army of Occupation was trying to send.
      I wasn't asked to show my license by Officer Friendly, a white guy who looked like he could snap me like a stale pretzel should I give him the reason. I suppose they can run your plate instantly, and I'm clean. I actually haven't heard of any police violence in town, or really, any violence above minor crime or some dipshit shooting a family member over who gets the last piece of pizza or whatever. "I should've been more specific on the phone, I just need someone to get the tire off. How about [redacted]?"
      "Sure, I can call them." (a minute later) "They only take cash--about $60."
      "I don't carry a lot of cash--I have $20 on me."
      "You have a debit card you could use to get it out of an ATM?" "Yes!" "You're not parked in a hazardous position, so I'm going to go. He should be here in 20 minutes; call us if he's later than that." "Thank you so much!"
      I didn't fight the law, and we both won!
      I've used that excellent garage before--I've worked in the Hellmouth 13+ years--and one of the drivers is a semi-regular. "I wonder if they'll send Matt--nah."
      The truck pulled up, I got out and shook my head, smiling. The driver got out. "IT'S BILL!" I shook his hand, saying "I wondered what the odds were it'd be you!"
      I'm glad I couldn't find the tire iron, because even Matt had difficulty getting the it off. But, bang, he was done, the flat in my trunk and donut ready to propel me 18 miles home at 50MPH with my hazards on.
      "Where do we go so I can pay you? I only have 20 bucks on me."
      He seemed incredulous for a second. "How about you give me the 20, and we call it even?"
      I gave him the 20 and said, "We'll call it even if your next bottle of tequila is on me!" and we shook hands again, laughing.
      I got home only an hour later than usual. Getting out of the car in the pitch-dark garage, I tripped over the recyclables and hit the cement floor. Minor abrasions, a skinned knee, and an elbow bruise that every few hours turns a different color of the Crayola Box of 64, but okay. Just the perfect end to the perfect night.
      "If that pothole was more like the Grand Canyon, I'd have to play Ferde Grofe music!" Okay, too obscure.



      The good news is that That Place does have a working fire alarm.
      The bad news is that a routine HVAC checkup set it off, rather than THE FUCKER BURNING TO THE GROUND.

      In other "Well, that's just what I fucking need right now" news, this hateful HP piece of shit that has spent 9 months making my life (somehow) even worse has gone beyond irritatingly semi-functional. Number of times the screen blanked out during the typing of the previous sentence: Three.
      It also, as an exciting new act of shittiness, now randomly reboots. It has problems recognizing the speakers, except when it blanks and makes the "boodlely-oot" noise. (That's 2 more times it blanked) It suddenly decided it wasn't going to play a DVD, so I opened the DVD drawer and closed it. Multiple times. Finally, it opened, and a chunk of the tray popped out. Bad news: now I need to buy a new non-HP computer. Good news: now I need to buy a new non-HP computer.
      Well, at least my tax refunds are here. I'm tenatively looking at this Lenova, but if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't have bought this HP garbage. (Since last report: SIX times screen blanked)

      Jessica agreed to get together and not talk about That Place. "It's all I think about," I said. "I just want a chance to relax and be goofy with you."
      Her response was "If you want to come to my house, we just rescued a mama and her 4 kittens!" Nothing is goofier than kittens! As to whether this visit turns out to be good news...shrug. I sure hope so. I haven't been getting a lot lately.

      At least my computer woes have motivated me to switch Netflix to streaming. How much worse than "Doesn't work at all, PC vomits stuff at me" can it be? There's also a thing I have yet to try, the free Rifftrax channel.


      An oldie but a funny: Star Trek Meets Monty Python.


      About Rifftrax on Pluto: Keep in mind you can't control where the movies begin or end. So you better want to watch the last 20 minutes of Psycho II! And there's no pause, so go to pee at your own viewing risk.

      The yearly Historical Society booksale! Every year, I get less and less. I noticed that they went straight to the "50% Off" pricing right away.
      I only got 2 books: "INVADERS!" by Gordon Dickson. Mainly short stories from early 50s magazines, so probably not that good. And "Space Dogfights," with a total Star Wars font logo, and apparently...about sci-fi World War One dogfights?
      And CDs! Yes, the 8 tracks of the 90s. We have "Fasl: Musique de l'Empire Ottoman." I love medieval music, but do I have any Ottoman Empire music? Now I do!
      "New England by Piano," "featuring piano with tin whistles, cello, Irish percussion, and string orchestra." Because that's New England to me! It has tracks titled "Leaving Mystic Harbor" and "Climbing Katahdin." No, it's "This Car Climbed Mount Washington," you poseur! Are "tin whistles" "Someone leaning on their SUV's horn for no discernible reason on I-95," and "Irish Percussion" being forced off the road on the Pike outside of Boston? Where's "Ode to a Half-Closed Strip Mall" or "Giant McMansion's Rooms Echoes the Big Screen TV, Yet the Yard is 3 Feet Wide"? "This City is Where We Keep the Poors"?
      The first Deep Forest CD, which I don't think I have. The song titles are unfamiliar, as is the sticker on the front that reads "A rare and unusual mix of modern Ambient music and the songs of the pygmies of the Central African rainforest."
      "Urbal Beats," the "definitive guide to electronic music." Yeah, pretty sure it's not. I have some of these tracks on other comps--FSOL, Underworld, Orbital, The Orb. Hey. It's 50 cents.
      "Ethnotechno." The guy roughly my age bagging my stuff said "CDs! Let me see what you got!" Crabby old Crab Lady: "He bought those! Just bag them!" (I was holding up the line of nobody else) "Ethnotechno! What is it?!" I should have said "50 cents," but he was into techno in the day, and we had a brief discussion about electronica/ambient/trance, with, yes, me mentioning Brian Eno. More interesting than 99% of the conversations I had at the Hellmouth's resident Nazis.
      "A Golden Treasury of Ancient Instruments." See Spot play the spinet! A Musical Heritage release, where I got a lot of my Early Music from, and a back cover that read "See CD booklet for track listings." (They were mail order only)
      The names are just awesome. Sure there's "bassoon (Baroque)" and and "Trumpet," but these are the "slide" and "natural" trumpets, and don't look gourddamn natural at all. There are such instruments as the shawm, the bombarde, the crumhorn, the racket "The buzzing basshorn is the unmistakable sound of the racket." The virginal, serpent, the cittern and gittern and chitarone, and my favorite, the sackbut. "I like sackbuts and I can not lie!" I was put on this miserable planet by a malevolent god so that 58 years later, I could make that evil pun!
      And the original "New Hope" Star Wars 2-CD soundtrack, which I really wanted, and always check your used CDs before you leave, because this one had no CDs.
      Then I got home and realized: I have no way to play these! THANKS HP


      Spoiler alert: My visit with Jess was awesome!
      I was greeted by Ham, the cat with the hands. Two thumbs per front paw. And a guy I didn't recognize, who turned out to be Hoth, one of the Stinky 14 Kittens she had last year. His sister Apple Butter made a brief appearance. I could see the rest of them scurrying for cover before I even reached the door.
      OMG, KITTENS! About 6 weeks old. Two brothers, one buff and the other all orange tabby, named Watson and Sherlock. Jess explained that they got their names from the Sherlock Holmes TV show. Two female torties, sweet Mary and cranky Spicy Meatball. Who gives their cat a weird name like Mary? Spicy was, well, spicy, with the dreaded "tortitude." She hissed at me, but mainly when she was tired. Her mom isn't feral, but was abandoned while pregnant, so she's picked up a feisty attitude from her.
      I took pics of them crawling and/or snoozing on their Auntie Jess. This HP has something called Photoshop Lite, but there's no way I'm attempting to learn anything new on this hideous shitbox.
      They were nervous about me, jumping at any noise or movement I made. I successfully held each of them, including Spicy. They were goofy. They played and tumbled, but mainly stayed on one part of the kitchen floor, exploring very little (except for Watson--he went on the other side of the kitchen island!). After--90 minutes, 2 hours?--who knows, time flies when you're with kittens, they all snuggled up to Jess and slept, in that "utterly exhausted, but I'm still a Fewocius Monstah!!" mode kittens go into.
      They're really "Sister's" project, meaning Jessie's daughter Jacques. When she got home with her not-BF friend Joe, they all were "It's SISTER!--but I'm so tired! I'm so tired--but it's SISTER!" and sort of stumbled marginally awake to sleep with her. She asked about my clowder, and I told her about Killsy getting a bit hard of hearing, now that she's 18. "She's 18?! Kill Kill is so awesome!"
      Jess and I went for lunch. The waitress said "Our special for today is sloppy joes!" which would be the only time a restaurant has ever offered me middle school cafeteria food. When's tuna casserole day?! We got chicken sandwiches, hers fried, mine grilled with buffalo sauce. I guess the buffalo's name was Joe, because man was that thing sloppy. The chicken slid everywhere, and I didn't just use up my allotment of napkins, but I had to go wash my hands. Twice.
      As always, food time is Serious Time.
      Back at her house, Jacques and Joe were in the exact same spot on the kitchen floor. Joe would make a great cat dad. Watson investigated--he seemed the only one curious about his sorroundings. The others all were curled up with Jacques, with Spicy on her shoulder. "She's been up there for 45 minutes! It's starting to hurt." Spicy hissed a lot at me. "She doesn't seem to like men." Because she was adopted at 1 week, maybe it's just a thing from her mom, not a bad prior experience.
      I hugged Jess and said "Thank you so much for this time. I needed it." And I missed the exit for the Mass Pike because of massive construction (it didn't look like a ROAD).
      Being with her and finding out that yes, things still are Jess and Bill, like they have been for 20 years, is such a relief. I have enough changes going on without losing her kindness and concern.


RHETORIC, QUANTUM MECHANICAL--British politician Menzies Campbell      I saw Guardians of the Galaxy today, and it is very much an MCU sequel.
      It was okay. Way too much trying to be the same as the first, as most MCU sequels do. Not one but 2 conversations between Gamora & Quill about 80s pop culture. Not as funny, in fact doing some of the same jokes from the 1st. (Rocket wants to steal a guy's prosthetic eye "Because it'll be funny!", which is totally different from stealing a guy's prosthetic leg for the same reason!) Deadly Serious Drax was funnier than Laugh Track Drax, and the extended Groot skits are...quite extended. Some scenes that, to me, seem to have put there so the Chinese market can get some slapstick that's easily translated. Also, could you put "FAMILY" on a club and hammer it more?
      There was a lot that worked--don't get me wrong, I'm not regretting spending $6.10 on it. You could wait and rent it or whatever, too.
      When they said months ago "Kurt Russell as Quill's father, who is Ego the Living Planet," I really thought they were kidding.
      Not a lot of easter eggs, at least that I caught. When the crystal-faced guy turned up, I thought "Is this a ref to the 1980s Marvel version of GotG?" (yes) The Stan Lee cameo involves the latest online theory of who he "really" is. I'm surprised no one screamed about motherfucking snakes on a spaceship, or said "I'M THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCH!" Haha! Old net memes will never get old!
      Overall, good, and probably will improve on my second viewing.


      Just to add to yesterday's post:
      Is there any character in the new Guardians movie without daddy issues? Groot maybe?
      I'm guessing not a large percentage of moviegoers saw the mid-credits sequence of "the new birthing pod" and instantly thought "ADAM WARLOCK!"

      I went to Manchester Honda for the Honda airbag recall. These were the airbags that had the slight problem of inflating, and then
      That's not an exaggeration. And not Honda's fault. Some other company in Japan made a bunch of airbags and apparently found a box of unexploded WWII hand grenades, and said "Ehh, why waste them?"
      I bought the car at Liberty Honda, and the super-friendly technician said "You must have bought this in Hartford!"
      Me: "You mean at Misery Honda?"
      I decided I didn't want to waste his time (or mine) sharing my stories about why I was at Manchester Honda and not Liberty, but here's a quick encapsulation of why I stopped going there:
      A minor fender-bender broke my windshield washer fluid holding thing. (Sorry if that was too technical) First visit, they fixed the fender. Ten feet in the parking lot, I stopped and said "You didn't fix the windshield washer tank?"
      "Oh...We didn't know we were supposed to." Did you read the insurance claim I handed you? I did, and it's right there.
      90 minutes into Visit 2: "We ordered the wrong part."
      Visit 3: "We didn't order the part." 15 minutes of me waiting.
      Visit 4: They fixed it! After almost 3 hours.
      CT people: Venture not into the realm of Liberty Honda's Service Department.
      I went across the street to BurgerFi to get an $8 cheeseburger and a City Steam Naughty Nurse ale from the tap. When I returned to Honda's customer waiting room, I leafed through a copy of the all-ads Hartford magazine, which had a cover titled "POT" and a pic of something green and sticky. If there was an article about it, it must've been in the last 5 pages, because that's as far as I made it before "Bill, your car is done!" Startled, I looked at my watch--it had been about 35 minutes. For a free service! So, yeah, guess where I'm buying my cars from now on.



      No posts because, really, nothing to post about.
      Except for a few hours at work Saturday, slept for 2 days. Especially Sunday; I was awake for maybe 8 noncontiguous hours.
      Today, I bought a Dell 3650 because this HP is the world's biggest piece of shit. Bought it, own it, don't have it. "We can have it shipped to your address for free." Works for me.
      What doesn't work for me is Netflix streaming. There's actually less available than on DVD. Given the amount of emails they sent me, nagging that I should switch to streaming, I figured they'd have everything, and it'd be cheaper for them. Maybe it is. Maybe DVD is more profitable for them. So, until my shiny new desktop arrives, I'm back to looking through Youtube.
      Here's the blandly named "Invaders from Space." I remember it as being crazier, but there are some draggy bits. It's a really cheap Japanese TV show from 1965, hacked up into a movie. It involves Starman, who has vaguely defined powers, a spandex custume, and who needs to lay off the Green Tea Kit-Kats. He's on the Emerald Planet, with the dumbest looking aliens ever. There are guys in star-shaped suits, but most wear buckets with light bulbs on their heads, and they speak in Jazz Hands. At one point, the painted backdrop begins waving around.
      He goes to Earth to battle the Ghoulamonian Salamander Men, with the terrifying powers of bad breath (well, atomic breath that can sort of control minds, but I'm sure it doesn't smell good), Lee Press-On claws that "can cut through steel!" although we never see any evidence of this, and backflips. This is a particularly ineffecient mode of transportation, and if you think "Did they just hire a bunch of circus acrobats?" you'll find out. Oh, how you will.
      And giggling. They giggle a lot; it's like half their dialog.




      Now I don't own a Dell. It was "a special purchase" and Staples ran out. Since I got the email 24 hours after buying it, you'd think they'd have told the sales rep as he was punching the order in. Try again.

      When "Invaders From Space" ended, Youtube began autoplaying another old Japanese sci-fi movie, "Warning From Space." I vaguely remember that title! It had the same starfish aliens, which are really full-body sockpuppets, except here, they're supposed to be the most terrifying monsters ever. That's like being driven mad with fear when on Halloween, a kid stumbles to your door with his Smurf mask on upside down. The reason I remembered it is because it is painfully boring. I made it to the 19th hour 40 minutes in. Every scene takes twice as long as it needs to. There were at least 2 scenes that I thought "This is going to go on for 5 solid minutes, isn't it?" Here it is, if you feel like a sci-fi version of spending 2 hours in the line for the ATM, but with less action.


      Next I found a Japanese movie with almost the same name: "Message From Space." If you were anywhere between 6 and 20 when Star Wars came out and didn't want to wait 2 years for Empire to come out, you'll remember either begging your parents to take you to it, or gathering up your friends to go.
      Me: "She's going out of the spaceship wearing a sweater?"
      Friend Paul: "Sure! It's cold out there!"
      If you've seen it, you may also remember it as the "flying space walnut" movie. If you haven't---yes, it was pretty stupid. But, for 1978, the effects were great, and it was never boring. Sure, the characters were incredibly deficient in brain cells. The main male leads had the emotional maturity of "Well, I know 2 little boys who need a juice box and a nap!"
      The bad guy ship's one effect is rumbling overhead, and shot from underneath like the first scene of Star Wars. I'm 100% sure that in the original the ship had fur, because it's cold out there!




      Not much to say, besides "I can't accidentally skip Ambien for even 1 night." Oh, except that it's May 17th 2017.
      This page went live on May 17th 1997.
      20 years, that's like a thousand in internet years.

      In a total coincidence (OR IS IT? Read the book!) Cracked today did an article, 10 Insane Old Websites Nobody Ever Thought To Delete. Many are from the 90s, and 2 from 97.


      May you dance another 20 years, young lady!


      I've been rereading Monty Python' Big Red Book, which is easily spotted by it's blue cover. Inside, it calls itself Monty Python' Big Brown Book.
      It's mostly expansions on the show's skits, and includes the sheet music to Monaco's winning entry in the Eurovision Song contest, Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong..
      It's still funny, although they kind of front-load the jokes. After a few Forewards, or complaints about no being asked to write a Foreward, they have a page of classified ads. As written, but I only have a $ on the keyboard:      If you've seen the series at all, you remember the Colonel. "Stop it! That's just silly."
      One of the not-forward writers complaining is the Colonel. Here's possibly the most obscure of Python trivia ever, something you won't find even on his Wiki entry: His name is Colonel "Sandy" Volestrangler.








      Well, that seems to have worked, without plugging in the Hated HP. Now I just need to get in the habit of writing again.


      There wasn't any big drama in my leaving for a month. I got so sick of that HP that, despite it still "working," I got a Dell. I thought I posted that there would be a delay in posting, but apparently I didn't. CoreFTP absolutely refused to upload, even when I changed all my account info on my webhosting service. Since all my everything was on the server (I've never had a problem switching between new and old computers before), I couldn't even see my files to update them.
      Zef suggested seeing if there was an FTP client on my Dell, but it's Win10, and finding anything is like looking for a needle in a haystack that's on fire and the needle's made of Kleenex so you can't find it even when the haystack's burned away. But my host did have one. It's called "CuteFTP," and thus is likely the FTP of choice for Hello Kitty.
      It works all spiffy, but it turned out to say it was a free trial. Hopefully, it expires to the most basic of FTPs, because all I need it to do is upload this one page.

      At least I unintentionally picked a good month to not update, as there wasn't much to talk about. At least as far as stuff I want to talk about here. Hmm, maybe something else...
      Killsy's hearing is slipping a bit, given the 18 years old thing, but only in that sometimes she's asleep after I walk into the room. Just for a few seconds. Toemaster B's, weirdly, is getting slightly better, as he's always awake whenever I get home at random times. He must have learned the sound of the garage door being opened, although that's 3 floors down. (None of my neighbors park in their garages) Everybody ignores thunderstorms, mainly because he and I don't care about The Booms. One clap burst literally over the condo while B snoozed in the window. He instantly went into the Alert Sphinx position--laying down, but head and neck straight upright--and froze. For 3 minutes. Staring at the same spot of nothing, clearly knowing "I heard that!" and trying to focus his ears for anything else. He shrugged when he didn't, and went back to sleep.
      Like all mammals, lose one major sense, and the brain rewires to improve the other four. Before I went to work, I put some new dry food out. He was conked out, and I watched for a good minute. A cat sleeping right near you means the ultimate in trust and love. I quietly sat down, and after a minute--up pops his head, nose working. By the time I said "Oh, no way!" he'd jumped down to eat the dry food he'd smelled from 8 feet away while asleep.
      And he is the sleepiest of cats. And he still gets night terrors, awakening early in the overnight because of The Dream. I know what it is: He was abandoned by his mother at 2 weeks, so he dreams he's lost his family again. He gives out the bloodcurdling Byron Siren, and won't stop until someone comes to him. If it's me and one cat, he nervously scans the horizon until the other cat shows up. You can see the tension leaving his shoulders like a shed weight until we're all there.
      The most recent episode happened at 3AM, on one of the only 2 days I have to get up at 7. I stumbled out of bed--this is one of my kid's mental health we're talking about. He began purring when he saw me. To my disappointment, DJ wandered in late and KK stayed in bed. Once he calmed, I got up, and he did something I'v never seen him do: he did figure 8s around my legs, rubbing his whole body against me while purring as loud as he could. I guess the person missing from his nightmare was me. We both went back to peaceful sleep.



      One of the things needed for a blog is a willingness to write, but more importantly, something worth writing about. And I don't have much. All I do is work, or hide at home.
      I was supposed to see Jess at the beginning of the month, then it became sometime in July, and now it's I don't know when. She always had a good reason not to get together, although it's generally because of bad news. I'd love to hear the details myself, but here's basically all I know, from Jess herself:      That is good news! Exterminating cat colonies doesn't work. When one colony's been murdered, another just forms in the same space. Trap-Neuter-Release is the only thing that works. The feral adults get neutered so there are no more kittens, and kittens that haven't gone feral are socialized to humans and adopted out. The colony eventually shrinks in size, from there being no more new kittens, and the adults dying from natural causes. There will always be a colony there, as outside cats will join. But it won't get big.
      Oh, and my opinion? Fuck your precious little birdies and mice. Cars and skyscrapers kill more birds than cats, but I don't hear anybody demanding we ride mules to work at our local blacksmith. If you want to feed the field mice, by all means, let them eat your Cap'n Crunch (now with mouse dingleberries!). Also, hmm, I think there's something else bad for those 800 starlings pooping on your car--oh, right! A new mass extinction due to global warming! Certainly cats are to blame for that. Shedding fur, that just traps the neon gases on the earth. Hoax, anyway.
      Also, were the first words every member of the Trump Clan learned was "Someone else did it!" even when they're blaming it on each other? In the checkout line, I saw that the Trump-blowing Nat'l Enquirer claimed "HILLARY planted FAKE EVIDENCE of Russians to damage TRUMP!" Well, that's some supervillainy at work there. She planted evidence of Russian collusion before the election, so that 6 months after the inauguration, she would get her revenge! Somehow? It's like how the Red Skull created the Sleeper Robots, incredibly huge and powerful robots that would conquer the world! 25 years after the Nazis lost the war, despite being built during the war. Kind of pointless, really.
      Did you know how the fake evidence was first found? In Socks! The Clinton's cat pooped it out, and no one cleaned his litter box until 9 months later! EVERYTHING'S THE FAULT of CATS


      I got the latest replacement for my iPod 160GB. Used for $169. It seems to work, unlike the last one, which powered and then did nothing. This, I can't download iTunes at all, despite 4 hours of trying. It gets to Install, then claims "errors" and closes. Since Malwarebytes seemed to pop up during the failed install, I thought the was the problem. I ininstalled Malware (I can always put it back), and it sill doesn't work ("Run the Installer Again." And AgaIn. AND again...". Where am I supposed to download iTunes, if not from Apple? Or is it the iPod?


      Apparently it takes 2 local PD squad cars to block rush hour traffic, in order to yell at a homeless guy holding a sign on the side of the exit reading "PLEASE HELP BLESS AND GOD BLESS". Cop: "Hey, who's the first guy blessing there? It's fucking Cthulhu, isn't it?"

      The literally laziest person I've ever "worked" with came in 10 minutes late, spent 45 minutes talking upstairs with the owner (the second laziest person), then went into the bathroom for 5 minutes and actually shit on the seat.
      I think he's under some Hippocratic Oath. "First, do no work."

      Ambien: Just Say No!
      I haven't had any of the truly full-blown weirdness. Such as a coworker whose family awoke very early one morning to discover that Dad had made a giant breakfast. Seven giant breakfasts. I have no idea what dosage he was on, but he had no memory of doing it. He could've gone back to bed with a pound of bacon frying, and burnt the house down.
      I've learned "Don't do anything more complex than staring at the computer after taking it." At the start, I learned that "Take off your glasses and go to bed" is different than "Go to bed, then take off your glasses, and put them in the bed." And "I need to open the store, so I need to set the alarm to get up 10 minutes early," and when the alarm woke me right at the time that would make me 10 minutes late.
      Last night, I awoke around 3-4AM. Standing with lights on, my glasses off, as were my socks and dorm pants. My first thought was "Did...Did I just have an argument--with my pants?" And I didn't see my pants. I found them the next morning, thrown in the farthest corner of the bed.
      Yes. I had an argument with my pants while asleep. Ambien. It's a hell of a drug.
      Good thing I don't keep bacon in the house.






      I received an emergency call on my machine! My "license key to Microsoft Windows has expired," and "all Windows activities has been stopped!" [sic] I turned the volume on my computer speakers back up and continued using Windows.
      It was like getting the message "And your phone lines will stops working immediately! Also, I hope you have a scuba tank, because all your air have expired!"
      If one moron in 10 million falls for the scam, it pays them. Several people at work, including the young owner, were seriously worried when they received a call claiming that the store's electricity would be turned off in 45 minutes unless they paid their bill. It took a while for them to realize A) that's not how things work, and B) they wanted immediate payment in Visa gift cards. "And buy everything on my Amazon wish list!"

      Because everything in the store is done on the cheap, like Win XP powering our decade old registers, which between the 3 have 1.5 working barcode scanners, we have a really old radio that is frequently prone to picking up only static. The only station we were able to tune in was the Urban Hot Hits, with lots of PG-rated rap and such. I always have the volume set at "barely perceptible" no matter what the music. Commercial radio sucks. Ads and the same damn songs on endless repeat, whether it's Urban, Lite, or Classic Rawk.
      One (white, older) woman complained. "It's all about getting the White Supremacist!" [sic] Whatever the fuck THAT meant. Besides someone who voted for Trump. "I hate WWII movies! It's always about getting the Nazi!"


      A couple of days ago, Byron developed feline acne again. It forms on his chin, he scratches it until it scabs. It sounds worse than it is.
      Oddly, it was perpendicular to his lower lip. I kept an eye on it all day yesterday. He finally slept for hours right on it, so it can't be bothering him that much.
      This morning he came up to me in the bathroom. Not his tiny squeak Hello, or the dreaded Byron Siren, but a "look at me!" loud meow in the middle. And it was quite a sight. He had blood all over his lip by the mark, and on his upper lip, what was either a chunk of bloody flesh or a bleeding tooth.
      He wouldn't let me get a closer look. I took him to the vet. It was a vet and a tech who had never seen Byron, Hellbeast of the Northeast, before. "Don't worry," said the tech. "I've already seen some aggressive cats today!" Yes. I'm sure you did.
      LUKE: "I'm not afraid!" YODA: "Oh, you will be. You will be."
      Soon, both she and the vet were jumping away from him with his screaming and trying to murder them through the bars of the closed carrier.
      They didn't charge me for an exam. As there was no exam. It'd be like sticking a tongue depressor into Hannibal Lecter's mouth while wearing a hat made of fava beans. Theories: anything from a cut he aggravated, to an exploded abscessed tooth, to a tumor that would require removal of enough of his mout that I would to feed him via a tube in his stomach. For the rest of his life.
      The vet recommended what I told them up front: he's going to need sedation just to come out of the carrier. She backed away from his carrier, waving a crucifix and clutching a vial of holy water, saying "'Use Extreme Caution'!" which is probably what it says over every inch of his file.
      Of course I had to work. On getting home, he looks better. Not good, just not as bad. Nothing on his upper lip, so it wasn't a loose tooth. It looks more like a cut he kept scratching at, or maybe a sore. He eats with no problem, but does seem to have some difficulty drinking from the water bowl. No problem drinking from a coffee cup, weirdly.
      So nothing to do now but wait. I'm hoping for a good resolution. But of course I am; wouldn't you be?


      Entirety of an email to Jessica:


      He has something on his jaw. Not a tumor or cancerous, but very solid. His teeth are fine.
      He has something next to his right kidney that's twice the size of the kidney. The x rays don't make it clear what it is. We're waiting for the blood work to get back. He may have to get a sonogram so that they can get a better look. They may do a biopsy if it looks bad.
      Tuesday, he was kind of loopy from the sedative, antibiotic, and pain patch. But otherwise himself.
      Yesterday, he hid. I saw him for a total of 20 minutes. This morning he reappeared, snarling and snorting at DJ. It's apparently his fault any time Byron goes to the vet. He didn't eat his wet food. He turned up when I got home from work, but he's still off by himself and mad at DJ. All he ate is a few treats.
      He was supposed to go to the sonogram next week, but I asked to wait another week. I can't bring him in if I can't find him! I need to know how he'll act before I commit to an appointment only 5 days away, and 4 towns over.
      So he's crabby, not eating, but apparently pain-free. He's already cost me over $800, but I'm not giving up yet. But I can't lie: there's going to be a point where it's going to cost a lot to keep him unhappily alive. Quality of life is more important than quantity.
      One day at a time, that's all I can do now.


      Good news! Byron's bloodwork came back, and he's fine! What ever that thing is by his kidney, it's not affecting the organ, and he has no diabetes or high white blood cell count.
      So I'm keeping an eye on him. The next step was going to be a sonogram & possible biopsy, at a vet over half an hour's drive away. I'm not doing that. (He's back to hiding and snarling at DJ because of his vet trip, today being the least of that, so hopefully he's on the road to psychological health as well)


      I should point out that it was the vet who agreed with me to pass on further diagnostic testing. I'll keep an eye on Bigfoot, assuming that I can see him, DJ. If I'm upset, Loverboy is right in my lap to cheer me up. He doesn't get that it doesn't work with Byron.
      My iPod played my favorite Byron song on the way to work. The lyrics are even more appropriate now.




      I picked up some thyroid meds for KIllsy at the vet, hoping that I might also get to talk to the vet about B. There were 3 giant SUVs/ vans in the tiny parking lot, so I knew it wasn't going to happen.
      A guy and his 75-pound Cujo were there, along with a couple of other owners of giant, stupid dogs. I think that the bigger a dog gets, the less its brain works. It barked at the top of his lungs in the tiny waiting area. For 10 fucking minutes. The other hellbeast owners cooed at the shrieking morons (his owner had only enough more brains to know how to drive). He offered various excuses as to why his dogshit-for-brains shit dog wouldn't stop doing his Trump impression. He finally ended with "It's because not everyone here is talking to him!" I assume he was looking at me, although the tech clearly wanted this to be over with. I decided it wouldn't be be a good idea to say "Oh, so it's my fault you can't train your dog!"
      The dog's name: Chaos.

      Guy with the vanity plate "8 Slick": I wonder if I'm the first person to see that and think "That's almost a phonetic match for 'Ass Lick'."

      Customer: "I bought a Bud Light 20 minutes ago. Can I trade it for this Corona?"
      Me: "Sure, bring it in."
      He came back with a ripped-open 12 pack, by which I mean a FOUR pack. "NO. We can't take it back like that!"
      "But I thought you'd just charge me for what I drank!"
      "No, that's a BAR. That's not how liquor stores work." That's like eating a meal at a restaurant, and saying "I only drank half my Coke. Can I get a refund?"
      He bought the Corona and left with his 4 beers. And, yes, it had been only 20 minutes since he'd bought them. Where did the other 8 go?


      Byron, physically, is fine. Even that open wound on his jaw has healed.
      Psychologically, we're still woking on things. Twice in 2 days, he's made it to the doorway to this room, only to be chased off by Mr. Way-Too-Friendly. So close. And still so far.




--New Jersey state senator Anthony Imperiale (R), during a debate about a proposed code of ethics      My free trial of CuteFTP expired, so I went looking for a new free one. It took a while to make it work, but this was because I was typing the destination in wrong--it's "" not "ftp:".
      Let's see what happened in the last week. Byron isn't where we want him, which would be a place called "normal". He's come down from the Tower of Exile a few times, but DJ always runs up to him and hiss snarl snort, he's back there.
      A few days ago, DJ went to use the box, and VOOM! Big B was in my lap. He curled up for pets and purrs. He usually doesn't stay when I move even a leg, but he stayed. After an hour, I said "I really need to pee." But he stayed in the chair and let me squeeeze back in. He stayed for 3 hours! Then he suddenly remembered DJ existed, and hiss snarl snort, away he ran. But it's a start.

      Hey, guess what! My right knee and ankle have arthritis! Probably from doing physical labor my body isn't designed for, for 35 years. The doctor recommended just OTC ibuprofen. I bought a new pair of Chuck Taylors, because my old ones are very old. My right foot is swollen, probably from 2 months of limping, so it won't fit in the sneaker. Since the net has an answer for everything, including how to stretch your shoes, they currently have my work socks balled into the right one. Not socks I wear to work, the ones I got there. Jack Daniels branded, but knee high and so tight that their only use might be for a junior high girls sports team. Except they say Jack Daniels on them. I think the phys ed teacher might question the parenting skills of a kid wearing them to school.
      I don't know how I'm going to break them in. I hurt enough at work walking, and now I'm working more hours. Because...Boy Hitler has quit! Yes, the guy they gave a third of my hours to because he's So Much Better Than Me, just upped and quit without notice. The Games of Throning at work has become more complicated, as Boy Owner has a new best buddy, Dropo the Laziest Man on Mars. He comes in when he wants to, takes half hour lunches that last 1 or more hours, does no work and spends almost all his time on his phone. the last 2 items describe pretty much everyone there except me. The Dreaded Smiths, once the true puppet masters, are confounded by this young upstart, and he particularly hates Mrs Smith. She was the one was told at her last job for decades that she had to work from home because of all the trouble she caused. So she'd do her machinations over her home phone, and they fired her. Then we got stuck with her, and that's when the real chaos began.
      Shitler, like Dropo and Mrs Smith, is arrogant. On day one, he acted like he knew more about running the store than anyone else did. He quit several jobs, and always said "I left because the owner was an asshole." As the saying goes: If you meet an asshole first thing in the morning, you met an asshole. If everyone you meet all day is an asshole, you're the asshole.
      He'd put deliveries away, but he'd do it as half-assed and quickly as possible so he could get paid to look at his phone. He quit to work in an Amazon warehouse. Good luck with that.


      "Is something wrong?" I asked as she got out of her car.
      "No, I just got stuck behind some asshole whose truck wouldn't fit under a bridge!" said Jessica. Then we took a few steps, and she asked "Is something wrong with you?" And I explained about my new friend-for-life, arthritis.
      'There's the truck!" she said. It was one of those giant F250/Ram/Compensating-for-Something Juggernaut pickups, with a fridge in the bed, sticking a foot above the cab's roof. She's lucky he didn't just barrel right under that low bridge, sending the fridge out of the bed and landing on car.
      (yeah, I know the "overcompensating" joke has been used before. But I see a guy who drives a maxed-out F150, wearing an NRA hat and camo Cabela's gear to buy lottery tickets. He's in his 60s, and is built like a post-blueberryization Violet Beauregarde. I mentally call him "Alvin," because he has the chipmunk voice naturally. Since he probably keeps guns in his tank, I haven't asked if he still wants a HU-la hoop)
      We picked Tues because it fit in our schedules, even though we knew the only antique store in Putnam that wouldn't be closed was the huge one. And it was closed. So we walked and talked around town. Limped, in my case.
      I thought that the state of Massachusetts was consulting her about feral TNR. They were going to euthanize a feral cat colony (not one of hers). She promised to work her rehabilitation magic, but now, they're treating her like their servant. The kittens were already dead of pan leuk, and so all she could do was neuter the adults. They were already fixed, and so suddenly, they wanted her to give them all a booster shot. Of something that they'd already received that lasts all their life, not unlike the polio and measles vaccines your dumber neighbors refuse to give their kids.
      Her regular vet--who was already mad when Jess called her at 7AM on a winter Sunday because the state animal control boss told her to, and after he blew off the visit he was supposed to make with her--told her "They'd never euthanize a whole colony!" So, it was strong-arm tactics to scare her into working for them. She's still working with the colony, but on her terms and times, because of the whole bald-faced lying thing.
      We went to what very few stores were open. "They're closed too?!" she said of the comic book shop. They were open, just in a basement. There's another old trope: Comic nerd living in his mother's basement. Possibly worse karma: Opening a shop for comic nerds in the basement of an old Montgomery Wards. It was built in the 1880s I believe, so hopefully enough spells have been cast at the gaming tables to dispel any lingering demons from the eldritch netherrealm of internationally known incompetent fuckwads.
      She began enthusiastically shifting through the old copies of Doctor Who magazine. She watches it on BBC, just like I used to on PBS in the 80s. I flipped through a book on Who collectibles. There was a talking Dalek. I wonder what it said? Probably "THESE SCONES ARE LOVELY. DO PASS THE MARMALADE, HUMAN SCUM." I ended up buying a 70%-off Megaton Man collection.
      And we had lunch, and then we left. She described the visit as "a bust" due the closed stores, but any time we can hang out is a good investment to me.





      DJ's been getting playful lately, so at the grocery store I looked for a wand toy. For 50% off: Jackson Galaxy(R)'s Air Prey Wand Toy! Okay...where's the wand? I just see a clump of feathers. Oh, it has a "30" Retractable Cord" built in! I wonder why it's 50% off?
      Because it's missing 50% of itself. You see, it's an Air Wand Toy. You need to buy the Air Wand first. Which reminded me of nothing but Johnny Longtorso:      I slipped it onto my backscratcher, and both KK and DJ had fun with it. Sorry, Mr Galaxy(R)! You'll have to pay for your tattoos some way else.

      There are things I've looked for so many times over 20+ years of the net that I've given up looking for them. One had always been Karel Zeman's The Fabulous Baron Munchausen. But for some reason, I looked again, and here it is on YouTube.
      Why a guy in Soviet-controlled 1961 Czechoslavkia made this is a good question. How he made it without copious amounts of recreational drugs is an even harder question.
      This is an amazing film, all beautiful photographic effects. The first 10 minutes is a bit plodding (there is literal plodding involved), but it quickly becomes fascinatingly dreamlike. Like a good dream (at least my dreams), it's gorgeous to look at and follows a kind of internal logic. It's dubbed in Russian, with sketchy Spanish subtitles if you want them, but putting it in English wouldn't make it any less hallucinogenic. Early on, it's dubbed in Kazoo.
      This is a good weird movie. And, hey! It's 4:20 somewhere!







      < href="">"Ancient Aliens" Is Everything That's Wrong With America . "I don’t know if you knew, but the Hebrews didn’t spend forty years in the Sinai after the Exodus because they’d incurred the wrath of God. And they didn’t leave that desert because the offending generation had died off. The chosen people were forced into the Promised Land because the algae-based-protein-bar machine that dispensed the “manna from heaven” they’d been eating finally broke down. “Of course, [the machine] needed energy, for cultivating the algae, and this was produced, we postulate, by a small nuclear reactor,” says Rodney Dale, a wild-eyed madman." The show is narrated by a guy named Clotworthy, which sounds like a character in a bad English drawing-room comedy."



      Good news, everybody! DJ has a big claw mark across his nose!
      Now, you might wonder how this is good news, especially if your name is DJ. There was the usual DJ-vs-Byron in Exile confrontation, with extra snarling and howling from the Toemaster. But instead of running, B stood his ground, back arched and tail the size of a comet's. He didn't run away. He stayed his ground, face to face. With his former best buddy.
      Byron clearly was thinking of Touching the Floor earlier in the week, on my day off. But he kept glancing warily at where Deej might be. I crouched on the floor and tried to beckon him down, but it didn't work.
      Today after work, Byron was gone. Damn, he's hiding again. But seconds later, I saw him sneak onto his tower from the floor! I think I know which long cardboard box he was sleeping in. Pale progress, but still progress.




      "We're going in a different direction with management," which I guess is modern corp-speak for "We're laying you off with no warning. After 14 years."
      All I've done so far is apply for unemployment and cancel upcoming doctor's appointments. No income and no health care means "AMERICA!!! Die somewhere already, just where we won't see you."
      Also: Baby Owner said "It's all my father! I had nothing to do with it!" which should give you an idea of his spine. My replacement is either the lazy 23-year-old who's Baby's friend, or maybe, since Daddy just sold his old store, he's hired Kenny. They didn't kill Kenny! From all I've heard over the years, Kenny will just make his coworkers wish they could kill him.
      Either way, it's going to be their problem, not mine. I've more important things to worry about..


      Here's an email I sent to Jess, titled "My week so far":


--answers on a test      Fictional Bad Games.
      Link to the Stranger Things "game."


      Got my mail at 530AM, because I couldn't sleep. Did you know that people are willingly awake at 530 on a Sunday?
      Init was a Netflix that, while at the bottom of my queue, got sent to me anyway. "War of the Worlds." Not, not that one! Or the other one! I didn't know that it was an Asylum release! Their business model was to make cheeze-ass cheap ripoffs on big budget movies, in the hope that people would grab the wrong DVD off the shelf. And not only big budget ones--remember the campy "Iron Sky," a crowdfunded project about Nazi Moon Flying Saucers? Yeah, they did one. Y'know, it's always fun to watch Nazis get beaten in a movie, but there's a fine line there. There's a difference between making your villain the Red Skull, and making him Immortal Dr Mengele.
      But what caught my attention was a pair of letters. The way my life's gone lately, I saw the return addresses and said "They cancelled my health insurance, and the state turned down my unemployment claim!"
      But no. I have both. I'm unsure why the insurance sent a letter to say "You're still covered!" but that's only temporary comfort. Typically for governent, the unemployment mailing had 5 pages, mostly repeating itself. I guess I'm getting $305 a month, AKA minimum wage. But I think that's my gross pay, because they'll take taxes out. Poor people have to pay taxes, because how will the billionaires and trillionaire corporations get away with not paying any? GOURD BLESS THE USA



      Headline from the Vernon Patch arrest file: "Somers Man Chops off End of Finger During Attempted Break-In, Returns to Scene to Find It"



--tweet by singer Chris Brown





      Three weeks of ungainful unemployment. Kind of depressing, really.
      And things aren't getting any better. Almost everytime I leave the house, there's more bad news in the mail. Almost everytime I don't leave the house there's more bad news.
      I can't get Byron's ASPCA health insurance to work, and for the 3 cats, that's $120 a month I can't use. Or afford. Since I don't have a printer, I thought I could just do it online. But my vet receipts came with special characters in the name, so I saved them as .pdf files, and they still won't upload because they "don't take text files." I'm going to have to go to the library or someplace and get them printed out. We're talking maybe $450 back. I should've done it all 2 months ago. But I didn't. I thought I had time.
      My (presumably) last doctor's visit led to her saying that I shouldn't take Ambien, so she gave me something else. As soon as I heard the name, I knew it was just Benadryl. If that still worked, I'd never have gotten on stupid Ambien. Now my sleep pattern has turned into naps during the day, followed by falling asleep after several miserable hours, usaully from about 7AM to 2 or 3PM. I guess I should just force myself awake for over a day with caffeine, then wait until I'm exhausted. But if there's one thing is this world you can't do, it's force yourself to sleep. This caused me to sleep through a doctor's appointment, and I'll have to pay my deductible. But my insurance could run out in a week, and then I could get charged for the whole thing.
      Because of my lapsed car insurance, the DMV sent me a bill for $200. My registration was suspended. That's what it said in big bold type, until I read it found it was just "lasped," and I have till 11/20 to pay it off. There's an online link to pay, if you want to dig deep enough through their labyrinth, but every time I'm nearing the final step, it tells me that I can't pay, because my insurance is valid. Typical. I'll just pay by mail.
      I got a message saying that I could update to Firefox 57. I downloaded it before finding out there is no Firefox 57 yet. All my adblocking turned off, even when I redownloaded them. After a couple of days, I got a screaming warning from my computer that I had to call Microsoft because I had the Zeus virus. I became increasingly suspicious of the phone rep, especially as he picked up right away. His very thick Mumbai accent as h read from an obvious script didn't build confidence, and when he said "There's a one-time charge of $209 to fix this. You can use you credit card" I balked. More so when he transferred me to "Mike," who told me my firewall was down while sending me ads for Dell firewalls. I wouldn't want to pay that much, would I? The last one he sent was a firewall for $20,000. For my $350 computer. I hung up, but I'd already given them my phone number early on. He called as soon as I closed the chat. Three times, until I rebooted. I haven't found much information on the caller ID number, but it's not the Redmond area code, and the numbers with the first 7 digits closest to it are known scammers. I've twice received another download Firefox ad, but the first site I clicked had "Mozilla" in the url (probably ending in .ru or .in, I wasn't paying attention at the time). These had really weirdly obvious not-Firefox urls, so even I'm not that dumb. I reinstalled Firefox and my adblocker/antivirus/antimalware software. And now the ads are gone, and browsing has greatly speeded up. I'm checking my credit cards and bank account repeatedly. So far so good, but I'm waiting for that shoe to drop.
      Speaking of undropped shoes, I still have yet to find out what's the deal with my condo ass telling me to get rid of 2 of my cats. Was it sent to me alone, or did everyone with more than one pet get the same warning? Every start of the year, we fill out a form that has "How many pets do you have?" with, IIRC, room for about 5 pets. Why now? Why ME?
      I talked for 30 minutes to my legal counsel, who has much experience from the other side of the condo door. Jessica was on her condo board for years, and getting anybody to do anything was nearly impossible. And most of her neighebors were renters, not someone like me, who's owned 5 out of the last 30 years I've been here. Her recommendations were:
Lie. I only have one cat now. I did have ASPCA stickers for rescue workers saying I had 3 on my doors, but I took those down. But what if they try to physically check?
      They can't. They can't enter without my permission, or a warrant. This was my greatest worry. Let's face it, this place is a pigsty, and the front room smells of cat pee since Byron went into self-exile again. Could they evict me for being a slob? She says no, not unless it's affecting other units.
      I mentioned that just a day before this, I was getting my mail when a woman was walking 2 dogs. I don't know the breed, but they were about labrador sized. And barking insanely at me, while she struggled at the leashes to hold them back. I get loudly barked at at any time I go to get the mail during the work week, by large dogs left alone in 665 sq ft units. Maybe some is complaining about the dogs? In that case, they have to send a letter to everyone with pets to cover themselves.
      Again, shoe. Today was supposed to be the last day to purge 2 cats, so I don't know if this is an excuse for them to hit people with fines, directed at not me, or directed at me. Personally. I hope not the last. Because that leads to some real Sophie's Choice thinking. DJ's the likeliest to get adopted, but he's 8 and not really friendly around people who are not me. Killsy's way too old and Byron way too insane to get adopted, just get put to sleep. Who do I keep?
      The only plus is that "Don't Mess with Jess!" is on my side. Put a girly pink bow on it and give it some freckles, but in that second as it pulps your head to yogurt, it's still a sledgehammer.
      I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings. It'll be something new and unpleasant, I'm sure.



      ...And right after that last long entry, clunk, clunk. The sound of 2 shoes dropping.
      I was running Malwarebytes, and it ran for a really long time. Adaware said I had no malware, but Malwarebytes said I had 12,000. All but one were "potential" threats, and a potential threat is a piano falling on your head, and if you dodge, it's right into the arms of a hungry bear. Potential, not remotely likely. I clicked to clean it up, and it asked to reboot my computer. Ahh, I remember that the reason I've never run Mbytes was because I had to reboot. Since I'd basically been rebooting for 2 days straight, I let it run. It took a long time to reboot, although DJ really liked getting petted in my lap and watching the Spinning Thing.
      When it finally finished, it asked me for my password. In a dialog box with a cheesy graphic that looked from 1994. Was Mbytes the malware itself? I immediately panicked, thinking that Yep, bad guys are in my computer. Multiple reboots led me finally deciding to reset the damn thing. This also took forever. I got out the Kindle Fire, which works as a Kindle but not as its proclaimed feature, a very cheap tablet. It wouldn't connect, even though the wifi on the modem was working. When it did, it argued with me about my password to Gmail. Whn I finally got it in and hit enter, I saw that the password wasn't hidden on the screen, just spelled right out. Twice. And I flashed back to what may-or-may-not have been Microsoft tech support. I was asked "Do you have any other devices connected to the computer? Like a phone, a laptop, a tablet--or a Kindle?!" The way his voice suddenly brightened was interesting, like he was looking not to see what else was harmed, but what could be. Does it being turned off connect it to the computer? So, new panic.
      I unplugged the Dell and rehooked the hated HP. Many an hour later, I was back on the Dell, downloading things. It still doesn't work quite right--the ads are back--and frantic changing of passwords ensued. My bank and credit cards are still untouched, but for how long?
      I planned on going to bed early to reset my sleep, but of course that was shot. I checked my health insurance, and Guess What! It had expired at the end of last month! THANKS FOR TELLING ME. Clunk. And how many hundreds of dollars will that cost me?
      In the mail the next day was a letter from my health couldn't-care-less company. I was on limited coverage. No explanation what that meant. I could continue my coverage under COBRA, but no explanation what that would cost.

      Looking for something that I could read that would be both interesting but enough to tire my brain out, I came across List of films considered the worst. Long before MST or VCRs or even cable, I'd seen several of them on broadcast TV, which involved a careful reading of the local TV listings and sometimes staying up all night to catch grainy transmissions from the NYC stations. I spent years trying to convince friends that movies existed like Robot Monster ("It's a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on!") and The Creeping Terror ("It's a carpet with a papier mache head with vacuum cleaner hoses!") to Monster-a-Go-Go ("It's like one movie ends and another begins!").
      I've seen maybe a third of the movies on the list, but as an avid reader of reviews and loyal Siskel & Ebert viewer, learned about many more I didn't need to see. I think there's like a dozen I'd never heard of, mainly from 2000 on, and I own a bootleg VHS of Turkish Star Wars. I say "seen" for movies I've watched for 20 to 30 minutes before giving up. Most movies aren't "so bad they're good," but "so bad they're unwatchable." I'm not making a third attempt to crawl through Battlefield Earth, the murkiest, muddiest looking movie I've sort of seen. "Filmed in Hollywood's latest triumph of cinematography, Diarrhe-O-Rama!" I'm not going to even make a second try at Showgirls (my review: "Even the tits are boring.")
      I guess the criteria for inclusion is enough critics saying "This is the worst movie ever made!" The list's capsule reviews of the movies say this to the point where it becomes boring. How many times have critics said "This is the Citizen Kane of bad movies"? So many talk about RiffTrax that It seems like a RiffTrax intern was jobbed with editing the wiki. But many have bits of the criticism in them which can be funny. Such as Ebert's classic line about Freddy Got Fingered, "This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels!"


      I don't know why my ad blocker went from working, to not working, to working extra perfect, to "Here's an unstoppable firehose of ads right atcha!" I have broadband, so it choked my speed on some pages to nothing. There were ads, lots of them, locust swarms of them, on pages that I never knew even had them.
      And what ads there were! Banks of them, lined up on my screens like cannons ready to fire. I didn't have to click on them, but sometimes, I couldn't tell the ad from the page. Which I suppose is the idea.
      I clicked on only 2. The first was "DO THIS ONE TRICK TO WIN LOTTERY EVERY TIME! (1 time out of 12)" I know that you people who know advanced mathematics have already figured out the flaw there. Advanced math like "Trig" or "Calc" or "Tron" or "Don't chew your food until it's in your open mouth." Where was "DO THIS ONE TRICK TO LOSE LOTTERY 11 TIMES OUT OF 12!" As someone who sold lottery for 20 years, I can tell you that the day someone figures out a "system" to winning the lottery is the day before the state closes the lottery.
      This happened last year in CT. There was a new game called Five Card Cash. (They regularly introduce new games, because the amount of people who waste their money on the lottery is shrinking--unless Powerball/Megamillions get hyped by the media, no one under the age of 50 plays) It gave you a drawing number for later, but also an instant winner. A handful of retailers across the state found a way to see if it the instant was a winner, and if not, cancel the draw number before the ticket went all the way through, making it cost them nothing. These stores were the highest winners! And also, the highest cancellers. It didn't take the state long to figure out the connection. Not unlike my coworker who stole $20K in scratch tickets, and was caught a month later.
      The ad: Of course we never find out the TRICK, but we get to know that the tricker had won, in a year, over $14 million dollars. And see his house, which is a giant mansion on a cliff overlooking some perfectly blue sea. Suuuure it is. And here's his moon base! Where he'd better hide before the Lottery Police get him. I assume the TRICK involved me sending someone my money.
      Another I clicked: "Most Americans Can't Tell What's Different About This WWII 1944 German Soldier." There's certainly no way this could turn out bad!
      Hmm, 1944 German soldier--is it because he's not dead? Or soon will be? Or that he looks fake? Nice fresh uniform, perfectly shaved, hygenic, and fed, with a few shacks behind him. Was he in the 1944 German version of People, "Volk," as "Sexiest Nazi Still Not Dead"?
      I took a deep breath, clicked the link, and moved my cursor to the "close window" button. Ad: "Was Secret Cure For Cancer Hidden By The Nazis?" And an autoplay voice said "Warning: Some people may find this disturbi--" CLOSE WINDOW.
      I guess the difference was that this WWII 1944 German was that he didn't have cancer. Those ramshackle stacks behind the German, I already wondered if this had anything to do with "research" done in concentration camps. "10 Million Were Slaughtered and YOU Get the Benefits!" Maybe that wasn't it, because I had no desire to know anything further.
      Both ads were in blocks at the bottom of Boing Boing, not a place I'd expect to see garbage. But I suppose they don't have any control over their ads.
      But I do! I found uBlock as a Firefox add-on, and it downloaded, installed and was working in record time. I like that it tells you, way up in the corner of the toolbar, how many ads it's blocked on the visit. Record: 40 on 1 page.

      Unrealeased music from 1980's Cosmos, by Vangelis:





      "Chocolate salesmen!" HA! That's as dumb writing here for a week without changing the "Jump to the Newest" link! Umm...

      No word from the Condo Ass about my illegal cat-owning. I don't know if this means the coast is clear, and I can hang a neon sign outside my window saying that I'm breeding lizards for sale. (Those are 3 separate things that my original mortgage paperwork specifically banned) Of course, Mr Byron refuses to leave his Tower, and also refuses to walk the extra TWO STEPS into his personal litter box, preferring to pee outside it and yes, my living room smells great.
      He did come down twice last night. Out of thin, but stinky, air. I went to greet him, as did Killsy. He hung out exactly long enough for DJ to run up. And he ran back to Elba.

      It's possible he came down because I was ignoring his yelling. Usually I'm right out there as soon as he begins squawking, as it could mean he's spilled his bowl of water or dry food, or has run out of places to squirt pee on. He probably wanted pets, which he used to get whenever he wanted, by coming off that damned fortress of his. I was trying to find a way to transfer the music on my iPod to iTunes, which has been thwarting me for over a year. You'd think it'd be easy, but if Apple wasn't greedy enough to make you pay twice for something you already own, they wouldn't release a new iPhone every 45 minutes. But after a few hours, I found a program with the exciting name of CopyTrans Control. I deleted what little I had in iTunes, and it was able to transfer it right back, and right away. I reset the newer iPod, synced it all back, then deleted what was in iTunes and sent it all back again. So it's just time until I get up the nerve to try it with the 17K tracks on the older iPod.

      Speaking of syncing, I'm still trying to get my sleep schedule back to "not asleep from dawn to dusk." (I'm currently 24 hours awake) It seems the Kindle Fire is useful after all. It's a great Kindle, but a terrible tablet. But I can read the backlog of books on it while the tiny, tinny speaker streams music. I could get better sound from it, if the headphone jack wasn't the first thing to go on it. All the books I downloaded cheaply, and legally, via Book Bub.
      I'm reading "The Fall of the Dynasties," about the long preamble to WWI and its aftermath on Europe's monarchies. It's not a period of history I'm familiar with. Interesting both as history from a hundred years ago, and also from 50 years ago. It was originally published in 1962 or so, no doubt because that's when Barbara Tuchman's classic "The Guns of August" came out. "Dynasties" (which has nothing to do with Texas oil families or women with very large 80s shoulder pads) isn't in that class. I rolled my eyes the first time the author mentioned Freudian analysis, the first half of the 20th century's version of phrenology. Everything is fraught with childhood sexuality, and remember: A cigar is a just a cigar if it's in your psychologist's mouth! If it's your mouth, whoo, back off pervo! (I may be generalizing here)
      Obviously, your parents and upbringing will affect your personality. No doubt moreso, if your cousins are all kings or czars or kaisers of separate countries. But every weak-willed leader is the product of envy of his strong-willed father and his overbearing mother. Unless it's his distant father, and his overbearing mother. Or wife. At least twice the author flat-out blames the wife for not being subserviant enough to her husband.
      "August" was notable for its thumbnail biographies of the Great War's architects and generals. Here, around the fifth time someone was described as "having minimal intelligence" with every single physical flaw detailed, I wondered "Where's this guy getting his information?" He looked at pictures. I guess you can tell that from those stiffly-posed, long-exposure Edwardian photos of the long dead. You thought I was exaggerating comparing this to phrenology? This guy doesn't even have to feel the bumps on their heads, just one look at their faces tells all. Strangely, it doesn't seem to apply to anyone who's English. Like the author! I kept half-expecting the slur "wog" to come up. This was the all-purpose slur. It meant "You're not English." I wonder what the author would've thought about my Scots-Irish heritage. "Useful wog" maybe? The history is interesting, but it's like reading about 2 old eras, one long gone, and one that should be. But isn't.

      Part of the weirdness of WWI is that it was totally preventable, but also inevitable. War was a glorious adventure, and sure to be over by Christmas! thought the enlistees. Their kings looked at their armies of millions, and thought "What's the point of having expensive toys if you can't play with them?" The war almost started about 10 times in 20 years. The fact that it started over some loser archduke who--ugh!--married a commoner shows that it would've happened eventually, over a reason just as stupid.
      Seven Wars That Nearly Happened (But Thankfully Didn’t). Not about WWI, but it shows the idiocy that can start a war over anything. I came across this while searching for the near-war between the UK and the USA in Canada over a fucking dead pig. Well, wars were fought over Jenkin's pickled ear and an Italian bucket, so why not.
      The site was new to me. Since I have very specific interests, I read The stupidest weapons ever. And what could've been its sequel, Weapons of the British Home Guard. The weapons killed exactly no Germans, but were successful in maiming or killing several Brits. If you've ever doubted the InExOb, yes, it includes the Pigeon Shit Bomb.




      I got a letter from the Condo Ass. Before opening it, I made sure that it was addressed to me personally, and not "Resident Inmate." It was me, with an (X) next to my name, like Treasure Island's Black Spot. Great, it's the "We've come for your cats!" letter.
      No, it actually was for anybody in Cell Block Building Six. The water use is "running high." Yeah, Condo, maybe you're high too, since you don't pay for the water. A plumber once came to fix a leak I had, and he said that with the way it's metered, there's no way to tell which unit is using how much water. They must total the water usage and divide it by the number of units. This means that people like me living alone are subsidizing the water bills of the units with more people in them. "If your toilet leaks, do not hesitate to call the warden management company." I thought maybe I should remind them about the renters who lived below me and fucked up the plumbing. Flushing food grease until it defies gravity and backs up into my tub will do that. I'm sure that the renters knew, as they moved out in 24 hours, probably because they knew the security deposit wasn't coming back, so they'd better blow out of Dodge before they got charged more. 24 hours may not sound quick, but they had an entire kitchen and laundry sitting in the garage. Not hooked up, just a fridge, oven, drier, washer. Like most people might have some candles or an emergency radio around for when the power goes out. "The oven's choked itself to death on grease! Get the spare!"
      They also pre-packed everything into giant boxes that once held hospital speculums. So, yeah, OB-GYNing with hands covered in brown gravy.
      I looked out the window while petting Byron, and saw 4 trucks with 5 guys arrive. They were talking to the guy who's lived there about as long as I have, but he's like the Condo's trusty. If the Condo fed us, he'd be the guy saying "Doubleplusgood, this Victory Stew!" 5 guys to fix a leaky toilet maybe? Does the Condo get fractionally charged for water use? These are the people who make us pay for the heat, the same rate, no matter how cheap oil or gas is, or high or low we set ours. I have my thermostat at 75, because why not? Costs me the same as if it was 45 or 95. Yet in the Spring, the Condo suggests that I buy replacement windows. "If you use state rebates, a 1-bedroom will only cost $1400!" And my bill would stay the same. Any savings would go to the Ass. They don't heat the garages or even common hallways, but have people checking to make sure those doors aren't open. Yes, Garage Door Police.
      Later, it was just one Super Mario Bros. Plumbing truck. There was a guy with a leash but no pet outside. Then a giant pickup truck, like a Ford 250, pulled up in front of my garage. They must've been moving in, because the bed of the truk was filled with OH MY GOURD, AN OVEN AND A FRIDGE, THE OLD NEIGHBORS ARE BACK SET THE GREASE TRAPS!!
      No, the guy wasn't carrying a leash, but a bungie cord. They all lashed their kitchen more securely into the truck and left. This story of how I didn't get my cats snatched or have my drains clogged maybe ended anticlimatically, but I don't need any more excitement right now.

      uBlock's record for Most Ads on One Page has been broken! It's currently 141. On the very page you're reading! There are ads here? I'm guessing it's 18 months of Youtube embeds maybe? Well, let's find out by adding another one.
      Woody Woodpecker is not a cartoon I liked even as a child. I guess he's popular in South America. And I'd watch his cartoons if they all were like this one:




      I looked here with both ad blockers turned off. I still didn't see any ads, but the page loaded about 5 times faster. Have any of you LTRoTDs seen any ads? Now it's just getting odd.

      Infomercials still exist! And apparently so do the people they're aimed at, those too inept to solve the decades-old long existential crisis of spaghetti, but today, you can also drop your cell phone in the toilet! Both of your phones, at the same time. Also: Fuck you, soap!



      My First World Problem is that the heat's not on. So I guess I'm still doing better than Peurto Rico.
      The bathroom sink gurgled, and then (of course) water from downstairs filled it. Have you ever tried to use your sink while trying not to stand in an old spaghetti pot, there to catch the sink's overflow? I hope not.
      That stopped quickly. But then there was a van from some mechanical services company out front. Then, the building began to shake. With what really sounded like someone drilling into it. The third floor of a brick building, and it's shaking like it's being headbutted by Mothra. The neighbor's weiner dog began barking, and Byron woke up from the shaking. KK and DJ just kind of ignored it. Up until I started going from window to window saying "What the fuck was that?!"
      This was followed by noises from the bathroom. I've seen some industrial-sized plumbing snakes brought in down there since THOSE neighbors ran away. But is it really so bad that they have to drill into the building?

       History's Dumpster.
      The page hasn't updated in a year, but there's a lot there. A lot of really good stuff! It's frequently aimed at people of my age group (i.e., decrepit), although it runs up until the 1990s (remember 10-10 numbers?) It's lots of weird old products, weird old media, weird old songs. I stumbled across it looking for something unrelated (the Kwella Stroll) And it's really funny! Like Knockoff Mania.
      You may want to skim bits of it, if the subject doesn't interest you. I thought his final post was interesting, a detailed look at car audio; you may not. But how else will you find out that at one time, the priciest high-end car audio equipment was a built-in record player? Good thing that they hadn't invented potholes back then! I skimmed through most of the Xmas entries, but how else would I have heard the worst Xmas song ever, and probably the only Xmas song ever to warn about driving I-95 through New Haven?
      Outsider Music has artists even I've never heard of. Of ones I have heard, here's some tracks I may have linked to in the past.
      "You're out of the Compuuuuterrrr!"


      "The Rock & Roll Doctor does not advocate drugs, I just prescribe them."



      The heat's been off here since Weds. It is now Sunday. Glad I have an electric blanket.
      I've been jobless for 6 weeks. I haven't done more than look online, and all I'm likely to get is part-time seasonal work. I don't know if it's worth going through the misery of retail Xmas with a shitty job with a terrible schedule.
      My "limited"--whatever that means--health insurance coverage expires in a month.
      I'm not looking for sympathy. Just letting you know what's going on.

      My sleep is still disrupted, which DJ loves. As I'll lie in bed with the Kindle with him on my chest, purring loudly. I've only been getting BookBub stuff, in the Free to .99 cent range. I've already mentioned The Fall of the Dynasties. For the price, it was worth it. It's funny how the author from 50 years ago assumes you don't know some things, and do know others. Did you know that Oktoberfest is a German festival involving beer and which happens in October? That arcane knowledge knocked my lederhosen off! I can kinda get what the frequently used phrase "parlor pink" means, which I assume is the British version of the contemporary US "pinko." But who the hell is "Uncle Bertie"? Some English guy, royalty I guess, maybe Queen Vic's husband Prince Albert? The "In the can" guy? Was his refrigerator running?
      Monty Python Speaks! was short, but good stuff for their fanbase. Wish the oral history project had started a few years earlier when Chapman was still alive.
      Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy! was as good as its (11-year-old) buzz said. The author uses his winning, and losing, streaks on the game show as a frame to hang a lot on. Frequently quite funny, and with an interesting structure, weaving seemingly unconnected threads into ongoing references. Such as what did he buy for $100 years ago from a rubber supply company?
      I mention those as you Kindlers may still be able to get them cheap through Amazon. Others I haven't read are Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries, 1776-1871. A Curious Man, about Robert L. Ripley, the Ripley's Believe It or Not! guy, and not the grandfather of the woman who fought Alien in her underwear. A couple of fiction works, both free. Spinward Fringe: Origins, and The Wild Road, probably there to introduce you and hook you on a pair of series. One has spaceships, one stars cats.
      I'm still only halfway through The Resistance, which I got over a year ago. How you can turn a dramatic true story like the French resistance against the Nazis into a dry list of names and dates is beyond me. I gave up after what should've been exciting, a cat and mouse game between the Resistance and German agents. It'll never be a movie, because the Germans won. At least the fighters lost to the Abwehr, the German version of the CIA, as opposed to the Gestapo, the German version of the Gestapo.
      Germans just don't get cut a break in movies, do they? I just saw Wonder Woman. I remember seeing the trailer in the theater, waiting for Captain America: Civil War to start. Hey, she fights the Germans using her mighty shield! But it's different--not WWII Germans, but World War One Germans wow there's a twist. When did she start carrying a shield, anyway? The reviews called it "the best DC superhero movie yet!" Was it that good, or just good by comparison? "Hey, this one slice of bread in the loaf doesn't have that much mold on it! And the dumpster rat only took 2 bites of this McNugget!" I'd go with the latter.
      Too much stuff happened because it happened. Why does she have those magic bullet-attracting bracelets, when the Amazons have never seen bullets? Why just her? Why is a point made that she can clap them together and send a shockwave, and then never uses that power again? She hates war and killing, so she spends the whole movie killing in a war. The Scotsman is a "murderer," until he chokes from PTSD, and then she thinks he's a "coward." Make up your mind! And, if you can't spot the Main Bad Guy the first time he's on screen, you've either never seen a superhero movie, or at least a crappy one. I'm going to make a wild prediction: the Justice League movie will verily suck. You'll have to confirm this, as I'm not even going to rent it.

      I read all the back posts of History's Dumpster, which I'd been reading so long, I started when I had heat. So I've started picking through the more interestingly titled blogs in his sidebar, such as Bad and Ugly Retro Food, and Music For Maniacs.


      Since, like me, you are wondering what Andouillette is: It's a sausage made of pork, tripe, intestines, "and stronger in scent when the colon is used. True andouillette is rarely seen outside France and has a strong, distinctive odour related to its intestinal origins and components." One would think so! And it's not spelled "odour" Mr Fancy-Pants, but "ordure."

      At least the heat's on! Everyone's went out, but for some reason they fixed mine last. They claimed they turned it on in every unit, even the 2 that no one's currently living in, so how did they know that it was? It got turned on just as the nighttime temps will drop into the 30s to teens. Man, was it great to feel the heat again!
      Today I had lunch with my Mom. While we both pay for our heat, she pays for what she actually uses, rather than me paying the same in January as I do in July. So it was chilly in there. I went from the freezing pan into the cold fire.
      Usually, our November get-togethers are just after election day, not on them. Just local mayor/town council stuff this year, but we both voted as our meager protest against Agent Orange. I said that when I was on the way to vote, I saw a store with its flag at half-mast across the street from a place that had there's at full mast. "Why don't we just leave the flag at half-mast permanently?" I said. You know which gun massacre I was referring to. Read this in 2 months, and you won't remember which one it was.
      It wasn't all politics. My beloved niece Cassie got a job from my nephew Matt as a hand model, holding a perfect turkey as a hand model. Mom served me breaded sole, stuffed mini baked potato skins, cole slaw, and apple pie, all homemade. I say this because I don't want the whole entry to be about gross food. The last hand model I saw was just yesterday, in the deliciously named post Salads and Brains and Faceless Hands. The hand model choice was interesting. His arms were hairy enough that a 1970s Italian-American disco pick-up artist who was halfway into turning into a werewolf would go "Whoa, try waxing!" The least gross thing isn't the tongues and brains as food, but Sasquatch hand-tossing a salad. With his HANDS.


      I meant to say yesterday that Mom was onboard with my current employment plan: After 40 years in retail, to sit out the holidays before looking for a job. I could easily get a PT temp Xmas garbage job. But I have a bad back and arthritis in my leg that my doctor says is probably because I've been doing physical work for decades that my slight body frame was never meant to do. Do I really want to make my health worse working for, say, KMart? When I'll get the shittiest of shifts? "Yeah, you're working till midnight, but we need you to come in at 5AM, mmKay?" 2017 has had the greatest amount of brick&mortar closings, and I can imagine what will happen starting in January. Do I really want to keep killing myself for a dying industry? It was a relief to hear Mom, or anyone, say that I was making a good decision to sit this one out.

      I'm a frugal guy. But I know, from the last time I was unemployed (25 years ago. What a drain on society I am!) is that you need the occasional break from austerity to stay sane. So I figured I could afford the $6 earliest matinee of Thor: Ragnorok. If you've seen the trailers, you know what to expect, a Guardians style action comedy. If you haven't seen the trailers, which would involve living in some hermetically sealed bubble or in a Bio-Dome with Pauly Schaeffer--the reviews that cried "Spoiler! They spent half an hour of build-up to that!" No they didn't. It was like 10 minutes, and who cares? One name in the IMDB base would give it away, so why pretend? All the leads prove they can give solid comic performances, and the villain is Jeff Goldblum at his Goldblumiest.
      Trailer trash: All good looking films, according to a young woman behind me. Pacific Rim 2, yeah, I can wait to rent that. In their Giant Robot suit, 2 guys narrowly avoid being hit by a missile! And watch it explode a giant skyscaper, killing untold thousands. Hooray for those 2 guys!!
      How soon is "Too soon"? Apparently less than 16 years, because now there's a movie about action soldier men killing faceless Afghans after 9/11. This came right after Pacific Rim and the exploding skyscraper. Am I rooting for or against skyscraper explosions now?
      Den of Thieves, because nothing relaxes the soul like blazing assault rifles. The woman behind me didn't comment, but the husband of the older couple in the seats directly in front of me said "Great, now we have movies glorifying the militarization of the police." The cops are all white, all the bad guys people of color. I looked up the name just to make sure I got it right, and the poster for it heavily implies that both the cops and gangsters are the bad guys...Makes me wonder if there's a different trailer playing in less lily-white suburban theaters...
    $6 of fun was had by all at Thor, so see it if it interests you, and you don't mind the BIG REVEAL being spoiled who is also a large green toddler.
      On Netflix I saw Your Name, an animes body-switching rom-com which I really liked, and it has no reveals at all.

      And then I got the mail, and it's a "mandatory Pathway to Reemployment Services orientation" from the Labor Dept. What's the Big Reveal going to be there? If I tell the truth about waiting 6 whole weeks to really look for a job, do they take my benefits away? I get my first 2 days in a row of thinking "Yeah, this isn't the end of the world, I can bounce back!" and then I get hit down again with worry and doubt.

      And to the literal minute that I write that, Kitsplut interrupts with Mew Haven Cat Cafe. Kind of a long commute along the most hated stretch of road of CT, but it does remind me...I was thinking of volunteering at PetSmart as a cat caregiver, and seeing if I could build from that...


      The Trump Beatles.


      I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming and it was good! But here's an interesting question. I'm sure it's been answered online somewhere, but I have more patience trying to figure something out than I do running every possible Google combination. It occures during the detention scene, which is here. You can quit once the scene moves out of the room.
      There's a running joke about high schoolers being forced to watch Captain America give them prerecorded lectures. "Take it from a guy who's been frozen for 65 years: The only way to really be cool is to follow the rules!" And then there's the detention room, with these posters.
      It must be in an English teacher's room. Who are the people who "follow the rules" depicted? Here are my best guesses, with ? for the ones I'm unsure of.      Yeah, total rules-following people. Your guesses? In the Comments, if you want to.


      Again I used Malwarebytes to quarantine one suspicious file, and again it crippled my computer to the point where I had to reinstall the whole thing, and download everything I lost. Malware-bites was not one I downloaded. And Firefox 57--why do they always make the latest look different for the sake of making it look different? The Home page button's on the left, then it was on the right, now it's back on the left...

      A brief history of Turkish Star Wars:




      Kevin, 1995: How'd that Compuserve free trial go for you?
      Bill: I cancelled it before I had to pay. I think I've seen all I need to on the internet.

      The DOL Job Center was just that, ways to get a job. So I worried over nothing. So uneventful that I don't need to say anything about it, except that I'll use some of the services once we're through Xmas. A "resume"? I haven't done one of those since the early 90s. My last 3 jobs, I filled out an application for the first one, and the other 2 applied to me. The most exciting thing to happen to me today was getting groceries afterward (because I'm sure not going into one of those stores Thanksgiving week), and due to a sale sign from 2 weeks ago that hadn't been taken down and CT's laws, I got half a pound of dried cranberries for free. I am easily excited these days.

      Looking for a lost CD changer, I found one of Killy's old mice. She looooved those for many years. I put it near her, and she gave it a few prods. She's asleep with it now, snuggling it like a childhood teddy bear.


      There was one memorable thing about my visit to the Job Center. Five minutes into the session, the guy went over the center hours listed in our handout, and said "Those hours have been cut. They laid off 95 people last year." Well, there's a confidence builder.


      I got a phone from the Fraud Department. That's a government agency like the Department of Agriculture, except that it's a Department of Fraud.
      It wasn't for me. It was for my live-in girlfriend. Even the Longest of LTRotDs is saying "Wait, who? When did that happen?" The whole relationship lasted 6 months, and ended a while ago. In 1988.
      Fraud is right. I checked the number, and that's what they do. Call everybody attached to a name, and how they found mine from 30 years ago is baffling. How am I supposed to find her now? I suppose I could try, but why would I? It's a scam. Maybe they started with her current number, wherever she may be, and have worked they way down to a past world so long forgotten that no man yet knew who Milli Vanilli was.

      Speaking of government entities, now I'm being called up for jury duty. Normally I'd be trying to figure a way out of it, but it's not like I have a lot to do at the moment. Plus, I was called up 8 times in 12 years. The farthest I made it was to the voir dire, where I was immediately dismissed. It was a trip & fall suit, and the only good thing that worthless garbage person the Drunken Toddler ever did for me was to be the plaintiff in one, and since I had only heard his side of the story, I was dismissed. (I didn't inform them that 1: it happened before I worked there, and 2: we all knew it was because he fell over drunk)
      At least my unemployment spares me the unsolicited legal advice from ignorant coworkers. "How you get out of it is to--" "Why, have you ever been called up?" "...No, but I've heard that if you just say..."
      The first thing the judge says is "No, 'my job needs me' is not a valid excuse," so scrap that crap. As an owner at my previous job--wait, I guess that it's my previous previous job now--said "Just say 'I HATE NIGGERS!' and you'll get out of it!" Yes, that's true. But you'll be back in court as a defendant for contempt. I also like how that idea just assumes that anyone going to trial is a POC. But that guy was a Connecticut Racist: "Fuckin' niggers!--But I'm not racist!" If you have to say you're not racist, you're racist.
      My current record of getting out of jury duty is 8 for 8, including twice not having to go in because it was settled out of court the day before, and one time when we all filed in and they told us all to go home for the same reason. Maybe I'll be 9 for 9.


      Something that could be a Stupidest Thing entry, via my Condo Ass:      Wow, thanks, Bill Nye-eil deGrasse Tyson the Cosmos Guy for that primer on thermodynamics! And to think that for all these years, I've been keeping warm by setting the windows on fire!      "So that we can immediately ignore you! Maybe call immediately two or three more times. We should turn your heat immediately on in a week or so."

      Thanksgiving went well. An undeclared truce between the pro and anti-Trump factions helped, although there was one polite argument. My niece is DC, and I'm Marvel. The only other disagreement was about the leftovers. Me, my daughter, and my bigfooted son each want ALL the turkey! They did not argue over my ownership of the cranberry relish or sauteed Brussel sprouts.


      I was letting the Tupperware that held the Brussels sprouts soak a bit to clean it out, and Killsy decided that Hey, yeah, maybe she does like that water. Since it might've had onions in it, and wtf's a Brussel sprout anyway, I did not let her continue. Maybe she'd trip balls, I don't know. For an 18.5 year old cat, she's crazy enough as it is.

      In a move that will either end up as "Why didn't I think of this sooner?!" or "Yeah, that was a good idea. Where's the iodine?" I decided to sit by Byron. His Tower of Solitude is a folded towel on a wooden crate nested in a big Carlo Rossi wine box tied down for stability with a chain normally used to hang neon signs in liquor stores, placed on a park bench in my living room. (You have a park bench in your living room, right?) I'm a little tired of Byron screaming for pets on it when he could JUST COME THE DAMN DOWN AND GET ALL HE WANTS IN MY LAP, and I noticed that there was just enough room on the bench for me to sit. Between the Tower and the Petster Godzilla, which I could use as an armrest.
      (Sidebar: Godzilla was given to me by Lori the GF back when she lived here 30 years ago. She's the one I got the strange call from the Fraud Department of Frauding the other day. Today, I got a call from what the internet tells me is a collection agency for Ford, that tries to find people who "owe" via any means they can. Ever lose the password to a site that requires a call back, and then they ask you super obscure questions based on your SS#? Like, where you lived or what car you owned 30 years ago? I thought that was just for verification, but all information these days is commoditized, so maybe they're using her SS to track down everybody who ever knew her name? They're still not getting a reaction from me)
      So I sat down next to Byron, and read a book on my Kindle Fire. A (Brief) History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization by Cracked's Robert Evans. That link has a good one-para review of it, although leaving out what was in a review on Amazon: "It's one part Betty Crocker." He actually tries out some of history's let's-get-wasted recipes, based on instructions in ancient texts. But only the legal ones! (As a West Coaster, he considers pot legal) If you read Cracked, and why wouldn't you? it's a long form Cracked article. A conversation with a very funny friend who is probably smarter and better read than you, but without snobbery or condescension. You know, the friend who says "Guess what I just learned! It's insane!" and then he/she tells you, and you're laughing and amazed!
      And occasionally interjecting "Wait, you tried that?!" If you want to try the fermented fruit our tiny primate ancestors ate to get a buzz, here's the recipe, hope you don't puke easily. It did leave me with a desire to do ALL THE DRUGS, which in my household's case is 4%ABV Genesee Cream Ale and--how old is this weed, like 4 years?--and giving the kids their beloved Royal Nip. (And now they are tripping balls) It did leave me with a desire to try kratom and Amanita muscaria tea, both of which are available online. I'll pass on bhang. His misuse of the Indian yogurt-marijuana smoothie proves that yes, it is possible to have a bad trip on pot.
      The book's currently only $1.99US on Amazon for Kindle, and very much worth that. And Kindle Fires are currently as low as $30, although that may be a Cyber Monday thing.
      The real high: Byron really, really likes me sitting next to him while I read. He curls up and purrs to sleep, like he used to do in bed with me. That's a feeling you can't buy.


      Hey, ShortTRotD, remember a month ago, when American Mechanical Services drilled a fucking hole in the side of my building for [insert reason here] on a Weds, and then my heat went off, and I didn't get it back until the following Monday?
      Why do they keep having these people come and de-fix things not broken? It almost seems as if my suspicion that kickbacks are involved may be right! I'm also not waiting 6 days this time for it to come back on. Also: Good thing my windows are closed! It make heat go bye-bye, says Condo Ass! Unlike, y'know, turning the fucking heat off 3 weeks before WINTER.


      Hahaha! 50 years later, and I still love the Sock Joke! Maybe more, now that it looks like an argument between Donald Trump and Donald Trump. "I have a tower I built named after me by ME!" "MY tower is BIGGER and LONGER and HARDER than yours! when I take the blue pill!"
      It's from Not Brand Echh!, Marvel's MAD-like 1960s self-parody. More than any other comic, I've wanted a collection of that! Without getting the crumbling, yellowing originals and paying through the sock.
      This post from a comics shop owner made me aware that there's a hardcover collection available, and at a discounted price! Unfortunately, not through his site. I checked Amazon, and they're selling copies at $65. I'm not so interested in reading them again that I'd drop 25% of my weekly unemployment on that. I did find a site that was selling them for $25, and at less than 10% of my weekly, sure okay maybe I'll think about it, I don't need to eat every day. Their site is confusing, and for a person who's spent 2 months crawling through the Byzantine labyrinth of Government Web Sites, that says something. I sent them an email asking it it was still available.
      Here are one-page samples of NBE. Even when this was on the newstands, they were hard to find, so I never got most of them. But many of these clips made me yell "I remember that!!" Nothing ages quicker than humor, so you may or may not find them funny. That's not my problem. No heat in the house, that's my real problem..


      The heat was turned back on yesterday. Unfortunately, this involved the mechanic coming inside the house, to do the same thing they did a month ago. Worse, he called in backup: The condo resident who I referred to as "the trustee" earlier. He's probably the only person who's lived here for about as long as I have, and I've never had a problem with him. In fact, he and his wife were on my side over the Psycho Bitch Tries to Run Over Byron Incident. But I'm still nervous over whatever the Get Rid of Two of Your Cats Incident was about.
      Byron, of course, just watched the visit, but the trustee went into the dining room to check on the heat there (despite me saying that it had just come on), and saw a small white cat slinking quietly just out of reach. So I unintentionally did exactly what Jessica said not to do: Willingly let them in the unit, and let them see that I have more than one cat. I'm not expecting a negative outcome, but who knows. Luck ain't exactly been on my side lately.

      Speaking of unlucky white cats, guess who got to get her blood taken today. She was due, "thanks" to her thyroid problem. We saw a vet I've never seen before, and he said "I looked at my list, and saw that my last patient is named 'Kill Kill'?!" No, "Byron" is the name you need to fear. I won't get the bloodwork results until tomorrow. One thing was cleared up: she scratches her cheeks until she meows in pain. This is a side effect of the medication, so I may reduce her dosage a bit.

      Speaking of dosages and side effects (can I segue or what?!), I found a place that sells kratom. $15 for 8 "servings per container." It's legal, and its main purpose is to help people get off of opioids, which I've never been on. I was supposed to take it on an empty stomach, but a bit of salmon and an English muffin washed down with tea, that's close to empty, right? I was worried that it either wouldn't work, or make me sick, or work too well. I've no desire to get hooked on anything. But it was just pleasant. A waking dream kind of thing, so I laid down for it.
      Possible side effects included itchiness, and I can vouch for that. Also warned was "constipation or diarrhea." If those happened at the same time, how would I know?


      Kills's thyroid is still too high. Why, I don't know; she usually takes all her meds. The vet (calling me on his day off, which should give you an idea why I love my vets so much) said I could try radioactive iodine. That costs $1,000. With my pet insurance, I could likely knock that down to half that. But then he said she'd have to go to a facility for 3 to 7 days...Yeah, not happening. The loneliness might kill her. For myself, I'd rather live happy for less time than unhappily for longer.
      There's a topical she can get instead of pills, so I'll try that. The pharma people were supposed to call me and get it ordered for mail delivery, but they didn't, so I'll take care of that tomorrow.


      I've posted the trailer for Kedi before, but I finally got to see it. It's even better than I thought. Beautifully shot, with endless cats with their own personalities, from "the Gentleman," who knocks before entering, to "the Psycho," who is just more territorial than other cats. Okay, "Byron at the Vet" territorial. It's gentle, life-affirming, and stress-free viewing, with lots of kittens and orange tabbies. The cats' caretakers seem like really nice people, including more than one who credits these not-house not-feral cats' love with saving them.


      From WFCR, currently Home of Public Radio's Longest Fund Drive, something that could work as a Stupidest Things Said quote:      Tune in tomorrow, thrill seekers, when I intend to try and get a library card!


      I used to be So Library AF, as the kids today call it, that I could go to the Dewey Decimal System in the little drawers and notice a new card before even flipping to it. Or go to that exact book I checked out all the time, right where it was on the shelf, knowing it from only the spine.
      "I'd like to get a library card" I said, then winced. No, I came to the Library to get 47 pounds of Gouda cheese but only that red wax on the outside, some aluminum siding made from margarine, and a ferret that can yodel Cheese Day in Monroe. I rolled my eyes at myself, and said "'I came to the library to get a library card!' I sure handled that smoothly!"
      I gave her my driver's license and a tax bill for proof of ID as she was asking for them. I checked the website first, to prove my Smooth Handling. The librarian got my name wrong, as it's the very uncommonally used word "Young." She got my address as the one of the tax department, in the town offices about a quarter mile away, then got the number of the correct one wrong. I spelled out my email, and let me say this: I've had that handle for almost 20 years, but this is the first time I think I've ever heard someone who didn't already know me say "Bill SPLUT!" out loud. Actually, I don't think I've ever heard it out loud. I almost explained it ("You see, I have this friend Sailor Kitty who calls her friends--"). She actually originally called it "Bill Stlut," but jesus, whose name is that, that's just gibberish!
      Why was I in a library at all? I thought it was in Alexandria, and I wanted to burn it down, haha! (People who got that: You) My Mom's been printing out ASPCA insurance forms for me. Maybe I'll get nothing, but some cash back to fund Miss Kay's thyroid dilemma, it's worth the cost of a stamp.
      MOM: "Here's your print out! Print outs; there's 4 pages."
      ME: "Thanks! Next time, you could save paper and just hit 'Print page 1 of 2.' This is Page 1 of 2, this is Page 2 of 2...Aaand these 3 are also Page 2 of 2." Why, one might think that printers were designed to over print and use up all the ink! Like how I've lost 2 printers to just Byron stomping on the On button. I just wanted to use the library copier to make 5 copies of Page 1 of None Others. I'd even researched enough to know that copies were 15c each, and I'd brought enough for 5 copies.
      15 cents for copies, 15 minutes to make them. And 2 employees. Since they were astonished that I wanted to use the COPIER, and not the INTERNET PRINTER, once again I feel like the last vestige of a fading culture. "There's a paper jam." This involved them looking everywhere except where the paper fed in. The second one removed the tray and said "Maybe there's too much paper in here?" I said "Yeah, that's happened to me before" without adding "Are you sure that's the right fax number? Maybe your Compuserve free trial ran out? Should I go on the roof and shoo pigeons off the TV antenna? Maybe the Kaiser has cut our telegraph lines!"
      When this was cleared up (the pony was sick, and the Pony Express only has that one pony, he et some loko weed), I was charged for the 2 copies that jammed and weren't printed. There's 30c I'll never get back! Along with 15 minutes.
      After getting my card for making crop circles, I browsed. I found Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union after 10 years of looking, but not in libraries. I thought "Since I finally have iTunes working again, I should get some library CDs! And some DVDs!" And there racks of those!
      The first DVD I saw was Spider-Man 2. I remember being lent a bootleg of that at the beginning of Last Job! 14 years ago. The DVD looked that old. A DVD with a "NEW" sticker on it: The Dirty Dozen. A 50 year old movie. There was the Capaldi Dr Who run, and a few other random ones of possible interest.
      The CD rack was what I'd thought it'd be, except not. Old CDs, because the only people here younger than me are using the wi-fi to check their phones. The CDs were on a round rack that I'm sure was donated. It held CDs, but not more than 3 of them without literally ripping them from the rack. You know how things that are circles, they have more space on the outer rim than the inner one? So maybe 3 can easily fit in, if you ram them? And use rubber mallets and Vasoline?
      It was alphabetical, but with teeny colored stickers to indicate what type of music. But it was backbreaking to look at, if you have my broken back, but also so close to the nearly empty magazine rack that not even a scrawny guy like me could bend his back. I was expecting to go past the 5 CD limit, so I skipped Revolver by some guys with goofy hair, and, just barely, a 4-CD set of Connecticut Pipe Organ Music. I really don't like pipe organ music, but the word "MY STATE" interests me. Maybe next time; I can always delete it from iTunes. I got the best-of Cd by the Mutant Deathcore Nerdgrind Stinkfist Norwegian-grunge band Spyro Gyro, the light jazz band named after what happens when the meat wheel thing at the Greek diner goes out of control. And Copland's Appalachain Spring, on the old CBS Masterworks label that I saw many a disc returned in my music-selling days. "We put these shitty-ass records from the days when stereo was a novelty, and remastered them by dropping the needle and walking away for our smoke break!" And "Jazz for the Quiet Times Number 32". If I'd looked closer, I would've seen that it included "Send in the Clowns." I can turn the news on for that. You can listen to it here!


      No, don't listen, just look. What's going on with that cover? The wet haired, blank stared woman. Is her quiet time after she's murdered again? Has she been murdered? What's with the basket with the hole? What lies within this basket? Is it still alive, or like her, caught in some limbo between?
      Don't worry, the liner notes clear it up.

      Now read that in a serial killer voice! Oh wait, you already did, there's no way to not read that in anything but a serial killer voice. But you can! Accentuate "anschluss!" Say it now in the voice of a Nazi war criminal!
      Need some skin lotion to rub?


      I hope you've liked the long run we've had here of The Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar! Because the code I need to get it is missing from my Cat-A-Day calendar. If I can't get it after Jan 1st, just set a Google alert for Trump tweets.

      Max the cat loves the library. (The feeling is not mutual.)
      I love the library too, Max! At least until their collection of CDs runs out. Which should be soon. I think the newest thing I've taken out was from 2002. But then, I'm not taking out the Bieber and Buble CDs. They're hot now, right?
      Their site has a search function that--I asked if that one rack was where all the CDs were, and I was told "Yes, since everyone's 'downloading' music now." When you can hear the air-quotes around "downloading," it's that kind of site. Why, you'd think it looked like something from 1997! (sits back and looks at own screen)...Not that there's anything wrong with an unironic retro look, mind you.
      Let's skip that subject, and let me point out that searching Classical on the site leads to Amy Winehouse. One would think that you could find all the titles A to Z by searching "Titles A-Z" or "Titles Z-A." But that goes from A to the first thing in D, or Z to the last thing in R. I heartily endorse this move, as the Alphabet Song takes like for-ev-ar. Let's go with "A-B-C-D-all the rest, Z."
      There doesn't seem to be a way to search the 300 or so CDs on the crappy rack. Some listed "online" don't seem to be there "in the library." I'm sure I would've noticed "Walter the Waltzing Worm." Maybe there's a seperate kids music rack, as I was told there's an Xmas one. Is that where Windham Hill's "Thanksgiving" CD is? And "Gregorian Chants for All Seasons"? Fuck Thanksgiving, you ancient European monks! Where's my President's Day Mattress Sale chant?! Fucking Commies. Just chant "Geeeeorge....and AAAAAbe...Want you to SAAAAVE...Mem-o-ry fooooam, mem-o-ry foaaaam, Loooow fiiiinanciiiing...on President's Agnes Daaaaai...."
      There's a CD listed called "Unforgettable music to remember by." The title of which made me think of


      Edie Adams can sing, when she wants to. Not unlike how Bill Watterston would go from the scribbly-looking Calvin & Hobbes dailies to Sundays of "TYRANNOSAURS IN F-14S!" Here, she poses sexily with her 3-foot Stilson wrench, almost as if she's making fun of all the be-gowned blonde bombshells of the 1950s, with voices described as "breathless." Rather than "talentless, but hot." Her husband, that guy Ernie Kovacs who people my age watched kinescopes of on PBS when Python wasn't on, makes an appearance as the background vocals on "Indian Love Call." She sings the sexiest, Ginger-from-Gilligans stylings of such famous torch songs as "Shoo-Fly Pie" and "The Whiffenpoof Song."
      As far as me, I've
      taken out Classical Heat, a 2 disc set of music that specifies 1 CD for the "Log Fire," and another for the "Electric Fire." What if want some mood music for my Grease Fire? To put out said fires, Celtic Chillout. I am half Scots and half Irish with the WASPiest sounding name ever (Bill Young? Why not just name me Billy-Bob-Joe Crossburner?) and always ready to pass out! CHILL out, I mean. Sit by the electric fire with Enya and a bottle of highland malt scotch. Each.
      Gotta wonder what it was like in the distant days of the early 21st century, when CDs still ruled the Earth. And the reasons some of these were bought. We all remember the mania around the release of the Miss Congeniality soundtrack, but I didn't know it lasted long enough that they needed Miss Congeniality 2. There are 2 copies of Emerson Lake & Palmer's Trilogy, except one isn't. It's that LP combined with the first EL&P album, with no info on it beyound the titles that isn't in Russian. So, a bootleg? There's Classics For a New Century, which I would've been super mad at me for buying for 99c at the Salv Army. I deleted half of it, as they were opera-y. I just got it the same way I would've grabbed a promo back in my music business days. I even glanced at like 2 names and knew "Sony sampler." They didn't actually make people pay for this, did they? I got it mainly for the fact it included Billy Joel, who I FUCKING HATE, and the song by Star Wars. Yeah, you know the Opera Babes, who are hot and are like Edie Adams with no sense of humor, but your audience doesn't know who this "most famous soundtrack composer ever" is. It must be a cool tune like TIE Fighter Attack! Naw, it's the "Love Theme" from Attack of the Send in the Clones. Yeah, everyone loved that, Sony. Was it for the I Don't Like Sand scene? I'm waiting for the surprise of Mr Joel's stab at classical muzak. Remember when "Aging pop star decides to be a classical composer" was a thing? Like when Sir Paul released the Liverpool Oratorio? With a brief grasp of personal insight, Joel named his album of wannabe Chopin under the title "Delusions and Fantasies." Contents as described on the tin.
      I got a few other classical CDs, none of which involved a Winehouse. Also the best of the Supremes and Steely Dan, and a Misfits CD. And I'm probably one of the few people to ever check out those combinations at once. Also, a recommended search "term" on their "site" on the "internet superhighway" was "Give a moose a muffin." I'm sure that does lead to something. Maybe a kids book. Maybe I don't want to fucking know. Not knowing is better than a moose giving me one of his muffins.


According to the WWII documentary "Hogan's Heroes," since it was always winter at Stalag 13, and the USA was only in the war for 3 winters, and the show lasted 6 years...its version of WWII probably did have 58 Xmases.

      On my way to the library for more CDs--I get even marginally interesting-sounding ones, as they only cost me gas money and it's 1.6 miles from here--I saw an Xmas display. Big Santa and Rudolphs in front, but action in the back: A manger scene. On the manger's roof was a happy snowman, waving an American flag. To me, it seemed to missing something...


      Wait, it also was missing a festive Colonel Klink.

      PLUTO will change the way you watch TV! I only became aware of its existence because I get email from Shout!TV. And I only got that because of their MST3K showings. Pluto had both MST3K and Rifftrax! To which I said "Bet it's the same eps they've had available for free forever. The ones they didn't put on the box sets because they weren't that funny, or the ones that were funny that I've seen a million times before."
      Pluto changed the way you see TV by showing ads! Boy, I'll bet broadcast TV wishes they'd thought of that in 1946! Don't use the app unless you really like ads. For the same thing, over and over. I mean, not just that one Old Spice ad because who can't get enough of those without using acid. More than once I got the same 4 ads. Local ads. Well, not that local, all from Fairfield County. If you live in Connecticut, you don't consider--wait, let me rephrase that. If you live and work in CT, you don't consider Fairfield to be in CT. Work long hours for shit pay and all the abuse you can swallow? Connecticut. Make a million dollars a month sucking on the corpse of the Old World for your Wall Street 1%ers, you don't live in CT. You live in Manhattan East, and congratulations on getting your tail knotted with the rest of the Rat King. Unfortunately, that's most people's idea of CT. Either that, or Amityville Horrors and Beetlejuice. Do you live in California? It's not all 90210. Mexico is not all drug wars. The Midwest and Canada are not blasted heaths of ice and snowy doom, because there they have a season we call "Summer" and they call "July," when it's the firey pits of Hell in TornadoTown, but otherwise, sure they are. If you've somehow reached this page from outside North America, you're the Lost City of Atlantis or some shit. Look for a US drone strike soon!
      What was I talking about? Right. Those same 4 ads, mainly for car dealers, and they ran in an endless chain until I turned Pluto off. After an hour. Just the same ads, for an hour straight. Now I'm REALLY not buying a car from there.
      To avoid the ads, and just get random spots where the ads were, use that link above and turn off uBlock to enter. You'll still see a hiccup when it not-runs the ads, which is usually in the middle of a sentence or even the middle of a word. If you're watching MST, it's usually a minute before where the actual ads ran during their cable years. So you can not-watch ads twice in a row!
      It will change the way you watch TV! Because, if you watch TV, now you won't want to. There are more channels than there are grains of sand in your pants, which I hope is not a lot. Like, 6 grains of sand. It's basically just stuff I guess they got for free, with the original owners getting some fraction of the ad revenues. Those same MSTs! The same Rifftraxes! Even the most inexhaustible source of free comedy ever, internet cat videos, repeats itself over the course of an hour!
      There are niche channels. In fact, that's all there is. Which would be great, if I wanted to watch a cartoon other than "Flash Gordon in the 1990s!!" Or a martial arts station that looks like those 90s 6-generations-down VCR re-records. A channel devoted to the oeuvre of The Asylum, which will rip off anything, hoping you'll get confused renting something you want! Last I checked, they were showing The Co-ed and the Zombie Stoner. I LOVED THAT MOVIE. Do you like Weird Al, or Spaceballs? Don't worry, they have Al's Pee-Wee's Playhouse ripoff and some barely-animated Spaceballs cartoon, and watch those and be cured of your liking of them forever!
      There's sometimes something good on there, but it's always some forgotten thing they'll repeat endlessly. Why don't we see what's airing at 6PM EST, shall we?
      The Feed: Merlin The Kill the King, which is certainly several words in a row imitating human communication, followed by Thunderbirds. I watched a Thunderbirds show there once! That was the 60s one with the creepy macrocephalic marionettes. It was literally 2 puppets standing on a bridge for a fucking HOUR, it was great.
      Movies 2: Agent Cody Banks. Flicks of Fury: Ninja. Apparently, just Ninja, maybe it was the first ninja movie ever made. The Asylum: Apocalypse Pompeii. Did you know there was a big budget movie about Pompeii, and an apocalypse? No? Nothing stops Asylum from ripping off movies no one watched!
      Here's the News channels, and if it says "Trump Tweets 'No, PENCE was the one who farted mAcDonald foods at Queen of Egnland!'" you can bet you'll get a solid fucking hour of 5 minute clips of just that for a hour, before it loops again.
      SPORTSBALL! All the sports anti-news you don't care about! SportsNews: Fantasy sports. Bet that's some riveting viewing! A D&D run would be more interesting!
      Funny AF: Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Bubba Ho-Tep was on another channel. I didn't say everything was horrible. JASH, which stands for something I guess: Tim's Kitchen Tips. I just said MOST of it was horrible.
      MST: The Black Scorpion; SEEN IT. Rifftrax: House on Haunted Hill, SEEN IT. FAILArmy: videos from Cats Cats Cats, videos from Pet Collective. Watch either channel and you'll say "SEEN IT" after 15 minutes.
      Anime All Day: Deathnote, followed by Deathnote.
      THC: Yes, that's the name of the channel, and it's just what they showed somewhere else, because it's 420 somewhere! SlowTV: 6 hour Norwegian train ride. (No, really; it's pretty much all they show) Fear Factor: Yes, the same channel, in a different spot on the menu. Do you think they have a channel called THC for no reason? No! It's because the MAN wants you to--wait, who wants the last slice? How about we each take one bite? Hey, ShoutTV is showing Thunderbirds!
      After SchoolTV: Heathcliff, Inspector gadget, Flash Fucking Gordon AGAIN. Classic Toons: They do show some cool obscure 1930s stuff on this channel. Are you a big Van Buren fan? I hope so! And I hope not, since I think they found the prints in a toilet. Of course, if you've seen a Van Buren cartoon, maybe you were the one who flushed.
      AwesomenessTV. Y'know Plutey, you can put spaces between "Word" and "TV" sometimes. It's Cheerleaders. I've never watched ThisTV, but Cheerleaders seems to be all it shows. Bet Roy Moore watches!
      Life&Style: The first is People magazine TV, so I really care abo
      Curiosity: This category keeps shrinking. Apparently Nasa is less interesting than Cheerleader's Minecraft Kitchen Tips and SPORTSBALL!
      Then it's all music stations. Oldies, I can guess what that's playing. The Cross? Christian whine rock. Subdustrial? Well, these kids today, they have all the music cults. But Red Cup, what's that? Doggystyle? Monstercat? Do they cancel each other out? 11? Oh, it's Foreigner! It's like a station they play at your work! It goes up to 11! On a 1 to 10 scale of SUCK.
      It's worth it if you have nothing else to do, I guess. But get used to their main screen. Or, as the couple on it say,


      WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY LOOKING AT?! I've never had that visceral a reaction like that to anything short of a car crash! When I was inside the car! "WHOOOOAAAA! He's Luke's FATHER? And his MOM is dead in a forest fire? And Luke sees DEAD PEOPLE? And he's a CHICK IN A MAN DISGUISE? Disguised as the Statue of Liberty, because it was EARTH ALL ALONG?! I'm so glad we're watching Planet of the Sixth Empire Crying Bambi!"
      And...they paused the film at one second just before that second, so Chris Pratt could get another liter of beer? Nobody's going to pause a movie at that precise second, unless their bladder's overflowing onto the floor. (cf above; beer liter) And what's that in her lap? An empty 2 liter soda bottle? Did he say "Wait, I need to drain the vein, then it's your turn to pee. Now that I'm back, I'll just turn the TV on and--they're GRAVE ROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE?!"
      Is it the fumes? They're living in what looks like a 19th century sewer. Note how their legs are raised and pants cuffs rolled up. It might be all floating dead rats being eaten by baby gators below them. Is this why the 20 minutes a day they can get the TV on is so exciting? "Look over by the cistern--why do the Johnsons buy McDonalds if they're just going to puke it? And over there--you don't eat Taco Bell, you rent it!" "Aww, honey, is there any sight sweeter than a flushed goldfish being eaten by a CHUD? And look--isn't that a Van Buren cartoon?"
      Is it a bomb shelter, and they're watching the ouside security cameras as their generator is smashed by giant mutant sand fleas? Are they in a comedy club in a 1980s Eastern European prison camp? "Thank you for to be coming to Yakov Smirnoff's Gu-LAFF Archipelago! Looks like Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's comedy set didn't go over so well with the Politburo! Enjoy his execution, because in Soviet Russia, government heckles YOU!"
      I assume that's a remote he's holding. It could be a Lady Shick shaver used as a 60s Star Trek prop for Dr McCoy. "I'm a doctor, not a manscaper!" What's that thing on the upper far left? Did someone give them one really thick book, so they painted some bricks that fell from the wall as bookends? Is it the computer they're watching The Swarm on? ("Houston--ON FIRE?!") Is it made by CompuHenge? iNert-Block? I'll bet its start-up sound is "Yabba Dabba DOO!" yelled by a parrot caged inside it who then says "Eh, it's a living."
      Maybe their shock (cf: "WAAUUUUGHH") is not because they just realized that they're being walled in with only a cask of amontillado for company, but because Screamy Boy just realized it's a bad idea to put your shoulder so close to a blazing blow torch. Maybe Yelly Lass is thinking "I feel like I'm being watched! Watched by--WAAAUUUUGGHH!" and she looks at that thing on the floor. Is it a pillow? A cat? A cat in a web? A WebCat pillow? Is it here to help them or destroy them? Hah? Ever think of THAT?
      Maybe they just tuned Asylum in, and realized "Wait--WE'RE the co-ed and the zombie stoner! WAUGH." Maybe she just noticed her right armpit has some crusty fungal growth?


      Here, the miasmic stench of the sewer fogs their feet. Oh, and that's a cookie. Sorry. Looked like a fungal growth. If your cookies are made by elves in a hollow tree, damn right there'll be fungus in there. But this picture just raises an even more unanswerable question:
      What is that thing in her lap?


      Sanity ruled in Alabama yesterday. But face it--the GOP nominated a fucking cartoon character.They couldn't have run a worse guy if the Democrats created him.
      (At a secret DNC base under Ping Pong Pizza:)
      "Let's see: so far we have 'fundamentalist theocratic racist homophobic Islamophobic misogynistic halfwit who wants to repeal half of the Constitution'. I think that's enough."
      "Enough? That's just Trump! We need to make him even MORE ridiculous!"
      "How about--he thinks he's a cowboy, so he dresses like a character from Blazing Saddles, waves little pistols around, and rides a horse to the polls despite not having even seen one since they threw him out of the petting zoo? You know--Yosemite Sam, except a retard."
      (Everyone laughs)
      "Hey, I got one! Let's make him thrown out of the petting zoo because he was hitting on teenage girls less than half his age!"
      "Okay, okay. That's hilarious, but who would even THINK of voting for that guy? What will they do, say the bible says it's normal to do that? FOCUS, people!"
      Moore was all that, and HE ALMOST WON. We can't sit on our asses pretending that in 2018, the GOP is going to have every race run with a candidate that's clearly Hitler's Brain in a Jar. Their Corporate Masters are already crossing "Obvious Horror Monster" off of the 2018 ballot and looking for some banally bland personification of evil that even soccer moms will vote for. And the gerrymandering and voter suppression will take care of the rest.


      As a life-long Democrat, 70% right actually sounds a little high. We're a lot of voices, and you can't herd cats. On the other hand, you can't herd cats, not even with jackboots marching lockstep. "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." --Will Rogers

      Christmas has come early! After 4 months, Byron has decided to walk among us once more. Maybe it's more like Hanukkah, as it began on Monday and kicked in at sunset Tuesday, and seems to be improving day by day. Actually, it's been coming in little bits here and there this month, so it's an Advent Calendar? I'm not a theologian.
      He's been spending more and more time among his family, and even repeatedly tolerated DJ's presence. He was petted in my lap for an hour, before I really needed to use the litter box. He followed me into the bathroom. He was still in his re-exploring phase, jumping into the bathtub. Then DJ came in, and Byron began growling, probably feeling boxed in. He ran back to his Tower of Exile, and DJ of course ran after him. Then KK came in to ask "What's with all the hubbub, bub?"
      He's been back and forth to my lap since. Life's currently stressful enough, and I need him back with us right now. To the last beat of my heart.


      Researchers Explore Carbon Footprints of Superheroes, or more proof that Batman is pretty much an asshole.


      Kratom may be both legal and cheap, but I think I'm done with it. Maybe taking it both on Friday and Saturday was a bad idea. I spent most of my day in bed, because "opium dream" is kind of its style. I threw up a bit on Sat, but I put that to the fact that if the 6 pills you have to take were any larger, they'd be mistaken for horse suppositories. I slept most of Sun & Mon as well, a few hours asleep, a few awake. On Mon, I realized I wasn't sure if I'd eaten since Fri. So I choked down half a can of chicken soup (Campbell's "Well, Yes!" brand, which I've mentally renamed "Hell, No!"). After a while, it came up very violently. Since I'd eaten so little, it was mainly stomach acid. I tried to sleep with a burning esophagus. I slept maybe 5 hours, and woke up to drink a pint of ice water. And projectile vomited it.
      Empty stomach + vomiting = dehydration, so I drank more water. And so began an endless cycle of it coming right back up, with bouts of diarrhea. Which = dehydration. I tried going to the store to get something to easily eat, and that was dumb. I was so out of it that I was almost hallucinating. I've driven 20 miles in blizzards on unplowed roads thanks to my hell-commute, but I've never been so paranoid of an accident as I was in that 4.5 mile round trip. The gastric fun continued when I got home, and surprisingly, that doesn't = sleep.
      Weds, I eventually did get 8 hours sleep--without about 24 hours without any--but it was from 5PM to 1AM, so I'm just damn awake again. But I managed to eat half a hard boiled egg! (With help from Killsy)

      And Happy Fucking Holidays, I'm back to dreading going to the mailbox. This is Lucky Week 13 of unemployment. This is that festive time when your ex-employer can challenge your benefits, and, if successful, make you pay them all back. This has happened every single time I've collected. State law says that if they challenge, and they don't show to the hearing but I do, I automatically win. If they don't show and I don't, they automatically win. So they always challenge. The liquidators that bought Lechmere after IKIFWs drove it bankruptcy tried, and that was over a whole 2 damn weeks of payments. JCPenney tried, over a week's worth of vacation that I'd already taken long before quitting. Sam Goody tried after my illegal firing. They all didn't appear, and I won.
      What will Old Job try? Probably the same scam, but maybe not. I never heard of any of the other unjustifiably laid off people get hit. This may be because after the layoff, they threatened to take them down over the second set of books. People who quit threatened it. The store didn't pay overtime, just straight time under the table. You didn't get overtime, and they didn't pay state and federal payroll taxes. They charged customers with big bills state sales tax, and then just kept it for themselves. They've been doing both for almost 30 years. This is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars involved. It'd be easier for them for me to pay back 3 months of benefits than it would be for them to pay all the back taxes and fees, legal and otherwise. Because then they wouldn't have a business anymore. (They're white and rich, so don't expect them to do any jail time)
      They once left the second set of books (and the third set!) out where I found them. And the store copier was in the next room...For something they didn't want anyone to know about, they sure were meticulous in filling them out. I mentioned to the only coworker I trusted before I knew I'd be laid off that "If they pay me my benefits, I won't bring it up to the state." Hopefully, she passed this on.
      I still expect them to try, because, Assholes. If I recall from the previous times, I'll get a letter from the state around week 15. Maybe later, due to the holiday mail.
      On the other hand, I'm not currently puking! I'll count my Christmas blessings for now.


      Ever sing along with a song for years, or even decades (WARNING: Old Person Music Ahead) and then discover you heard them wrong? Not something "Wait, what?" like Hendrix singing ""Scuse me, while I kiss this guy!" that you know makes no sense, but something that actually makes the song cooler. Even if it still makes no sense. Of course, I spent my formative years in the Brian Eno Conservatory of Gibberish Lyrics, so I think nothing about correctly hearing the lyrics from "The Great Pretender"
      as they went from about a creepy lying guy who uses women to: "Settled in a homely fishpool / Hung with little eels / Often thinks that travel widens / Stay at home; the Trout obliges." or Wire, from "Outdoor Miner":

       "Face worker, a serpentine miner / A roof falls, an underliner / Of leaf structure, the egg timer." I mean--sure, why not?
      It was just today that I realized that Wire wasn't actually singing "Our belief structure, the egg timer." It makes equal sense either way. By which I mean, not very much sense at all. I like my version better.
      Lovable scamp Gary Numan always threw me. His accent was so odd, that when he appeared on Saturday Night Live, they actually subtitled a song.
      (Side note: This was the first episode of the "classic" SNL without the original players, and cold opened with Eliot Gould sniffing dirty laundry as the entire joke and the audience just sat there)
      For those of you who have no idea who Gary Numan was, I'd like to say that he was Gary Numan and totally not the guy who did "Cars" okay he was but fuck you anyway, person who can name exactly one Devo song. His stuff earlier was a dystopian outlier--still pop, of a sort, but vaguely grim. Sort of like that movie Blade Runner that would come out a few years later. I loved the opening lyric from "It Must Have Been Years":
      "It rained again this Christmas / It's been doing that for years." I just thought that was perfect--no White Christmas, as this was just as science began talking about global warming. From Blade Runner, you may remember that it always was raining.
      Sorry, Replicant Bill Blatty, it's really "A radio plays 'White Christmas' / It's been doing that for years." Well, yes. I suppose it would. Is the month December? That lyric is boring.
      "You know i hate to ask / but are `friends' electric? / only mine's broke down / and now i've no one to love." That song is pretty future-dystopian! Especially the lyric, about whether his Friend in the Hallway, who may be android or just a human broken by reality, "I don't think I'm an Eight with you." Whoa, what's that mean? Everyone is sorted by type, and His Friend is a class is sorted under a different number?
      Nope. If you decode his weird accent, no matter how much it sounds like that and I still think it does, it's really "I don't think I meant anything to you." Wow, there's a thought you've never heard before.
      I only bring this up because I'm bored my library CD of the Supremes just played a song...maybe I heard in the endless repetition days of mid-60s to early 70s top 40 radio when I wasn't shriveled? The song is as bad as its title, Floy Joy. I just now found out that the lyric is "Your real name might be Smith or Jones." I heard it as "Your real name might be Spitball Jones" and I was GOING TO USE THAT NAME FOREVER. "What parent would name their kid something as bland as Bill Young? I'm really named--SPITBALL JONES!" (spits)


      Well. Christmas Eve's Eve, literally in the busiest top 5 retail business days of the year. Possibly the most--The Eve only seems busier because it's in a shorter timeframe, as corporations close earlier as they want their employees to spend Xmas Eve home with their families HAHAHA sorry, that straight face couldn't last. It's because around 6PM, no one wants to shop, and ScroogeCorp sure isn't paying you an extra 2 or 3 hours! No one shops except the idiots banging on the closed doors shrieking "OPEN UP! WHERE'S YOUR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT?!" because the Reason for the Season is to make strangers work later, because you couldn't buy everything until there are literally "Zero Shopping Seconds Left Until Xmas." The Eve's Eve is people who didn't start their shopping until that day, like they had no advance warning of what day Christmas falls on.
      And here am I. Snug with the cats. My last Xmas chore was slipping through the freezing rain to get my Netflix DVD. The mailperson was there, still filling boxes. Even he marveled at the wintry wonderland. He regaled me with a tale of Christmases Past, of about an hour ago: "You know Bristol Circle, over by West Street?" Marveling at this tale of days gone by, I said "Yes," and sat in his lap. He sagely nodded, maced me, and then told me "I heard this sound like a snowplow turning over--RRRRRR--IIIII---PPPP! You know those road barriers they put in? This woman took them all out, totalled her car. Haven't heard if she's okay."
      If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of hours ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. What, you don't believe me?! You insolent fuck! It was a Friday of mild snow, but then it turned to ice. "Twas to end Saturday morning and change to rain," said some dentist Elf as he paused with his tooth-removing pliers, dripping with blood, before grabbing Cold Miser by his icicle nose and hissing "IS IT SAFE?"
      Well, I guess it wasn't, boys and girls and whatever gender you identify with! It lasted well into the afternoon, which in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, was about 5 minutes before dark. Many a lane of traffic was snarled! Yes, holiday travelers and mall chasers alike froze into their SUVs, saved only by there extensive...Look. Who cares? Did they die? No? Well, get ready for some REALLY ANTICLIMATIC STORIES ON CHRISTMAS, New Englanders! "And then, just as all seemed lost--I MADE IT TO DUNKIN!" Whew, I may live to a thousand years old, but I will never get tired of not hearing that story!
      ...And yet, here I am. Snug with the cats at home. Didn't have to drive a 35 mile commute to work to deal with assholes. Despite the weather, my ex-co-"workers" must've still been ringing huge lines, while nervously glancing every time a text message on the phone by their hand went ping!, while not actually being able to immediately check it! And, given the New Management, everyone was working. Even the Special Ones, who blew off both last year's Xmas and New Year's Eves because "they don't work Saturdays."
      HAPPY SCHADENFREUDAYS! Believe me, after 14 years of me being ground down doing all the actual work, you guys really deserve this!



      The 10 Days of Catsmas.

      Now, for a salmon burger and the prize of my storm-tossed quest through the arctic wilderness, a DVD of "The Princess Bride," probably with a snow-shoe-footed ex-exile grey tabby still purring in my lap. My Hannukah miracle boy.
      On the Thursday after it began, so began Byron's "making up for lost time" lap pets. It snowed that morning, a brief, light snow, that was just enough to stick to the roads at dawn. It was so beautiful. Because it was at the time that I used to look out the window and say to the glimmering flakes, "FUCK! I have to drive to work in this shit!" It can be summer after a light drizzle had ended, but the highways would clog to 10MPH. A light snow, even in CT at this time of day? It would be 18.5 miles of parking lot.
      I laughed, went back to bed. In just minutes, the sound of someone in a giant vehicle could be heard spinning up the driveway hill, probably forced to grind gears to dodge every car trying to come down, and barely making it. Then, the sound of EMT trucks racing to some fender-benders that would tie traffic up for hours. How long would've it have taken me to get to the Job? 90 minutes?
       I thought of my lucky co-"workers," but should've thought "HAPPY HANNU-HOPE YOU CHOKE ON IT-AH!!"


      Christmas Eve, 2017.
      Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
      "People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS"


      Yes, that is seriously how the Most Powerful Man In The World, Believe Me spent his Xmas Eve. As for me, for the first time in at least a quarter century, spent it with family. And, for the first time in 18 years, the family walked on 2 feet and not four.
      Xmas Eve is a family tradtion dating back to when my Dad would read The Night Before Christmas to his grandkids. Over the last few years, and my father's passing in January of 2001, it morphed into...Well, as Mom emailed me:
      "Now that we have appetizers rather than dinner it isn't as much a late evening as before and nowhere as much drinking."
      I'd heard the stories. Drunken arguments, drunken crying, drunken drunkeness. Since I worked till near death every Eve, I only came to Xmas brunch. One of my 3 sisters and her husband laid out a lavish spread, and half of the group would refuse to eat, because they couldn't face food today, and would fall asleep. In the first 5 minutes, I played a mental game: "Who's hungover? Who's SUPAH WICKED HUNGOVAH?" for it it is in southern New England that our tale is set.
      This year I went, as I didn't have to work just to the point before the sweet release of death, because I don't have a damn job anyway. Since this was not one for the record books, I'll just give you the salient moments.
      I almost walked into the wrong house again, as the surbaban houses all look the same and have very little identification. Turn on the highbeams and squint at the mailbox numbers. If you're me, stop right there, almost 3 feet from the curb.
      The noise was instant. In my family, everyone's smart and funny and educated and also realizes that if you have a clever observation you better make it Now and LOUD, because in an instant the entire conversation would be swept like waves from a rocky shore. Even at this point, before the drinking had really begun, I could barely hear anyone next to me.
      Y'know what? That's fine. I'm always the quiet one who needs to read the room and its mood before joining in. Yes, even with people I've known since before they were actually born.
      I had conversations with my beloved N&Ns Cassie and Matt. It'd been so long since I'd seen Matt, I almost didn't recognize him. Cassie had grown another 20 feet since Thanksgiving, but I think that's just me shrinking. Matt talked of Star Wars "without spoilers" and Cassie of a weird CT antiquey place. Then photos were taken.
      Appetizers were generally raw meat. The Version 1.0 of X-Eve involved getting together at 5PM, then waiting for dinner at 9, while drinking, then High Drama, then...going to Midnight Mass. I have never participated in this ritual, but I can imagine it might have ended with police check points outside the Saint Margaret Mary's Church parking lot. Note: the Irish Catholic side of the family wasn't the drunk side. You win again, USA Protestants!
      Then there were photos.
      Then there were more photos, except filmed on tiny video phones of the Harlem Shuffle because that's my Mom's favorite song. She's 84, BTW. It involved everyone "dancing", including me, and I can't wait to see that video. I expect to be edited out. I hope.
      Then there was gift opening. Gifts are Secret Santa Style, with names drawn from a hat at Thanksgiving. Each niece/nephew gets another's name. None were gag gifts. The lady girls mainly got serving dishes, as even the tiny kid once hugging your knee grows older. One nephew was truly excited over "I'll never have to buy dress socks again!" Another got a fantasy hardcover book and the board/card game "Citadels." Another got one of those big portable recharger batteries, to the envy of more than one cousin. Matt got golf balls but really got excited at "HAN SOLO CARBONITE ICECUBE TRAY!!"
      His FOX-News worshipping father said "We tried to raise them like us, but who knew that our boys would all turn out to be such geeks?" While shaking his head as if they had decided to be Gay, or Crazy Cat Uncles. Then there were photos.
      Nephew Ryan actually went to an early opening of the Mew Haven Cat Cafe and was super excited, asking me if I'd gone yet. Yeah, I wish! Haha FOX Guy, sorry, Matt & Lindsey already have a beloved cat, and now you have a nephew & GF looking for a cat-friendly apartment.
      Then there were photos. And me twice trying use the bathroom. "Is there someone in there?" "YES." The eye-rolling way sisters and a niece said that...Wait, where's Lexi's boyfriend?
      Then there were photos. Multiple photos, as the first came out poorly. "Where's the BF?" "In the bathroom"
      And there was puking. By the BF. For, no joke, a fucking hour. "Have you checked on him?" niece rolled her eyes, and said "Like, THREE TIMES." And then there were jokes about him going full Hendrix, while I sat there amazed. Sister Pat said "Don't worry, Bill, it's just Christmas Eve." Mom said the same later, as they dragged what was still alive of BF from the bathroom. "Is there a garbage bag?!" asked nephew's GF. WTF! I thought. But my sister opened a really big one and began throwing gift wrapping in it. Whew! I thought that he was going to use it as a barf bag!
      To be driven like 4 miles. Did I mention that he got that drunk 2 hours after he'd arrived? And that everyone in this family, him included, had to catch a 6 hour flight at 5AM? Or in 8 hours? Mom said "Don't worry about it, it's Christmas Eve." (There were designated drivers. For every family driving. I had the longest drive, of about 8 miles. I didn't need a driver other than me)
      At one point I brushed against a bag with some large gift boxes in it. I gave it no thought, until I was leaving, and Mom brought them up. I said "I asked for a grocery store gift card! I guess you got me one big enough to buy the whole chain!" But it was another Vermont Flannel Company shirt, which, as you may have guessed, is made in Texas from armadillo hide. And a coat because she "Thought it was time to retire your coat." I think it just needs a dry cleaning, but there's the fact that any time you see the Great Orange Crime Blob wave to his helicopter to his secret base under the slimy volcano of Mar-A-Go-Go, I think "THAT'S MY COAT, YOU ASSHOLE!! DON'T YOU RUIN MY AWESOME COAT TOO!!!"
      The cats really like the boxes. Except Byron. When the floor's new, anything on it is intimidating.
      And here our tale ends. My guess would be that only about a third of the revellers aren't spending Xmas barfing into garbage bags.
      "Forget it, Bill. It's Christmastown."


      And welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas! Yes, it theologically begins ON Xmas, and lasts until Jan 6. I learned this from listening to the Catholic Archdioscese of Hartford's station, WJMJ, and guess what their call letters stand for! Jesus Mary and Joseph, although Kevin once came up with "Jesus Music Jams." Xmas music would be all they played because I guess nobody was sick of that by 9PM Xmas day. And only the religious music jams, like "Oh, Come All Ye Fratboys" and "Jesus Christ is Coming to Town" and "Simeon the Red-Nosed Stylite" and "Estes Rockets Fidelis" and "Oh Sweet Town of Bartertown" and "It Came Upon a MIdnight Clear, Pass Me a Whole Roll of Paper Towels, This Stuff is everywhere."
      Also, that Stupidest Thing quote is from 2 weeks ago, and I don't think I get anymore after the 1st, so it may be more than 12 days of Xmas quotes here.

      I'm the only proud nerd of my age in the family, so it was great on Xmas to be around a bunch of the youngsters also of the same persuasion! (Youngsters: Well into their 20s) Conversation frequently went to that movie that's popular right now, that giant blockbuster Daddy's Home 2. ("LUKE--I AM--home now! Hi honey! I don't want to say I choked today, but boy, are my thumb and index finger tired!") I'm going next week, after school vacation is over. Side note from the oldest of the grand-spawn Matt:
      In my parent's place in Vermont, there was a small shelf of movies. Matt said "The Star Wars trilogy was always there. I looked at it long enough that I asked Grampy what it was. He played it, and I watched it so many times! I loved it! After a lot of viewings, he said 'Now that you've seen that, you're ready--for THIS!' And he showed Spaceballs. All my childhood, loving Star Wars, it changed my view of everything, and it was all a lead-in just to get the jokes in that one movie!"
      The Long Con! Dad was always a Mel Brooks fan, so I wonder if he'd bought the Trilogy just so that he himself could get the jokes. Maybe I gave it to them, like I did Plan 9 From Outer Space?
      Don't know. But even just me talking about Star Wars while working in a toy store and video stores back then might've help lead to a new generation of nerds.

      Speaking of that movie--couldn't it use some Lackadaisy Cats? (yes, all things could)




      What It's Like to Go Ghost Hunting When You Don't Believe in Ghosts. "It's important that you move as little as possible," Patrick says. "And don't whisper. If you have to swallow, do it during the questions."


      Sorry to keep mentioning Xmas Eve, but it was the most social life I've had since...Huh. Work wasn't social life, it was an updated version of middle school.
      There was a thing I heard about called the Little Drummer Boy Challenge. It wasn't to avoid the song, just see how long you heard it. That would've been about 2 hours max after Thanksgiving at work. But I kept it in the back of mind every time I went to a store and Xmas music played. At the party for only minutes, Retchmas music played on the TV. The chyron said "The Little Drummer Boy." Damn, I lost! Then I thought: the challenge was to not hear it, and right now I couldn't hear anything. There could be a live 500 lb pig in the next room being goaded by Viet Congses, and I wouldn't hear it. So, I won.
      A brother in law decided that all this was too much for him, so he failed to use a remote to change a channel, but when he did, he tried to turn the volume UP. Hey, there are people in Canada trying to sleep! He wanted to watch, and watch LOUD, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie. Once a movie is older than 15 years, it's pretty much on you to watch it online in a locked room under a blanket with a flashlight. Ebert comment on the movie: "All of the characters, as I have mentioned, have noses that look like atrophied upturned pig snouts, which is nice if you like atrophied upturned pig snouts, but not if you don't."

      11 Defunct Restaurant Chains That Are Sorely Missed. I've heard of almost none of these. Since most closed before the current millenium, you might not have either. There was a Burger Chef when I went to Oberlin College, but it was 100% townie. The tiny town doubled in size when college was in session, and you'd think that they'd just line their pockets serving hungry students, but they literally would not serve you if were a student. Maybe they had bad experiences with them. Maybe they didn't like the wildly diverse make up of the student body in the most liberal college in the US, while being a rust belt Cleveland suburb. But why would you write off a massive amount of business for 9 months a year? That's like opening a seashore restaraunt and only opening in January.
      There was a Howard Johnson's around here. Whenever there was a wave of store closings, it'd be listed as "1 of the last 100 in America," then "1 of the last 50," then for 20 years it was a Roy Rogers. Then an Indian place, but only briefly. It's now part of a parking lot of a newly constructed office building, which looks completely empty and is also butt-ugly. It looks like the architect was stuck on a design, when a 5-tier wedding cake was knocked over on its side by a rampaging dog and then stomped on by a cat, and said "THAT'S IT!" HoJo's had great ice cream and awesome fried clam strips. Their only other current incarnation locally is a Day's Inn, and that doesn't count.
      Shakey's Pizza was an important part of my growing up. Incredible as it sounds to modern ears, 40 years ago it was the only pizza place, period. I live 2.5 miles from where it was, and I can name 5 pizza joints from here to there on one road, and I may be missing some. It may explain my dislike of anything but thin crust pizza. Why they hit on that mythical 1890s vibe is a mystery (ours had a player piano). It was popular enough that it started getting ripped off by other 1890s themed pizza places. On a college trip to see the Talking Heads (Fear of Music tour), we visited one with the truly awesome/awful name "Yesterday's Pizza." Hey, can we have a pitcher of flat root beer to go with our old pizza? We're college students, and we're just going to dump a pint of rum in it anyway!


      Marvel has a new online make your own comic strip thing, with some oddly specific caveats. No bare midriffs! Umm, Marvel, maybe you've changed your art style since I last looked, but you do know that most women don't look like 120-lb supermodels, 20 lbs of which is in their shirt, right? And no killer bees! So someone immediately did a drawing of the Winter Soldier in a halter talking about being chased by Swarm, Marvel's character who's a radioactive Nazi skeleton made of killer bees.

      How to Watch Every Episode From Syfy's Twilight Zone New Years' Marathon. I won't be watching, as I don't have cable or even a working TV. Worth reading just for the capsule descriptions of the eps: "The one where a woman is horrified by her father’s humanoid robot servants, but it’s all cool because you get to hear Rod Serling pronounce “robot” all funny like they did in the 1960s."

      The Editor's Notes On Milo Yiannopoulos's Awful Book Are Absolutely Incredible. "Paris Hilton is NOT the best authority to quote here."


      "Plunk your magic twanger and call yourself froggy."
      I can guarantee you that no matter how much of a LTRotD you are, you don't get that. Hell, I didn't get it! That's why I made it my sig in the early years of this "information superhighway webnet" thing. But it turned up in a product description on American Science & Surplus, aka "We are proud that our intials spell AS&S."
      Random product description: "Not just pigs, but pigs in pork-pie hats, quite appropriately. Pigs in chartreuse and pale orange (our pick). They're actually small, 4-3/4" long, plastic piggy banks with just the coin slot, so you have to slaughter them to get your money back. (Just like the real thing.)"
      "Life is more than just virtual stupidity; sometimes you have to take time out for actual stupidity. It's therapeutic. Start with this swell, stuffed ninja watermelon, two halves of a ripe, red seeded melon connected by a hook-n-loop tab, ready for you to bifurcate."
      You might think "So some ancient copywriter decided to make internet-sounding jokes" but you'd be wrong. They've sounded like this for the thirty years since I've read their catalog. If anything, their deadpan non sequiturs might've been the germ of the InExOb. It was some guy's job to write up little descriptions of random surplus, and he just went with whatever was in his head. Or heads; somebody else must be doing his job now. Unless they aren't--one description opened with an Austin Powers ref and ended with emoji refs. A description might say that something's "included for no reason that we can think of." And be right!
      They're not all crazy reviews--they tone it down for mechanical parts and stuff--but here are some from my first visit in years, and just from the Toys section.      My gourd, that last one is brilliant. They're trying to guilt you into buying something to remind you of someone who never existed.

      Via Our Divine Splutness, Sailor Kitty:




      Dispelling the Myths About Today’s Cat Guy

      Dave Barry’s Year in Review


      In what seems to be becoming a new tradition, I had a New Years Day light lunch with Mom. (Mom's idea of a light lunch: Dinner. Sauteed marinated salmon, double-baked mashed potatoes, baby spinach and strawberry salad, some cheese-filled brocolli stuffing.
      And Trump Squash. A stress ball of the Fake Tan Master of the Universe, complete with dinky hands, which she regularly slams against the wall. "But not on the carpet; he picks lint up." (From Newberry Comics via Cool Niece Cassie)
      She got a weird phone call: An aged voice, that was coughing and hoarse, "Mary?" (her name) "It's Barbara, Cathy's mother. I'm really sick, and so is my husband, so could you call her and have her call me back, hack cough?"
      Mom didn't pick up, just checked the phone number, and saw everything: Babs was in her 80s, lived a town over, had a husband, and a daughter named Cathy. She thought nothing of it, beyond "Why does she need her daughter's friend to tell her to call her mother?"
      A few days later, a call for "Ma-a-ry, hack cough? I'm so sick! Can you call Cathy? And thank you so much for taking care of Steven."
      On the third call, Mom picked up and said "My name is Mary, but you have the wrong number." Barb went from "Camille marries Doc Holliday" coughing to a normal "Oh, sorry!" voice and hung up. My Mom decided that Barb is remembering something that happened a long time ago, and maybe that's the reason Cathy doesn't call her.
      On the fourth time, it was all coughing and Steven and "Tell my daughter to call me" and a long list of things Cathy's friend had done for her, including "taking my cats to Colorado to get deflead."
      HOW BIG WERE THOSE FLEAS? Did they have to flown across 2/3s of the lower 48 because they ate every vet along the way? Again, Mom picked up the phone and said "I think you have the wrong number". And then the calls stopped.

      I went to the mailbox, yay me! With dread, boo reality. My ex-job can challenge the unemployment they've already agreed to pay me after 13 weeks, and it's now been 15 weeks, and IIRC from 25 years ago, it takes 2 weeks to get the letter. While everything is now done online, the state still only uses snail mail to tell you anything. If I get that letter, there's still the hearing to decide who's right. And, again, I can pay back 15 weeks of UE benefits easier than they can pay tens of thousands of dollars in payroll and sales taxes, along with the fees built up over 25 years. If I make it to the end of this week, I'm probably okay, but I won't be sure until this month is over. And there, in the mailbox, was a government letter.
      Oh, it's just the Jury Duty thing. I forgot about that.
      On the way back from the mailbox, that woman with the 2 very large and aggressive dogs was walking them. They began pulling her to shriek-bark at me and possibly eat my face,but I just ignored them. (To recount: these dogs are HUGE, and there shouldn't be even one of them in our 660-sq ft condos. As I walked in from the frigid cold, my neighbor across the hall came out, sans any jacket. I rolled my eyes and said "Dogfight!" as every dog in the building was now barking. She nodded, then said to Dog Lady "I told you this once before--" and there's no way any conversation that starts with those words ended up happy. Will this lead to a call to the condo ass, followed by a letter re-announcing the Purge of All Pets? Great. Another reason to not want to/must get the mail.


      Hey, there must no be global warms, because SNOWS! record snows, record lows, record winds, so normal now! Every damn freakish thing is normal now!!
      The state is going to get 12 to 15 inches, except where it's more. Everything is closed that isn't a hospital, I hope.
      And my old job! Yes, as always, the Owner thinks there's no way he can be open and lose money. I've worked through many a blizzard, and everything in town closes: convenience stores, gas stations, every other liquor store. As soon as the snow starts, every customer runs back home like sane people. The only business is drunks walking, or snowplow drivers buying 80 proof Mr Boston blackberry brandy. Every 3-4 hours. Now you know why snowplows knock over so many mailboxes. Just be glad they didn't decided to plow your living room.
      I called at 4:15 using *67, at the point where my town likely had 10 inches of snow on the ground, with plenty more in the air. The phone was immediately answered (meaning no customers) by the 22 year old with lots of college debt. I had to risk my life so the owner could make pennies while sitting at home, and on a balmy summer's day, my commute took 30 minutes. He actually lives further east than I do, in the farmland boondocks, so that's an extra 10-15 minutes for him. Without a blizzard; that'll add up to a drive home of about 2 hours. I'm sure he's got my job: do all the work, get all the blame for what other people don't do. Have fun at the bottom of the Totem Pole of Thankslessness, kid! You're a box of Kleenex, and they'll throw you away as soon as they're done wiping their asses with you.

      You may have already seen this, as it came out yesterday: Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President: One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days. There's already another excerpt form "Fire and Fury," which is sure to be a bestseller: "You Can’t Make This S--- Up": My Year Inside Trump's Insane White House. It's only amazing in that we could all see this happening in real time, but somehow to some people, this was unforeseen.
      Of course, it's all Fake News, so don't read it. Also, Donald has the BIGGEST BUZTTON IN THE WORLD IN HIS PANTS sorry, ON HIS DESK.
      Funny even if you don't know who he's talking about, CT treasure Colin McEnroe asks You Want To Be Connecticut's Governor? Come On Down : "Now he is running for governor. He was told in November by a federal court that he cannot receive public financing no matter what he does. He was told this week by a state trooper that his campaign SUV cannot travel at speeds measurable mainly by Austrian physicists. The trooper clocked it at 87, but political reporter Neil "Viggy" Vigdor, traveling inside the SUV, saw the speedometer hit 100 moments before Viggy blacked out from the G-force."

      Since I know the rest of the US thinks of CT as Fairfield County, aka Manhattan East, or sterile white people suburbs, here's a reminder that we're just as fucked up as your state: Witness Tells Police He Saw Restaurant Manager Shoot Cook In Case Related To Yelp Review. It was a bad review, so totally justified. Even in the state where Sandy Hook happened, it's still easier to get a gun than a driver's license! And if you didn't get the "Sandy Hook" reference...sigh. Welcome to America. They all start to blur after the first 200.
      Why is CT never remembered for Beetlejuice? That same news page had an article titled "Milford Man Tore Heads Off Chickens In Jealous Rage." It's a beautiful world we live in.

      Blink at the 15-18 second point and you'll miss it, but yeah, that's a relatively accurate map of CT. Except that the River flows straight into Lawn Guyland Sound, not veer east. An alternate reality CT obviously. And the lightning strike puts Lydia's house in, what, Portland?


      The Trump meltdown over "Fire and Fury" should be interesting. Or, as they say--"It's showtime!"


      I posted about about the Bad Yelp Review Killer yesterday because I live near there. My Mom said that she drove by there with my nephew Ryan, saw the plaza was blocked by a cop car, and thought "It's snowing a bit, and this is a dangerous intersection--he's just here to make people slow down." She later found out that the whole plaza was sealed off, as this was an hour after the shooting. "Everyone says after these things 'I never thought it could happen here!'" she sighed, "until it does."
      I not only worked in that same plaza, I was one of the first to, at the still-being-built Lechmere. When the details came in about the attack, Mom found out that the woman involved one year ahead in the same high school as a niece and a nephew--Ryan, in fact. She added: "On another tragic news event-did you read about the teenager who on New Year's eve in New Jersey murdered his parents, a sister and a family friend?" The family friend was my father's partner's sister in law.
      You never think it could happen to someone you know...


      Since there won't be any Stupidest Things quotes here anymore, as they stopped the free link with purchase of another calendar, I thought I'd put in a Trump one that will certainly, like, be in the 2019 one. Should we all live that long.

      And as a warning, all the DykeWatches.
      InExOb 130
      InExOb 131
      InExOb 133
      InExOb 134
      InExOb 135
      InExOb 142
      InExOb 158
      InExOb 160

      YOU SHEEPLE! I have photographic proof that he's been dead


      FOR 17 YEARS!! Even his laser-eyed CYBORG GHOST was recorded, haunting the living into madness!




      I had plans made. Monday I'd get groceries. Tues I'd finally see Last Jedi. Weds, I either would or wouldn't have jury duty.
      My grocery store is busy between lunchtime and right after work, when people want to grab something quick that isn't fast food with a sodium content as high as Lot's wife. (Hey, God, is "looking back over your shoulder" really a crime punishable by being turned into a pillar of salt? What if Mrs Lot had a rear view mirror on her camel, would checking that count the same? Is God really the Jigsaw guy?) I went well after 1, but the place was mobbed. I spent more time in line than I spent shopping. I heard a clerk say "It's because it's going to snow!" We got over a foot on Thurs with blizzard conditions, and almost the whole state shut down. (Except for my old job! Ha ha! Idiots) But the forecast was an 80% chance of light freezing drizzle, total of less than half an inch. No one ever admits that they think any flakes means Donner Party Time, but there's an obvious and large group of panic shoppers who do. Weren't these same people here on Weds? How much fucking milk and eggs do they need? It wasn't helped by the fact that the full serve lanes were busy enough that people were getting in the self-serve lanes for the first time in their lives. The woman in the 2nd line I got in didn't seem to know that the scanner window isn't part of the scale, and she had 3 enormous root vegetables blocking it, throwing the scale off. I don't know what she was buying, so I'll just go with "giant yams," because that's generally my default for unidentifiable rooty things.
      But there was snow! It spat freezing rain for about 10 minutes a few hours later. I hope all those shoppers didn't starve to death!
      Later, I took a nap of less than an hour. I went to bed for real around midnight, only needing to sleep until 11 to make the movie. But then the worrying started. What if the very long movie wired me too much to sleep when I needed to get up at 730AM Weds? This is possibly the last week that I have to worry about the job trying to demand my unemployment money back, what if that came in the mail, making it even harder to sleep?
      There is literally only one thing you can't do by trying harder: fall asleep. With a lifetime of insomnia on top the stress, I couldn't. Then I began itching. Psychomatic I'm sure, as it just hit random parts of me. I eventually turned the alarm off. I wasn't paying to see a movie when my brain would barely be functioning. What could I do, stay awake for 36 hours and hope that I could get enough sleep before jury duty? 24 hours before I was due to stumble out of bed, I stumbled out of bed and found that it was still okay to postpone jury duty. Then I went sleep around 1030AM, for about 3 hours. Of course, duty could be cancelled for tomorrow but be in session in 2 weeks when I'm supposed to go again. And in a few minutes, the results of that trial.
      All I got in the mail was Netflix, and they cancelled all Weds jury duty! Dammit! Now I get to go through this all again!

      Possibly the only comics superhero you could summon by smoking some ba-a-ad shit, man.


      Ha ha, one of the last Stupidest Things quotes I'll ever have is about the Evil of Stan! And most of this will be about Marvel Comics! But not the news that broke today! Who's just been accused of doing to his nurses what ex-President George HW Bush has been! Remember the 47 minutes when that was a news story? Remember when GHW Bush's son Dubya was said to have forced his 1960s girlfriend into having an abortion by his Dad, and that was a story for about 4 seconds? Remember when some reality show guy became prezdent, and something something?
      I'm not excusing some ancient egomaniac Marvel editor of anything. It's just odd how it never sticks to some people.

      Two pieces of government mail today! One's just telling me that I'm on Husky D, which is Medicare D except named after a dog. AKA, if you're dying, go to the emergency room, maybe you'll get covered.
      The other was my ex-job W2. Another sign (maybe) that they're not going to challenge my UB and then lose to me anyway. I assume that it was sent early because they laid off an entire store's worth of people before me. When I get my W2 for my unemployment withholding, I think that assures hey're not challenging. (Because I let the gov't take out withholding taxes, because this is AMERICKER, and why should we tax billionaires?! TAXING BILLIONAIRES IS THE COMMURNISMS hey Exxon, here's your annual $4B in gov't subsidies on top of paying no taxes. "Paying no taxes means I'm SMART!" --A Very Stable Genius, 2016.

      I was looking around for the Marvel Masterworks Edition of my favorite comic as a kid, assuming you didn't count MAD as a comic, Not Brand Ecch. One Amazon seller had this book, which sold so poorly that if you heard about it at the right time, and I didn't, was available for $25. One Amazon seller had a copy for sale for $3200, plus $4.99 S&H, in "Adequate" condition. I eventually found it for $Nothing!
      Like most of my life at the moment, it seems good so far, in that downloading it hasn't flooded me with malware. The comic itself was a self-parody of Marvel comics in the late 60s, clearly aimed at the kids who read MAD magazine, and the teens and college kids who read Marvel. Like MAD, it was funny on differing levels, although VERY heavy on the non sequitur. I love non sequitur! Where the dialogue stays within the subject, then veers off into a weird direction.
      I thought the first 3 issues were hilarious even now! (Ish 4 was weak; I'm still going through ish 5, which so far is funny) You Kids Today may not get all the 60s jokes, but the joke-to-panel ratio is really high. Little signs, odd asides, visual jokes, the whole spaghetti-throw approach. If it's not funny for a whole panel, the next one will crack you up! Well, me up.
      I will give you no examples. Nothing ages worse than humor. I still rank among my favorite comedies "Duck Soup" and "Footlight Parade," both from 1933. It expects you have a very close understanding of contemporary Marvel Comics and 1960s pop culture. Sure, Woody Allen one issue, a cameo of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow in another. Here's a parody of 1940s comics, that absolutely no kid is even going to get! Here's a lot of versions of the Peanuts gang, with multiple Snoopy v Red Baron cameos! Also, repeated refs to the Lord of the Rings and Marshall McLuhan for you college kids!
      the art is freaking great, from Kirby to the so underrated Marie Severin. The only "girl" in comics at the time, a great artist but y'know, she's a lady girl, so she mainly did Not Brand Ecch, and some otherwise forgotten comics, like Hulk and Sub-Mariner. When she does parodies of her characters, it's...beautiful. Some of The Inedible Bulk's facial expressions are funnier than any dialogue given him. "HMMM..Bulk suddenly want to go to TALLAHASSEE!" I'm sorry, 50 years later, and his "Stupid/but not stupid" look is still hilarious.
      (Side note: I thought yesterday as I was mentally composing this, "Imagine what sexism and harassment the only woman at Marvel had to deal with!")
      It's funny to me, but maybe not to you. I'm sure there's some beloved content you consumed as a kid that you love, and I'd hate, and vice-versa. These also contain the original comic's ads. Ads for the young, the teen-aged, the adult, and people who need dentures. (No, really, a sample free denture plate is offered a lot) And ABC's Saturday Morning cartoons! Fantastic Four! Spider-Man! George of the Jungle! The Beatles! Yes, there was once a Beatles cartoon, and it was just as good as you'd expect being hit with Maxwell's hammer would be!
      Ads for X-ray specs! Every kid except the dumber ones knew they were fake, but how did they fake it? Here's how. And there are those one-time ads for...something. "CAPTURE
      the forces of the world and use them to achieve success and wealth.......... Know the secrets behind money, power, selling, power, competition, needs and mentality........The people of wealth and success use these forces....Do you? Send $1 and we will rush you the great intra-force reports." For a dollar! It's true, believe me, there are ellipses.
      Download it and read it with the CBR download, or don't, I don't care. Good thing comics can only be silly!

      Except when they aren't: via Kirk, The Good War.


      And it turns out that I got my unemployment W2 last week! Just as a side note on the claims page, with no real explanation of what it was. It wasn't a W2, but a form with a name like something from Gilliam's Brazil. So I guess I can forget about my corrupt ex-bosses trying to challenge my UB. But, I still know what everyone else knows..."Second set of books." I just have actually had them in my hands, with a copier nearby. I wouldn't be surprised that the money they pay into unemployment insurance for every full time employee is something that they can deduct from their own taxes. Let's not make rich people pay for their crimes! Gourd Bless the USA! Fuck all those Shithole Countries!

      It looked like the last chance to see Star Wars: The Last Chance That One of Them Won't Suck at the bargain matinee. I waded to my car no I seriously waded to my car, and Chuck Taylors aren't noted for their waterproofness. There's no global warming, as every FOX viewer knows. Although today's high was 5 times higher than last week. And with a foot of snow, it's gotta go somewhere. It was ankle deep. And full of floating water bottles--my old empty ones from Job that I haven't cashed in yet. So, yeah, canvas shoes and tube socks, fishing out nickel deposit bottles. If I wasn't going to a movie, I would have walked upstairs and traded my sodden footwear for dryer ones. But the new property manager was there with the Trustee, so I got a chance to complain about the garage's stupid "waterproofing." They started with nothing 31 years ago. Once water got in the garage, it stayed there. So they decided to attach these utterly gorgeous PVC pipes that blow away when the wind picks up. We're on the top of a hill, where it gets very windy, so the damn things go wherever they want. Then they raised the asphalt just outside the doors enough to no keep the water out of the garage, just keep it IN. But this was snowmelt, and it was running down my neighbor's basement window. We're on a hill, so the garage is a floor lower than the casement windows. And that's where all the melt was coming from. Just before I shut the garage door, I said to them "You might want to back up to avoid the tsunami."
      And so, with soggy sneakers cold with snowmelt, I went to the movies. The temps were 4 to 6 times what we had only days ago, 65 vs 11 or 13, so no global warming! I was only wearing a coat because of the heavy rain. Guy selling tickets: "I like your coat!"
      "My mom bought it for me. She thought the Matrix look would be good on me!"
      "I have one just like it!"
      "I thought it was really cool, but now Trump's wearing it! Hey, dude, at least leave me my coat!"
      He laughed. "Yeah, get rid of it! Burn it!"
      I give the Last Jedi 3 out of 9! Movies, I mean. Once I've had some time to think about it, I'll say more.




      Yea verily, I shall descend from Mount Olympus and bestow upon you my review of The Last Jedi, and it is the best review ever wroted, believe me, for yea verily, I am a, like, very stable genius, and the best athlete, everyone says that, and I had to work against the bone spurs that sadly kept me out of Viet Nam, where I would've been the greatest hero of that war, Tod Holton Super Green Beret was a punk, Clod Tod I call him, and my doctor, who is named Ronny or Ronnie depending on who you believe, and is a rear admiral, except "No butt stuff" I said, he gave me a note saying that no one ever has been so perfect, the note says "The Supreme Leader is so healthy, like a Greek god, but without any butt stuff, please excuse him from school today to play golf, signed, My Doctor."
      Here's some mood music: to get this started


      There was the mandatory 20 minutes of trailers, starting with a True Story starring the Real Heroes, who are American and kill brown people, because how else would director Clint Eastwood define hero? It was noticeable for the fact that it not only included product placement, but began with it. Real American Hero holds up a Coke can; "Look at the baby soda cans!" (No, really) And that same Black Panther trailer, followed by that same Avengers trailer, and great, those are 2 more movies I'll probably watch in a theater, and 2 more meals I might have to skip to pay for it. Maybe I was cranky, what with the soaking wet with snowmelt shoes and socks in a theater where they never turn the AC off.
      I can sum up my reaction to The Last Jedi with: What, that's it?
      Where's the big controversy? Why do some people demand the film be "struck from canon" like it's some lost book of the bible where Jesus eats babies? What's the terrible "because of what they did to Luke and the Jedi"? I think it's appropriate that it ended with some kids playing with a handmade action figure of "Luke Skywalker, Jedi master!" Were these TLJ haters upset that the movie didn't show what they projected onto their tiny plastic Lukes as kids? Is it because...shit, I don't know. Because he drinks walrus titty milk? That's it, isn't it? ALL STAR WARS MILK IS BLUE AND NOT FROM WALRUS TITTIES.
      I have more respect for the character, and Mark Hamill, because of this movie. Maybe I'm the one projecting, but there was pain and regret in his performance. Luke's more of a hero in my eyes now.
      Why didn't any review mention Rose? (Why are all my sentences questions?) Now she is a strong female character. That's usually said about Black Widow type roles. Much as I love that character, "Strong" seems to mean "Kills as efficiently as a male." Think about it: Made in USA movies, the good guys are just better at murder than the bad guys. That's why I like the Doctor: he out-thinks the opponent, not out-slaughters.
      At first, I thought Rose was going to be a one-scene-and-gone side character. She's more than that. "Rose" is a good name. I was expecting her to have a believable Star Wars name, like Blorp Framingham. I mean, one guy's name is "Snoke," a sound I'd expect normally to mean "incoming hairball." She is beautiful, although not in the Scarlett Johannsen supermodel way, and she has thorns. I liked how she and Finn came up with a plan, with her always one step ahead of him. Okay, spoiler: it's a pretty fucking stupid plan, but exactly the overly complicated plan a regular movie would present as brilliant. Vice Admiral Holdo's plan really is brilliant, if a couple of male Action Figures didn't interfere.
      Oh. THAT'S what got the couch potatoey men's rights losers boxers in a bundle. GIRLS with LADY PARTS are smarter. And Carrie and Laura are old, and did you see that one bitch's nose? "How am I supposed to masturbate to THAT in my fedora?! I'm a nice guy, that's why women won't have the sex with me and my fellow oppressed white men!" Note that when she and Finn try to explain the plan to Poe, Finn cuts her off and mansplains to Poe.
      Am I the only one to notice: Porg is almost the same letters as Poe! Stupid, squawky, annoying thing that I wish wasn't in the movie and should die, as are the porgs.
      I suppose it'll be Xmas Eve before I see nephew Matt again, but we talked about the movie a lot that day. I didn't see some of the points he made, like "There are too many endings." I thought it had exactly the amount of endings it needed, with some foreshadowing. Also, "The cantina scene went on way too long!" Rose saying "Now it's worth it!" pretty much established her character for me.
      After 38 years, I finally have a third Star Wars movie I can watch more than once. Although in Empire, Han just needs a fedora to make him truly macho.
      I will admit to not getting into the movie right away. I did like that the humor came in randomly, rather than the script saying "INSERT JOKEY BIT HERE." I've always rolled my eyes at the thing in action movies/books where the hero and hot babe are being threatened with instant death, so of course the Sex. How's THAT going to help you? Talk about getting caught with your pants down! But people will make nervous jokes during a crisis. "I've changed my hair!" is a perfect example. Funny, and yet heartbreaking. I wasn't expecting humor in the very first lines ("Yes, I'm still holding.") Now that was a scene that went on a bit longer than it should, but it establishes that Poe is an asshole, fuck you Poe and the tauntaun you rode in on. However--is this the first SW film that did not use that utterly hilarious to no one but Lucas line "I have a bad feeling about this"? Seriously, by the time the prequels thankfully ended, I was sure that Lucas thought that it was the best line ever, believe me, but now I must leave this franchise to make my masterpiece, Howard the Fucking Duck. But the opening kinda put me off. It got me out of the story right away, and too much into "This is a movie" mode. And that led to--well, I don't watch SW films as documentaries, but I kept thinking "That's not how space works." Here's a space documentary! You don't need to watch it, just more Mood Music.


      Recently, the Voyager probe used fuel for the first time since the original trilogy was in theaters. It wasn't burning fuel the whole way. That's not how space works!
      You fire the thrusters, there's no inertia or weight, so you stop firing because you've already reached the speed you want. Okay, the X-Wing vs TIE fighter battles are WWII dogfights, got it. But now spaceships are naval ships? "The rebel ships are lighter and faster!" No they aren't! A Star Destroyer weighs the same, which in space is nothing. Also, say my compact Honda Fit is doing 75MPH on the highway, and I'm being chased by a UPS truck with its speed limited to 60. I'm not good at math, but my estimate would be that every 4 minutes, I'd be a mile farther away from the truck. In 20 minutes, 5 miles; in an hour, Omaha, etc. So why is the Resistance fleet always the same distance from
      What? Why are you laughing? You're not actually listening to the lyrics of The Moon Men video, are you? I'm trying to talk here!
      "They picked up rocks and sand, to fill up the bags, when they get back to Earth, they will all have tags" HA HA oh gourd, song poems are the best music.
      It could've been fixed with one line of dialog ("Keep firing! They'll have to keep their shields up and burn fuel!"), except--No, they'd still be going the same speed. And how do you drop bombs in space? Maybe the Dreadnought is so big that it has its own gravitational field? This is why Carl Sagan was never asked to write a Star Wars script.
      It's essentially a reboot. They left themselves enough leeway for a lot of things to happen. And, person behind me in the theater, if your loudly stated theory that "Ren and Rey are brother and sister!" is right, I'm tracking you down and shoving a porg up your nose. It's a galaxy, not a small town inbred with Skywalkers and Solos. This is what I want from SW from now on: No ridiculous relationships, no more fucking Death Stars already, and more films like Last Jedi.
      (is it just me, or did that cloud over Luke's island look like a certain Muppet?)

      And now--MORE MOOD MUSIC! Not Moon Music.

      Alley Cat Allegro

      Oh, thanks, the Bran Flakes, for waiting until I have no job to release your first album in 10 years! If you're unfamilar with them, they take thrift store records and sample them into crazy songs. I don't think they actually "did" any of the music on them, just turn them into another and better form. Your best introduction to them would be Ultimate Hits. Also their ScrumpdillyishusLand is probably the only Inexplicable Link of the Week that still works.
      All the movie reviewers say that this was the best review, they sent me letters resigning their lying mainstream media jobs because of my best words, believe me, and did you know that I'm so the best boy that I've never even once pooped? Ask my doctor, his name is Doom, Ronnie or Ronny Doom.


      Well, I guess I kinda guessed right yesterday about the "reasons" certain people hated The Last Jedi. Some MRA (which stands for "Men's Rights Activist," although I think I might've not given my bowel movement an acronym that can be so easily changed to "Mentally Retarded Asshole") decided to take a shitty camera bootleg from Asia and remove every scene involving women. A reduced list ofWait, wasn't that a 1940s Disney cartoon? "The Reluctant Murderous Psycho"? How can you be reluctant and murderous? Also, a short rundown of changes? Mr Random Asshole took 250 minutes and reduced it to 46. I watched 20 minutes of trailers about baby Coke cans and Marvel, and I'll bet that pretending that those were all the same movie would be more coherent.The whole point of the moive [sic] doesn't exist then. But, dead Poe, sure."Mommy never loved me."Oh noes, not Lea! Where will I find a pasture of rolling land to herd my sheep! Maybe my sheep can join the rest of the MRAs!
Also: "Take THAT, Mommy!!"And am I the only one who thought of the Bowie song "China Girl," with the lyric "Visions of swastikas in my head"? Nah, Bowie's too gay fag for this Man's Man! He only hangs around other men! That's not at all being a Misogynist Racist Asshole!
OK, the actor playing Rose has the last name of Tran, which I'm not even going to check, as CT has a lot of Vietnamese people living here, so I'm guessing...hmm...maybe not from China? I know little about her, but I'll bet her ethnicity is--AMERICAN! Were you born here? If not, do you LIVE here? Then you're a USA shithole person like me.
Okay, this I will Google, gimme a sec...China Girl's last name is Ngo. I knew it! Why are these Americans taking jobs from the Chinese!
Also, you know that fat guy X-Wing pilot in the initial attack that dies immediately, like the Lucasly-named "Porkins" in the first movie? I'm guessing he's the guy this film named "Tubbs." I wish I didn't know that now."My plastic Luke action figure never loved me! DIE, you MURDEROUS PSYCHO BAH-HAHAHA" (burns with magnifying glass the figure, having run out of ants, and Mommy won't keep buying him any more gerbils that have all strangely disappeared)...I really don't even know what to say here....Did...did we see the same movie? I have no idea what this Morons Really Are Stable Geniuses guy is babbling about. Hey, maybe you should wish her whole family died horribly, to REALLY make her suffer for all the heinous things she did, like remove a saddle from a horse-thing I guess? Or be portrayed as smarter than YOU? Dude. The saddle's smarter than you. And probably smells less like farts. "All the Asian girls the PUA sites told me to date because they're naturally submissive dumped me 5 minutes into our blind date!" (takes his Han Solo figure and uses it to give himself a Han job)Look. Buddy buddy buddy. I call you buddy because I, too, am a straight white male who hasn't been on a date in a long time, although not "all my life ever" like you. Here's another thing you said that I just blankly stared at. Know what I first thought of?
Roger De Bris: Ah, Bialystock and Bloom, I presume! Forgive the pun.
Leo Bloom: [to Max] What pun?
Max Bialystock: Shut up, he thinks he's witty.
WHAT PUN? How is that a pun? "How many Draculas are attacking us?!" "Too many to--COUNT!" That's a pun. Because--oh. Right. Silly me. You don't know how sentences work. It was supposed to go at the previous bit. GET IT? Female facial shots! "The sluts in my bukkake Youtubes never loved me!" (shorts out another monitor from drippage)"The people I scream at in internet comments DO love me!"
      And, if you check another link, yes, he hates walrus titty milk.



      Snow was predicted for Weds, but only less than an inch. I figured I'd be safe going grocery shopping on Tues, because the bulk of the panic buying would be on Monday, MLK Day. I didn't check the forecast again until 930Pm. and now it was going to be 5 to 8 inches of snow. Fuck! So I went to the grocery store right then.
      I must've been right, as the shelves were empty. As was the store--I was one of the only customers. They were cleaned out of my main reason for going, the BOGO deal on Perdue walrus titties chicken breasts, so I grabbed what I could get, planning on going after the storm passed on Weds. On the way home I realized that I'd just panic bought to avoid panic buyers.
      Today, they still hadn't restocked on Perdue. A worker threw exactly one package from the stockroom onto the shelf. I bought the whole 2 they had, getting 33% off instead of 50%. And if you're wondering...we got less than an inch of snow. And the store was abandoned at noon as it was at 930. I don't understand people's reasoning.

      Now that I saw Last Jedi, I don't need to avoid spoilers! So I looked up some stuff, and found What do Porgs taste like? Since no one eats penguins, my guess was like really badly prepared duck, super greasy. The consensus among actual chefs was greasy, gamey, salty, and like rotting fish. No one wonder Chewie passed.

      Also, from several years ago, The 12 Worst Things in the Star Wars Expanded Universe: "Honestly, the only good thing about the Jedi Prince series is the reveal that Moffs hold Mofferences, which is so horrifyingly awful it comes out the other side to awesome."
      All I can picture is Peter Cushing walking around with a stickie tag on his lapel that says "HELLO My Moff Name Is [handwritten in Sharpie] Tarkin" while he thinks in his cadaverous malevolence "I hate this job. I'm a Grand Moff, why do I still even have to go to these things?"
      (Large man wheezing with asthma, carrying a tray of breakfast food) "I find your lack of complimentary muffins...disturbing. They're blueberry!"
      "Vader--are the chocolate chip ones made with...Ex-Lax?"
      "These weaker Moffs shall soon know the true meaning of the Dark Side of the hotel bathrooms!"
      "You may proceed. And you've got muffin crumbs all over your mouth grill thing."

      Strangely (and, unfortunately) timely, NukeMap. How would your city if nuked? Pick the nearest major one, and you can scroll the map to your hometown. The results are not good. I like that you could scale the weapon used, and it begins with Davy Crockett, the teensy little atomic warhead that you could launch from a jeep a whole mile and a half away! Hey, guy launching, yeah, you're dead from radiation poisoning sooner or later.



--My local grocery store flyer, and, no, I didn't catch the math until I'd bought 8      The Funniest Signs From the 2018 Women's March. My fave: a sign with a picture of Trump that says "Does this ass make my country look small?"

      The Man and the Mouse. Hey, I dunno, I thought it was funny.


       Hey, I dunno, I thought it was funny.



      So today's the day--rather, the second day since last week--that I find out if I have jury duty. Last week I postponed to this week, because my sleep schedule is a mess. And jury duty for that day was cancelled anyway. I really didn't fix my sleeping since then, much as I tried.
      Trying to establish a pattern in jury duty, I called almost every day over the last week for the cancellation message for the next day, and cancelled jury duty always was. But when I postponed, tomorrow was the first date available. Was it the only next one, or did they have jury duty every day? The message was updated every day (by the same woman, who sometimes sounded reeeeally bored at having to repeat the same thing every workday), mentioning "those scheduled for jury duty and walk-ins." If it wasn't every day, why mention the walk-ins? And who are those people anyway? Is this their hobby, hoping there's an opening on a potential jury? Are they retirees who want to send someone to the chair? Middle aged cellar dwellers who read the comic book The Punisher a lot? Fans of 12 Angry men who would vote not guilty all the time? Homeless people who want an excuse to get out of the cold and drink free but bad coffee? No way to know. I just have to wait until 530PM today and call.


      I read through the 1960s Not Brand Ecch comics I got from GetComics, so I downloaded something I wasn't aware of: What The?!, Marvel's late 80s/early 90s reboot of the parody comic. It's pretty funny! Also kind of funny: GetComics downloads went to a temporary file, and vanished if I rebooted my computer. I'd have to re-download. After a while, it wouldn't let me. And sent me to a page that wanted my credit card number. I'd be charged nothing, they assured, it was just a way to make sure I was downloading from a list of certain countries. Yeah. There's NO OTHER WAY to check what country I'm in. In my 21 years of this page, I've certainly never put a simple hit counter on it, one that might tell me that today I got a Google search from Spain today and one from Singapore 3 days earlier. I should've asked for a credit card number! So, yeah, not giving them that. Or checking their site again.
      So I won't know what came after What The--?! #8. Too bad, as sometimes old media has references that seem timely. For instance, in #4, Dr Strange mega-villain Dormammu, in his Dark Dimension of Ultimate Evil and All Things Foul, is told by a demon "That Jerry Van Dyke career retrospective is being rerun later tonight."
      Dread Dormammu replies "I've already seen that documentary, fool! It's "My Mother the Car: The Lost Episodes" that I covet viewing." Wow, he IS evil!
      Then he begins looking for villains who might aid him, from his Necronomicon's contact list. "Doctor Doom...Donald Trump..."
      I forget the name, but not long ago I was watching a SyFy network MST3K episode, and a woman said "NO! I won't! I won't marry a monster!" and Kevin said "That's what Ivanka said."

      Tweets about Dear Leader's weird obsession about sharks.

      "Aren't we gonna see the basement?"
      "There's no basement at the Death Star!"

      And there's no jury duty for me tomorrow! SUCK IT, WALK-INS. The woman taping the message for the 1,275th time in a row slipped for a second, probably because she's read it so many times that her mind wanders. "Jurors who were scared--scheduled for tomorrow are exempt."



      The New England Museum has this on their site:      So...not 7 days a week then.

      I got a free trial of Amazon Prime. I figured a month is enough time to watch all of "The Man in the High Castle," and I only needed a week. To watch 3 episodes. I wasn't expecting it to remain faithful to a Philip K. Dick book, since nothing based on his stuff ever is. But if you're going to set your series in an alternate reality--The Axis won WWII, with the USA divided between Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany with a neutral zone between them--you need to make the ground rules clear. Why does it seem that the Nazis run the zone? With Jews and blacks free to own businesses? In the book, the Jews and blacks are slaves, except for the dead ones. The description of Africa in the book: “That huge empty ruin,” and "...then he thought about Africa, and the Nazi experiment there. And his blood stopped in his veins, hesitated, and at last went on."
      Also, the Nazis are depicted in the TV show as having super science, whereas the book has then landing men on Mars before 1962, without having yet perfected a working television. The high tech is just a big propaganda show. And why is the bible banned? The Nazis loved the right wing Protestants in Germany, because they thought God was on their side.
      But I'd overlook that if it was any good. Which it ain't. I quit once they introduced a cartoonishly over the top Nazi sheriff. He's like Yosemite Himmler.
      I also checked to see if Prime was worth it as far as it's vaunted free shipping. If you compare right on Amazon, you can always get things cheaper from 3rd party sites even with S&H, because Prime's shipping is just folded into the price plus more. I did what will be the last of my non-essential spending using it, for something I should've thought of a long time ago. The old PC game Civilization II won't play on Win 10, so why not just get a cheap used computer with Win 7 or XP on it? It was $80. A laptop would've been better, as I wouldn't have to cross between 2 desktops, and I don't know, keep it on top of my lap, but the cheapest I found was twice that price. I've got spare keyboards and mice and a monitor, so I could set it up in another room. I'm just saying that solitaire is really getting boring, and if I have downtime, I should use on it something more interesting. Before the net, I played CivII 40 hours a week.
      It's the end of discretionary spending because it's almost the end of my unemployment. 6 to 8 weeks, max. I did my taxes, and the refund's 2.5 months of basic expenses before I have to dip into savings. When that happens, it should run out in 8 or 9...years.
      Why yes, a job would ameliorate that. I'm looking for a brick & mortar business that won't likely be replaced online, which kinda leaves grocery stores and dollar stores. Dollar Tree is always hiring, which is never a good sign. Reviews by ex-employees describe it as not a bad job, but with high turnover and, as almost every post says, "nobody knows who's really in charge." I'm grabbing an application tomorrow, just to be safe.
      As to grocery stores, I applied to Stop and Shop. After a week of no reply, I just shrugged. Then I was awakened at noon on Saturday (yes, my sleep schedule is still a mess; I'm writing this at 4 AM) by my answering machine, which was off. For reasons only the machine understands, if the call goes a minute with it off, it tells the person on the other end to enter my remote code. Hey, guess who waited 60 seconds to for it to say that! Yep, S&S. If they don't call Mon, I'm calling them as I have the caller ID. But I can't use the excuse "My machine didn't pick up" as it sorta did. Of couse, since they waited a week and didn't call back a 2nd time, I may be low on the list to begin with. As they say, One Day At A Time shitting your pants with worry.





      Well put, Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar! As that's from 12/31/17, and marks the end of their "buy a calendar, get another in your email" feature, and the end of those being posted here. If you want one, they're probably 50-75% off by this point.

      Well, yesterday went exactly as not planned. I didn't get a Dollar Tree application, as the sign says "Speak to Manager." I don't want to say "I'll fill it out later; you guys are pretty much in my last resort column right now." Might not help my job chances.
      I didn't ask at Stop&Shop either. The caller ID was the store's general number, so who was I to ask for? Maybe it had something to do something else. The fact they called only once doesn't make it look like they're too eager to contact me. I did get groceries. At the self-serve checkout I noticed that some cat food didn't ring up on sale, so I said to the clerk "I'm going to leave my stuff here and check the tag." Some customer had put the bag I rung up in front of the sale one, so I grabbed the right one to switch. Another customer, with a cart overflowing with groceries, was blocking the register I was using and looking lost. I got the clerk to delete the old cat food for the new, and the customer finally got the clue and moved to the very next register. I keep a mental tab running when shopping, and on the drive home the total seemed just a bit higher than it should be. And it was--that customer had rung one of her items through on my tab. She must've had her rewards card, why did she not notice it didn't scan? Or notice that the screen was in the middle of a sale? Or all my damn groceries? Or, when she saw the clerk, didn't just say "Sorry, I rang one of my things up by mistake"? It's $2.79, which isn't a lot, but that's a gallon of gas. And how do I dispute it? Show them the thing I didn't buy not being there?
      Good: My tax refund went through! Bad: No it didn't. I got an email from Turbo Tax saying my SS number was wrong. I hit 1 instead of 4, which are right next to each other. Good: It took 5 minutes to fix.
      Good: I got my new very old computer! In a giant box that was inside a giant box with a tree's worth of packaging, because That's Our Amazon! Bad: despite me asking the seller literally "Will this play Civilization II?" and them saying "Yes, it should," No, it doesn't. The computer works fine, all set up in the living room with old peripherals and a monitor with jaundice, and oh gourd how I miss Win7 over 10. But I forgot that there's some thing about 32 bit vs 64 bit, and my old games were 32, and this was Win7 Pro, so I guess that's why it didn't work. And I tried 3 versions of Civ2, and even Civ3, but all I got were error screens. Except for Civ2 Gold, which kind of installed. It worked great, until I hit Build City, which is the point of the whole damn game, and it'd crash. I put it on the Hated HP before, and it did the same thing. But what am I to do with this? It doesn't do what it's supposed to, and what they said it would do. Is it worth the hassle of paying S&H on something that's 20 lbs, assuming that the seller takes it back at all? Maybe I should just say "Now I have 2 back up computers" and keep it.
      Bad: Lying in bed unable to sleep. AGAIN. Good: suddenly thinking "...Can't you use Civ2 with just a mouse and drop-down menus? Nah, I must've thought of trying that on the HP." Good: Yes, you can! In fact, Build is the only keyboard command that crashes it! Bad: for TWO DAMN YEARS I'll bet the HP could've played that game, if I'd tried that...Good: Well, it works. Bad: "Go Here" in Civ2 Gold means "Don't go anywhere, but go everywhere at once, even if it means spinning in place or trying to move 2 squares by circumnavigating the globe," which is the reason I never liked that version. Good: DJ likes sitting in my lap while I play.

      Good: My town is recycling computers again! Because I have every one I own. Like 5 of them that don't work, besides the 3 that do. I don't want to just throw them in the dumpster; they're the size of small suitcases. Am I supposed to take the hard drives out, just in case somebody can get a discarded one working long enough to find old passwords?


      Looks kinda weird, page opening like this, huh?
      I only left the house yesterday to get the mail. Thankfully, it was because I slept 15 hours out of 32, cancelling out some of the sleep debt of the previous 2 weeks. So today, it was social anxiety be damned, I'm going to Stop&Shop and find out about that missed phone call. The manager in charge of interviewing looked more than half my age. Hell, I was a workaholic at that age, too. When I said that I'd forgotten to turn my answering machine on when the store called, he looked in the upper left of his brain. Which one does, either right or left upper quadrent, when one is trying to remember something. Remember the last time you did that?
      Ha! You did it just then! And he said "...Yeah" like he remembered it. "Have you ever done this before?" Me: "Here? No, but I've been doing this for 35 years, usually as manager, assistant manager, and you have to do everything." He said "Yes! Today we've got a freezer issue, and a gas station issue..." and shook his head, laughing. He'll call me back early next week, and I think he meant it.
      To celebrate, I went across the street and got Taco Bell's new $1 nacho fries. Not much of a celebration; doughy and possibly heat-lamped too long, even at 1030Am. As the saying goes, It's 420 somewhere. The cheese sauce was good, but somebody's probably stoned and dipping twigs in it, saying "Yah, chewy, and with squirrel poop, but sooo huuungry..."
      While waiting for the manager to come down at the customer service desk, I said "Could I get a Lotto quick pick? If one doesn't work out, maybe the other one will." Or, at least, I could get a job as an editor for Science Daily, which had this sentence: "The study presents the discovery of one of the stars with the least content of "metals" (heavy elements). Known. Th estar is at 7,500 light years from Earth..." Okay, given that you kinda know what that means, maybe Trump could do it.

      My new very old computer works fine, as does Civ2 Gold. In the sense that a car works fine, but it uses a quart of oil every time you turn the ignition on. The Go To command is utterly important. Everyone's least favorite feature of Civ games is the Trade function. Remember that first Star Wars prequel, and you're all cautiously optimistic that it would be awesome, and the opening crawl informs you that it's about trade negotiations? The whole audience leapt to its feet, pumping their fists and saying "Wait, what?"
      You have to establish trade routes, as they're a steady source of income and helpful in diplomacy. But you have to move a unit space by space from city to city to establish a route. Saying "Go To" means the unit will take the quickest route to its destination, no other action on your part needed. Moving it inch by inch by inch means that every turn you have to remind yourself which city it's going to. Which means checking a menu to see who wants what, over and over. And you can't just tell a military or any units "go here and don't bother me until you get there," because you have to remember that, too. And the only other keyboard command that doesn't work is Rename City. Which sounds needless, as the computer has a large bank of names built in, unless you're an egomaniac like Alexander the Great and want to name every city Alexandria or Trump Tower. But say you're playing as the Americans. Since the game names the cities in a certain order, you could end up with New York and Chicago right next to each other, with Boston on the other side of the world. I named my own cities, so that I could arrange them in a geographically logical sense. My first group of cities are named after towns in CT, and in a different region, my cats. Because who woiuldn't want to live in Small White, Bigfoot, or Loverboy? So when I need to trade with Montreal from Hartford, I at least know what general area to send it to.
      Since I've bored you enough, let's just leave it at Civ2 Gold is borderline unplayable, and I spent $80 for a backup computer to do it. I thought "They have new versions of Nintendo and Atari, why isn't there a Win10 version of the most popular early computer game ever out there?" Which is a thing I should've thought of before buying another computer. And right there on eBay, Civ2 for $30 from a guy with thousands of sales and an approval rating of 99.9%. After making sure it was NOT Gold, I ordered it. Seller: "You're the fifth person to tell me they hated Gold!" It should be here in a few days.
      So I've spent almost half a week's unemployment trying to play an old game. But I'm cautiously optimistic that I may have a job soon. Of course, that's how I felt about "The Phantom Menace"...


      Crimeny, but is this funny: Star Trek: The Next Generation created with predictive keyboards that were taught syntax based on all seven seasons of the series. Why was the godlike asshole Q's catchphrase not "The time for me is here!"? Picture him saying that to wild applause every time he entered the room on Star Trek: The Sitcom.
      And now for writing that would actually be improved by being written by a random nothing, here's--oh wait, it's not a random nothing, it's Stephen "I love Putin friend, sexual harassment, and large muu-muus" Seagal's ghostwriter! I Read Steven Seagal’s Insane Novel So You Don’t Have To. Typical prose: "A pack of four-legged coyotes ran past John's vehicle."
      Yes, but how many nostrils did they have? "Six-legged coyotes" would be scarier. "One-legged coyotes pogoed" would be funnier, especially if one said "Stevarino, seen my other 3 legs? Coulda sworn I had them this morning!" and would also been more realistic than the book.


      And now for another installment of The Fun Never Ends! Because in a technical sense, it can't end if it never started: A form from the Labor Department, demanding proof that I applied for jobs during the week of 12/26/2017, or I'll lose all benefits from this week and "all subsequent weeks." Notice anything about the date? NO ONE gets a job in retail the week AFTER CHRISTMAS. I put down that I went to Total Wine, and they said they weren't hiring, and didn't give me an application. Which is true, twice, just not that week. Am I supposed to prove that? I guess so! It's not just a form, but a hearing!
      On the first page, they want a copy of my driver's license and Social Security card, because what the fuck. I know I have my SS card somewhere, but since I never carry it on me--if my wallet was stolen, somone getting ahold of that would be worse than them getting my credit cards--but I don't know where it is. It's been literal decades since anyone has asked for it. My number, sure, which the labor dept fucking has, but then it's entered into a computer and that's it. Best I've found is an old pay stub with it. I'll try again, but they need the form in 5 days. If I can't find it, that's all their getting.
      This isn't my ex-job. My "claim has been randomly selected through the use of a computer." Maybe the dart board was lost that day, or the goat entrails ran out. If they ask "Why didn't you get a job before Xmas?" I'm screwed. "I decided to sit an Xmas out for the first time in 35 years, and after 14 years of being the whipping boy at my last job, I thought they could pay for it" isn't going to do anything but make me pay back all my benefits. It's not like I'm a trillion dollar corporation not paying taxes!
      The key phrase is: "The issue involved is your availability from 2/4/2018 to 2/10/2018 and all subsequent weeks. If you fail to respond/appear, a determination will be made that you were/are not available for work and therefore ineligable for benefits as a result." Not 2/4 and all previous weeks. Since I have maybe a month's worth of benefits left...Should I not bother going? I'd rather lose a month than repay 5 months.
      The whole thing hinges on what "subsequent weeks" means vs "you were/are not" means. If it means a month, who cares? Googling isn't helping, but what search string would I use? Current plan: Not send it in, and roll the dice, hoping I don't have to pay anything back.
      What would you do? I have until Weds 2/7 max to respond.


      No word from the grocery vis a vis my application. Since Weds is not "the beginning of the week," maybe no word will come. OTOH, there was a HUGE not really STORM today, so maybe they were too busy with the panic buyers to call in interviews. I'm regretting that odd fluke that led to getting a call from them when my answering machine was off. It's been on for 10 days, and all I've had were 3 robocalls: The "...Hello?...Hello? *click*" bot, the Fraudulent Agency looking for my ex-GF-for-30-years who actually name themselves as "The Fraudulent Agency" without adding "Nothing to see here, move on," and the CT Cancer Institute, which only exists as a robocall begging for "donations."
      I didn't send in the UB survey. I'll handle the fallout from here. They have no proof that I received it, so I'll see what happens when I file as usual next week. If they say "No more bennies for you!" then, oh well. If they try to take me pay back 5 months worth, then that's a different crisis. I got my tax refunds after only a week, so there's 2.5 months of expenses.
      Speaking of which..After wasting $80 on a Win7 computer to play Civ2, because I forgot that XP was the last system that worked, doh, I got my Win10 compatible disc. Works peachy good, for the most part. A bit slow, and I think it doesn't have all of the Civ242 patch (although the patch is there in the game's .txt file). The bad thing: when it boots, the first screen says "DOSbox." So if I'd only been capable of using DOSbox (and I wasn't), I could've saved $30. I'd thought when oredering "I bet somebody could make a good living just DOSboxing old CD-ROMs for clueless old people like me," and I guess someone did. And, good for that someone! He has a crazy amount of antique CD games, if you're interested. And tech support that's pretty much instaneous. And my disc came with both Civ2: Test of Time, which was Civ2 with updated horrible ugly muddy graphics, and the Greatest Hits of Santana! All 18 minutes worth! Okay, that's what the songs are IDed by iTunes as if you put the original CD in. Just the cheezy old synth tunes from Civ2, but dang straight I put them on iTunes.

      IT'S ALIVE




      It's been 2 weeks since I missed that phone call from S&S, and they never called this week as they said, so I'm just going to write that off as a potential job.

      I just watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. If you accept "just" as meaning "multiple attempts over 2 days." It's jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and mind-numbingly stupid.
      The visuals are from your greatest, most colorful dream. The main characters act like the most stuck-up 14 year olds ever. It's by Luc Besson, and my entire experience with him is The Fifth Element. That was based on a story he'd written at age 14. Even the positive reviews mentioned that Yeah, sure seems like something a 14 year old would write. Valerian is based on a comic book he read when he was 10. He hasn't exactly progressed as a writer in 20 years.
      The look of the movie is to die for! The characters are "Can you die already?" Petulant and whiny, sure that they're the center of the Universe as any semi-pubescent kid is, except that they ARE the center of the Universe.
      It's beautiful, like you're on every one of the good drugs at once. The heroes are insufferable brats, although supposedly adults. They're not minors, they're majors; majors in the Future Army that must promote people really quickly or have enlistement periods that begin in kindergarten. They dutifully perform their duty of doing things that are heroic because the movie says they're heroes, although "Would you think of them as good guys if the bad guys did the exact same things?"
      The plot is: Good guy aliens (the only good guy aliens in a movie full of them) have their planet destroyed, Something Somethings. There is a Magic Armadillo that shits pearls as the McGuffin. Explosions. Space chases. Romance, of the "He must really like me, he punched me at recess!" sort. Whining. Explosions! A scene that literally rips off a bit from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Bad aliens, must be, because they're ugly. (The Good Aliens are anorexic and wearing strips of tiny colth for clothes, just like the Heroine at the start of the movie! Or...just like the Heroine at the start of Fifth Element, I think Mr Director may have a fetish on display) Anyway, forget about them, sorry I mentioned them, they won't be back until the last 15 minutes. Neither will the plot, which is in one giant exposition dump, so who was I supposed to care about why?
      Oh, wait, did I forget the part where an alien is a pole dancer? Who can change into the fantasy of any 14 year old male main character? That scene lasts 5 minutes. She goes on to be useful to achieving the heroes' aims until...What, you guessed it? She dies 5 minutes later, defending these people she's known for 5 minutes? How surprising! It's not like she's the black sidekick, or the cop one day from retirement or something! Wow, that was so obvi--Unexpected. Unexpected, wow, did not see that coming.
      Best summary of it comes from Valerian himself: "Yeah, two hours alone with me, what a drag." I ain't arguing that point, buster.
      And: Wow, this looks amazing! If they'd put but 5% of that effort into making the leads something other than "WILL YOU SHUT UP!!" it would've been something. I still have 2 days before returning it, so maybe I'll go back and watch it the way it might be best: not expecting any linear narrative, just stoned to the brainstem and staring at the screen. I mean, I don't think I have to worry about S&S giving me a drug test anymore.


      Valerian and the City of a Thousand What the Fucks is better on the proper medication. Also: Yes, the only good aliens are the white ones. Or the ones that the "hero" demands turn themselves into hot white babes as they die. And the "heroes" are still the most awful characters ever. Is that maybe the joke? Is it a joke if it's not funny? Fingers on a blackboard is only funny to the person doing it.

      I hope to recycle my oldest computer tomorrow. I say "old" because it has 2 CD drives AND a 3.5 inch floppy drive. I say "hope" because I have to get it down 3 flights of stairs, and that slab is 50-60 pounds, easy. Why does it have 2 CD drives? I think one may be a 1st-gen burner. I don't know, because it's very dead. It has a sticker on it from 2002, and both the site and the sticker still exist.

      5 Times That People Claimed to Be Real-Life Time Travelers

      In links of limited use to anyone but probably me: If you only know the Tick cartoon from the DVD set, you may have wondered why the Moon went from being seen in every episode as having "CHA" written on it to being seen in every episode with "HA" and a big bite taken out of it, introduced by a 1920s style pop song titled "I'd Take a Bite Out of the Moon for You." The first ep of season 2 began with a goofy parody of Galactus. That episode wasn't on the DVD set. 20 years ago, Marvel was staying alive by suing EVERYONE over EVERYTHING, so I guess that's why. But you can see it online! What memories it brought back! Mainly, "Please let the rest of the season be better than this!" (It was)

      12 Musical Works That You Didn’t Know Brian Eno Produced. The "I didn't knows" for me are mainly newer works, and Jesus, who can keep up with him as a producer?
      He did the Win95 opening tune. He made 84 versions,and I would love to own that! Although, at 3.5 seconds each, it'd be like 4 minutes long.
      Yeah, Devo and the Talking Heads, knew that. I read an article back in the old times in which Mothersbaugh said he hated working with Eno in Berlin because "He never introduced us to any girls." Keep it in your pants and lyrics, Mark. I saw the Talking Heads at Oberlin during the1978 Buildings and Food tour, performing on a tiny old theater stage. Some balding guy was on stage mixing the boards. The next day in the cafeteria line I heard someone enthuse "Know who that was? BRIAN ENO!" This one odd reference stuck with me, and began a lifelong quest for his music.
      Most of the ones I hadn't heard of, I wouldn't care if I had. Sure, Willie Nelson and U2, I want to own that. But the soundtrack to the video game Spore? With a link to 2 hours of music I've never heard, or even knew existed? Ranges from old bleepy video game music to 50s style lounge to even a Hollywood western track.


      Byron still has an odd aversion to the floor. He's there to eat drink and...well, pee in weird spots, thanks, Bigfoot. His new spot is on top of the toilet. If he doesn't stop staring, I think I'm going to have to pee sitting down.

      Reasons Puny Banner Hulked out in TV show. Gets silly after a while; most people don't get have these happen to them more than once or twice a year. Never get massacred and Hulk out! Linda Ingraham spent 6 minutes on FOX saying that the AR-15 was safe, because "it's not a killing machine"! I use mine for plowing.

      D.I.WHY?! Some of these are actually pretty cool, like the spider-legged jean chair, or the baby doll head planters! How about one that staples the flag in a permanent half-mast position to honor the dead? Works as good as thoughts & prayers!


      I joined a Facebook group called Incredibly Strange Movies. It's got about 10K members, so there are a lot of posts. Many are me thinking "How is this movie in any way strange?" or, every 3 days, "Have you guys ever heard of David Lynch?!" I skim more than I read.
      I felt bold enough to post to the group The Golden Turkey Award Album: The Best Songs From The Worst Movies


      And...I think it was posted? There was not a single comment from the group, which never happens. But friend Linda saw it, and I'm sure she's not a member of the group...So, I dunno. Most of the songs are catchy in an awful way. (If you want to know what movies they're from, click here)

      Not so strange movie I saw: Blade Runner 2049. At nearly 3 hours long, I assumed it would take all weekend to watch. But it moved quickly enough that I saw it in one sitting. It really picks up at the 40 minute mark! Because that's when I turned the damn subtitles on. Why is it that Serious Movies need to have all the dialog mumbled? I turn up the speakers, lean in, and then an action scene starts and I'm bleeding from the ears. One of the first subtitles I saw: "indistinct chatter."

      I had lunch with my Mom a coupla days ago. She made some new version of her classic lasagna, which she said took 4 hours of prep time, and that didn't include cooking it. Homemade sauce, even. She said "I had to roll the beef into meatballs, cook them, then take them out and mash them..." Yeah, I think Hamburger Helper is about 110% of the work I want to do for a meal. I left with 3 pounds of lasagna (I weighed it).
      Our conversation was about politics and the sad state of this country, or as I call it, "Screaming in Agreement." Since this was 2 days after the latest massacre, a lot was about guns. I sent her a brief link about Trump's hairdo malfunction, and she responded:


      FreeKibble, which you should click on every day to help shelter pets for free, has a contest! "We're giving away a total of 6 shopping sprees, & everyone who enters gets a FREE Recycled Cat or Dog Wallet."

      Aaaand there we go. Unemployment benefits are gone. Got another survey from the DOL, this time only threatening to delay my benefits if I ever file again, so who cares. Not even a demand to repay that one I got last week. refunds should last for 2 months plus, then savings for the next 6+ years. I think I can figure out something in between. And in the same mail--Seems I forgot to mail in my property tax to the town. I DID, as I can tell from the missing check number, but "The check is in the mail" is never an excuse. An oddly precise late fee of $24.74, which is an average week's groceries. Good thing I didn't buy any groceries this week.

      Of interest to Not You, I found an article about the cult video stores of 1998 CT. Mad Mike's was the favorite. I remember an ongoing talk between the owner about swapping his vacu-formed Robot Jox poster for my signed edition of my Mom's 2nd cousin's 1st book "The Sporting Club." Neither of us budged.

      The cutest 42 seconds ever. Seriously, just watch that. "YUM YUM YUM"

      I'm not sure if I like the music enough to buy it, but Superorganism sure has the weird Japanese/Korean video vibe down! It autoplays the whole album, and is best watched under medication. Anti-epileptic meds, if needed. That's not a joke.




      I suggest arming all teachers and banning students. NO students equals NO school shootings, LOTS of gun sales, win/win.
      Does your school suffer from malaria? Obvious solution: MORE MOSQUITOES. Forget these "No Mosquito Zones," those just draw more mosquitoes. Obviously, MORE MOSQUITOES will stop the threat of MORE MOSQUITOES!
      Stuffy, achy head from a cold? CUT YOUR HEAD OFF! No head, no head cold! I admit that this may sound extreme, but it is perfectly logical. NO LAW CAN PREVENT HEAD COLDS okay we haven't tried any laws yet, but still. The only way to make things better is to make them worse!

      Pardon my French, but gosh golly gee, why can't America be like it was? You know, like the famous documentary Leave it to Beaver? When it was Great Again the first time? Or the wonderful and pristine world of 1980?


      "Denton, Denton, you've got no--" Oh. Sorry. Earwormed now, huh? I keep seeing that most accurate barometer of America's pulse, internet polls, on the sidebar of sites. I ignored them until I noticed that the results tend to run extremely pro-Trump. In fact, sometimes the questions are worded weird: I've seen ones with triple negatives in them, so does Yes mean No, or Yes? A site that started with things like "Cat on Invisible Bike" is now all alt-right? I guess! They've been running "polls" about Black Panther since before it came out, and if you know anything about the trolling that film has experienced, it does seem suspect when they phrase the answers to "Have you seen Black Panther?" as Yes, No, No And I don't intend to...Shouldn't answer 2 be "No, but I DO intend to"? Oh yeah, that queston turned up on Monday, right after "Was BP good?" when the movie had been out 3 fucking days, and the answers were 80% "NO!"...Hmm.
      One they ran recently was "Who of these people would you vote for President?" The selections were Larry the Cable Guy, Ted Nugent, and other white trash faves. There was no option for "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!" There never is.
      These surveys' results often end with a thing they call "CivicScience," which are bizarrely precise. "People who like Olympic luge are more likely to be Republican foot fetishists" or something. In this presidential poll, their scientifical superbraniacs concluded: "CivicScience Says: People who are concerned about national security issues are more likely to answer Jeff Foxworthy." Yeah, well, "If you thought of your 12 year old cousin while fucking a watermelon, you might vote for Jeff Foxworthy."

      Let us return to that pinnacle year of Human Achievement, 1980, to wash that thought from your mind.


      What? I gave you another new earworm? Will nothing slake your mad thirst for the music of 1980?


      "Why change the world when you can watch television?"
      In the USA, Nightmare is the New Normal.


      King Nibroc, LORD of the Paper Towels, is back from the InExOb, and he wants your women!

      You'll never believe these 38 Shockingly Hilarious Posts From Stop Clickbait!

      Movie I stopped watching: Frankenstein's Army: "As they push into Germany near the end of World War II, Russian troops discover that the Nazis have used the research of legendary scientist Victor Frankenstein to create monstrous new soldiers that are pieced together from body parts of the dead." It says something when the movie's premise is more believable than its execution. Did you know that the 1945 Red Army had handheld shaky cams with color and sound, and never turned the damn things off? Why not just film the movie like it was a movie? I made it half an hour in, or a third of the running time, before I gave up. I kept expecting to see some Soviet post to Ivansgram #thirdreichsux, or order some borscht delivered by an Amazon drone. "Be sure to Like Adolph on Fascisbook!"

      Kirk's progressive marching band BABAM gets some press: "That’s because the city’s protest scene is frequented by the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a self-described “fire brigade of musicians” that can show up at any protest at a moment’s notice."

      Everything is Terrible!: The Movie. And its sequel, 2Everything 2Terrible 2: Tokyo Drift.


      THRILL to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes' even more drug addict-y surrogate, subtly named "Coke Ennyday"! The Most Drug Addled Movie Of All Time: The Mystery Of the Leaping Fish (1916). Nice background before the link to the movie. Although I'm sure by now everyone knows about Bayer's Heroin for Children's Coughs.
      The movie begins with SherloCoke wearing a fucking Chewbacca bandolier of cocaine needles. I didn't try counting how many times he injects himself in the first 9.5 minutes. And I didn't pick that time arbitrarily--it's when the female lead injects coke into his fucking eyeball. It's 25 minutes, which was 1916's version of bingeing the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, so you may not want to be staring in blank-eyed aghastment when your boss walks into your cubicle. There's no soundtrack, so pick your own. Disco or Bowie's Berlin Trilogy maybe. Actually, right after I wrote, I watched the Leaping Fish Humping Scene, and the Talking Heads' "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" played. It matched perfectly. Then it was followed by the screen card "You must tell the Fish Blower that she must marry Fishy Joe within the week!" I AM NOT ON ANY DRUGS AND WATCHING THIS

      I'm not saying that you should be on drugs to watch that. I'm saying that you SHOULD be on drugs to watch "Everything Is Terrible!" That first video was longer form than the next bunch. Although I wish its ending, featuring Canadian police fighting guys with Swiss army knives, was available everywhere. Way back in the 80s, the NRA would say about shootings--the pre-massacres-a-week days, mind you--would say "If there were no guns, then people would kill with knives!" Hmm. Whats' the range of a knife, is it a foot or a hundred yards? Do knives shoot more knives? Can I outrun a knife faster than a bullet? At any rate, that RCMP training film ends with Dudley Do-Right getting stabbed through a slit in a doorway with a samurai sword. He goes "OWW!" then pumps 3 rounds through the door, and presumably into the guy who confused his pointy sticks with something that wasn't, dunno, a fucking pointy stick? How many dead would there be in this country if our greatest threat was anime fans with Ren-Faire souvenirs?
      At any rate, maybe I'll just let you watch every should-use-drugs psychotropic epilepsy-inducing madhouse videos of the later Everything Is! videos. Because that may be all I'm doing for a couple of days.
      Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!
      The Holiday Special
       Comic Relief Zero
      What a Great Crowd!
      EIT! Does the Hip-Hop Vol. 1: Gettin' a Bad Rap! Sorry, I could only find the trailer. And only the trailers for a couple of others. Although some just break them into chunks of the whole movie, oh gourd, do I have to do everything around here?

      This update is brought to you by Frontier. I missed a month's payment years ago, and they turned my net off. I called and was told to just double-pay my bill, we'll be squared. Then, the following month, there was no bill. A month later, an overdue bill. I think around the 4th time calling and overpaying and not getting ahead, I gave up and just assumed that I'd be a month behind.
      I did miss this month's bill, I admit. So I called billing. I got my monthly payment amount, as I didn't have the bill, and did it through my online banking. Rather than right there when I had billing on the phone. I then fought my way through the hordes of Stalin Clones on my robot ostrich, just making sure you're still riveted by my thrilling tale of--EXTREME--BAAAAANKING!
      From my jungle lair in my volcano lair atop my flying jungle mountain blimp, my internet was cut off! My blimp sagged towards the confines of Earth and the clutches of the 147 international agencies that want my hide, excepting the FBI, they're too busy making sure that none of Trump's Diet Cokes are made in Russia. I called tech support, after wondering if I should've called billing, as that's where my problem likely laid. Putting aside my mad science of giving lab rats the relative intelligence of Adam Sandler fans (I couldn't tell the difference, except that they wanted to hog the remote more), Tech said Yeah, the payment hadn't posted yet. Before World Overlording, I worked in retail, so I said "Please" and "thank you" to the point she answered "...You're welcome?" like it's a thing she never hears at her phone answering job.
      "So, Splutfinger! Do you expect me to talk?!" "NO PLEASE, Mister Bond, I expect you to...Well, you want to talk, sure. Thank you. Is my laser aimed at your crotch--oh, sorry! I was making fajitas, forgot to turn it off! Thank you!" 007: "..."
      I went to billing, crossing from the Moon in my impervious Gravity Sled, YES, antigravity is a mere trivialty to me, that you fool humans have never discovered! Really, it's simple, I could share it with you with a basic equation--but NO!
      I immediately broke her strong will by asking her how her day was! As we continued through the atrocity that was my payment not posting, entire CITIES WILL BURN FOR THIS AFFRONT, well, maybe just hat one guy's really ugly tool shed, it's not like he uses those tools anymore, and I SO LOVE this Disintegrator some woman on Etsy made! The operator's clever "person on TV" forced accent slipped. She was from in the southern USA! I shall DESTROY her opinion of Northeasteners by being--as calm and pleasant as I can! I mean, it is my damn fault I missed a bill.
      She mumbled "I hit the wrong key again."
      " is Monday!"
      "Yeah, Mondays are rough, I go out with my friends on the weekend, and I have a 10 month old..."
      Cruelly, I interrupted to--dare even I say it--Mansplain! "Yeah, that'll keep you up!"
      "Oh no, he sleeps throught the night, I just work so much, it's my only chance to see our friends, so he stays at my parents, or his parents--I get like 6 hours sleep. Over 2 days, like 3 hours a day!"
      From the unbottomless hate-pit of my sociopathy, I just let her talk. If you've ever been the helpless victim of a screaming asshole who knows YOU can't react except for HIM to try and get you fired...The next nice person you talk to, you just want to keep being nice, and not shrieked at because of it. I've had long sessions with oncall customer service, who just want to deflate. I let them. I've asked "Do you have a minimum amount of calls you have to answer an hour?" and been given a very enthusiastic "OH, NO!" and we keep solving a problem, even it already has been. She checked every way she could to find to see if my payment had been posted. When she said she couldn't, I said "I don't have a problem paying again, right now. What's the worst that can happen, my next month's bill is lower?" She said "We can do that! And get you back online--probably right away, at most an hour!" There was a lot of typing on her end, and she said "Maybe I can lower your bill...Do you have a TV account?" I said "I don't have cable" although I suppose it'd be more accurate to say "My TV doesn't even work, and I don't care." "Okay... let me see if I can get you a discount anyway."
      Pause as she typed, then "I can change your bill from $120 a month to $85. Is that okay?"
      Me: SQUEEE! "Ahem, sure, that's great!"
      I'll have to examine my bill next month, well, the next 2 or 3, to see what credits there will be (she said I'd see both, but it would wash), and if it ends as a promo deal, but...I guess maybe I should power down my Indestrucible Army of Annihila-trons and spare this puny planet.
      She said "A survey will be sent to you by email. If you complete it, my supervisor will definitely see it." I said "Consider it done! Thank you!"
      Is it just me, or every time you treat the person on the other end of the phone like they're you, someone with a job, you never get that survey that you'll rate A+++? Maybe the supervisor who "may be listening for quality control purposes" is already listening in? It just seems like...maybe someone with the right authorizations might have allowed that discount?
      In an unrelated note, I know of an underwater fortress that offers good pay and FREE gill transplants under its "Amphibi-Lung Psychommando" program! They have a plan to conquer the world by Being Rather Nice.
      Thank you.


      The greatest scam of all time has turned 20: The Anti-Vaxxer Lie. It was suspicious from the start--the "study" could not be reproduced with the same results as the one made by a guy who just happened to be selling his own "vaccine." And when I call it the greatest scam, I mean in terms of dead children.

      To Boldly Stay: How Deep Space Nine Upended Star Trek by Exposing Utopia's Dark Side

      This is AWESOME. Science Fiction Dance Party--with ACTION
      If you're at work, crank it so every cubicle gets to hear it. Apparently, it's from c.1969 Germany with vocalists with pretty good USAican accents and a lot of synths. You'll think "It can't get any crazier than that first song about the robot," and you'll be right. It gets flat-out lunatic after that!
      I'm tempted to get the CD, as it has 4 bonus tracks and is only, with S&H, a bargain at $14...or almost a week's worth of groceries. Think I'll have to pass, during the current austerity program. There are 4 mouths to feed here.
      The catalog's reviews sound like they were written by some music major after drinking 5 beers and 15 cups of coffee. Take in the ones about Dracula's Music Cabinet and Bollywood Bloodbath.


      When will it end? I got a phone call from the DOL today. I think. It was about 45 seconds long, and I caught maybe 19 words, with no more than any 3 in a row. It sounded like he'd made the call after his cell phone fell in the toilet and was still in there. I caught the words "denial" and maybe I think "benefits," but yeah, knew that a month ago. I assume a demand for me to repay all my benefits would come by registered mail.
      *shrug* Not really worried. I would be even less worried if I knew what the guy actually said.

      After much delay, I finally saw Black Panther on half-price day. As with Last Jedi, I was disappointed that it didn't live up to the hype. Where were the roving gangs of Negroes beating me up for daring to see "their" movie? (if you don't know what I'm referring to--you're better off not)
      It was great! I'd have to see it again to be sure, but I put it in 2nd place as Best MCU Movie Yet. Amazing art design and costumes, great acting, and most importantly, a plot that doesn't go exactly where you'd expect it to go. Only a bit of the "overly-complicated villian scheme," and a villian who has a very good reason for what he does. For once, the bad guy's partly in the right, rather than "Me like kill everyone, just sayin'" which is too many superhero plots now. Although, maybe somewhere along the centuries Wakanda could've come up with a better system of goverment than Trial by Combat Between Hereditary Tribal Leaders. What if your greatest leader in history isn't a bodybuilder hand-to-hand combat specialist? What if the King dies young, and the Prince is 3 years old? I could fucking beat a three year old! (Not a 10 year old though) Wouldn't then the most important thing about leading not be governing, but head-squashing? That's like government by feral dogs. Although it would've made made the 2016 election more interesting. Who would win, Trump or Hillary? Trump's power would be vomiting his breakfast Big Macs and then having a heart attack while she danced around just out of reach. Pence vs Biden would've been Pence praying that the Almighty give him the Power of Samson before them fags take over, while Biden walked over smiling, hand out for a handshake, then sucker-punching him in the nuts while screaming "I've had enough of your MALARKEY!" Also: Jess Sessions vs John Kerry. I laugh just thinking about that one!

      Also seen: The Mermaid, a Stephen Chow movie I hadn't heard of. No where near Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer, but fun anyway. Rated R, for "(no) Reason." It was PG-13 at most--I watched the dubbed version, and the swearingest words were "crap" and "DARN!" and the violence was minimal (if I watch a foreign language movie for the first time, I want to watch it, not read the bottom of the screen for some Cliff Notes version of the dialog).


      Aaaand...Closure! The CT DOL finally sent me a letter saying what I already suspected. My benefits have ended. Which would've ended right about now anyway. Losing one month for sure is better than risking paying back the last 5 months. Renegotiation on my monthly internet and car insurance looks like l'll save me about $175 a month, and my pet insurance is coming up as well. I plan on taking 2 of the cats in to the vet before it does. It will be Killsy's last visit, because she's 19 and doesn't need her senior years filled with terror. I just want to check on her thyroid, and see if the Ear Goop Meds have worked. As for DJ, he has the opposite problem. He's always been a bit of a walking meatloaf, but with dry food that can't be diet, he's...a big serving of meatloaf. I'll adjust the insurance based on their exams.
      As to Cat Three, no, you take him to the vet. Byron is actually the happiest he's ever been, even doing the unthinkable: snuggling up to KK and Deej. I'm not ruining that.

      The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind


      That great auto insurance deal turned out to be not that great a deal. It came from The Hartford, an insurance company in Hartford, CT. It's The Insurance Capital of the World! The Hartford is not a bad name in that sense. I'm surprised no software company has called itself The Silicon Valley.
      Yes, the email was from the Hartford and had "AARP" on it. I really didn't make the connection between the two. What's you area's largest concert or sports venue named? Hartford has The Meadows, currently The Xfinity Theatre. Before that, The Comcast Theatre. Before that, The New England Dodge Music Center. Every ad prefixes the name with "Live Nation presents at The..." We still call it The Meadows. But if you went there, would you be expected to buy a truck from New England Dodge?
      If you buy car insurance from The Hartford, yes, you need to get an AARP membership. One would think that this would be mentioned right at the start that you needed it to get the insurance. And before you e-signed the policy. And not after they charged your credit card, before you'd signed the policy. And before the next fucking day.
      So, another calm conversation with a southern-accented help desk operator. It's being cancelled. It took a while before he said "This is AARP Hartford" as opposed to THE Hartford. So he gave me a soft sell on AARP, but I told him right up front that I didn't like AARP. "I won't bore you with the details why!" If you're wondering: it's only $16 a year, and from that you get negative $16. The coupons are worthless if they're for something you'd never buy. What killed it for me was that 6 weeks into my membership, I got a bill saying that it was time to renew. I shrugged, threw it in the recycling. Six weeks later, I got the same reminder. And every 6 weeks after that...Their revenue stream is based on forgetful seniors sending them $16 every 6 weeks until they die, isn't it?
      I got a better deal from Geico. At least until their lizard people want me to join Trump's Space Force. "Fascist Pigs--IN SPAAAACE!"

      Avengers: Infinite Cashflow opens in 6 weeks (6 weeks, or 1 AARP Conjob Time-Unit). I've shaved my base monthly expenses from approx. $1200 to under $1000, so I guess I can afford the occasional half-price matinee at the local Rave Theater. (Currently named the Skynet Tyrell Umbrella Corp SPECTRE Hydra Rave Theater) I think I'll pass on this movie. It looks too brutally intense from the trailer:


      Although this new musical looks pretty great!


      Especially as it has this show-stopping musical number!




      Since it's Austerity Time, music purchases are out. During a year and a half of unemployment between one record store job and another 25 years ago, I bought exactly one CD. It was Brian Eno, of course.
      And now I'm half a year into unemployment, with zero interest in even looking for a job. I've cut my expenses by a week's worth already. (Although taking DJ off of ASPCA insurance didn't work as I thought. Insurance ends in May, but the BILLING period begins in March, which is bullshit. So, another phone call in my near future) I can last for at least 6-7 years on savings alone. Excluding unexpected expenses.
      Just last month I thought "My first car battery lasted 3.5 years. And it died 3.5 years ago..." And hey guess what! Or does that count as a long expected expense?
      I called Firestone, and they said a battery swap could be done in 90 minutes. Two hours later, I called and found out that it was my job to call a tow truck, which they could've said upfront. In the meantime I got a call that went
      Me: "Hello?"
      (long pause)
      Me: "HELLO?"
      thick accent: "You speaka Chinese?"
      "NOPE." click. He clearly didn't think anyone would pick up, so obviously the Ping Scam.
      I called Charlie's to ask for a tow, over 2 hours before they closed. They really didn't want any business, so I called a bit later to cancel the tow. They happily said "SURE!" and then hung up without even asking my name. Well, there's 2 places off my auto repair list, especially after looking at their Yelp reviews..
      But Larry's had positive reviews, 2 of which specifically trashed Firestone, your home for tires and continual up-sell attempts. One was a single star with no real reason given, so maybe written by a Firestone guy.
      I'm literally a mile from them, but I've never used them. Time from my jumpstart in my garage to out the door with a new battery: 30 minutes. Larry himself was at the front desk. A very laid back, friendly guy. You can learn the most about a business by the way they treat their employees. He was polite and patient to them all, including the obvious New Guy working on my car. "Do you have the invoice? [for my battery, that they had to order] Always get in the habit of bringing it in. They can't leave until we've signed it." He'd asked me if my car radio was locked, and I didn't know what he meant; I said "It worked after the last new battery." He told the kid "Keep it hot--you know, keep the electrics on, have a jump box with you. Check the radio to see if it's locked; if it is, they can lose all the presets." Junior Mechanic said "Oh yeah, radio's fine, I checked," and I thought "Suuure you did." (He didn't)
      The last time my battery died, it took half a day of work and almost $300. This took half an hour (plus 10 minutes to find the code that would turn my radio back on) and cost what my old car insurance charged me in a month. And I'm good until September 2021. I should've asked what they charged for an oil change.
      Glad it was affordable. As I'd broken my rule, and pre-ordered a CD for $35.98 days before. I justified it because: It's by Brian Eno; it's a 6 CD box set; and the Eno Facebook group I'm on mentioned it. A guy in the UK said that is was US$99 there. He thought Amazon might've priced it wrong. Even with overseas shipping, it was cheaper for him than the British issue. And just today, I checked and Amazon has the US set at $87.78. But mine's locked in at $36.
      So, not super motivated job-looking-wise right now. At the rate things are going, everyone in the US is going to have a Trump cabinet position soon anyway. Is there a Department of Cats? I can get it by saying that I hate cats, and as a bonus, am totally incompetent! "And can you pay me in rubles?"

      In contrast to The Make America Greatest Hero who successfully avoided Nam 5 times, here's a filthy illegal Mexican's obituary: Medic who documented Nazi camp horror dies at 93. Warning: may cause wiping of eyes with sleeve.


      I'm just trying to follow along here. "We need armed, trained guards to prevent school shootings!" But there was an armed, trained guard at Parkland, so it became "We need armed, trained teachers with conceal carry!" And then there's a school shooting with an armed, trained guard who killed the Bad Guy with a Gun...So what's the NRA/GOP's next talking point? My money's on "More guns anyway."

      I've no idea why this popped into my mind, but I thought of that 70s LP titled "Rutland something something." I saw it during one of my family's monthly trips to long-gone retail chain Caldor. Hey, it's by Eric "Python" Idle and Neil "Bonzo Dog Band" Innes! But I knew nothing about the concept, so I never bought it. They next teamed to do their brilliant Beatles parody The Rutles. When I first heard that show was going to air, I at least knew where the "Rut" part of the fake group's name came from. The name is briefly used here, with 2 proto-Rutles tunes.
      And of course, it's online! Eric and Neil took the best of Python and the Bonzos, blew their noses into that and then spit their chewed gum into it, and recorded what was left. Seriously, this is fucking awful. Here for archival/morbid curiousity reasons only.


      And 2 years later the same guys made a perfect movie from the same ideas, minus the shitty ones.


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