NEW 122

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

Jump to the Newest of the New


      Hey, I'm on vacation. I spent day one mostly asleep.
      Today, my DSL has been mostly asleep. I tried everything on this end, and then called the phone company. It's just the internet; sucks that this happened when normally I'd be at work, but I can find other things to do. I really just wanted to make sure it wasn't a hardware issue in my house. The guy had such a calm monotone that I truly thought "Wow, voice recognition technology today is really advanced," before it was clear he was human.
      "Connecticut, yeah, we had some problems overnight. You're in Vernon, oh yeah. There was that big fire last night." Which made me sit bolt upright. Good Friend Lily was just evacuated from her house in NoCal because of a terrible wildfire with her aged father, and had to leave her cats behind, not knowing that she'd soon be banned from returning. But he meant it in the figurative sense. "We're still putting out the little fires. It will definitely be fixed by 3PM tomorrow." Well, my fire's been out since then. So it was worth the call. Not the brief heart attack. "Denny's had a grease fire, and the center of town looks like 1945 Dresden! Why, it seems like World War Two was just moments ago..." (flashback music plays, deedle deedle deedelee)

      Look at this thing!


      In early WWII, New Zealand took a fucking farm tractor and literally put a toolshed on it, and expected people to go to battle in--
      Apparently I've already covered this.
      Bobby the Not-Tank was not alone. In the 1930s, Europe went for tankettes! Little baby tanks that look like something Bowser might drive in Super Mario Kart.


      Awww! These could be posted on Cute Overload with the title "Tankettes are REDONKULOUS!" and be described as "Totally Adorbs!" It's like the Boy Scouts are attacking you at the soapbox derby!
      Can you spot the tiny, tiny design flaw in these?


      Yes. Those are inadequate bike helmets.
      You're at the front line, and suddenly a dozen of these Matchbox Cars of Doom race towards you! At their top speed of 20 MPH! Which is faster than...19 MPH. "Oh no!" say you. "This metal centaur man's crotch deflects my rifle's bullets! We shall certainly be shot to death by its dinky lil' gun! If only there was some way, SOME WAY, I could point my gun 2 feet higher! ...Oh right, they're called 'elbows'."
      BANG and goodbye tankette driver. I like to think that he'd fall over and hit the gas pedal and then his tankette would chase you all over the battlefield while Benny Hill music plays.
      Tankettes--oh boy, I love that name, tankettes! I'm so a-scared! Was "Tanky-poo" already taken?--were, as you see from that image of the model kit, ubiquitious before the war, and also the only armored vehicle that could be taken out by a well-aimed rock. They were too small to have both turrets and popguns, so one had to turn the entire weaponized Rascal scooter to aim the peashooter. Plenty of time for your enemy to run up, shake a bottle of Coke, and spray it in your face. Then he takes you out by hitting you with a stick.
      I admit, it would have to be a big stick.
      Under further reflection, this is the only tank-like object that could be defeated by hiding on an overpass, then standing up and peeing on the driver. Then your fellow frat boy friend beans the guy with a can of Natty Light, and you yell "DUDE that was our last beer!" and the tankette crashes and you go grab the pee-soaked beer anyway, and use a Sharpie to draw dicks on the guy. War really does bring out the worst in all of us.
      I'm sorry that you will never again hear the word "tankette" without hearing Benny Hill music. On the plus side, you've never heard the word before now, and will never hear it again.
      It's my vacation, so indulge me. I will write about stupid tanks ALL WEEK (aka, until I get tired of it). Yes, there are more than one.





      My net went out for good last night, and still wasn't on when I got up. After a frustrating half hour of trying to connect, wham bam, internet ma'am. I guess they fixed it.
      Then I got a call from the tech. He said "Hi, this is Bill." I said "This is also Bill." He offered to come over and check the line anyway, but I said "I'll be leaving for a doctor's appointment by then." "Keep my number; I'm always in the area." I thanked him.
      And 10 minutes later, guess what...
      And 10 minutes after that, it was back up.
      The doctor's visit went well. He said that it was possible that the Prozac kicked in after 2 days, as it shouldn't take longer than 1-2 weeks. So I guess I'm successfully on it. I seem to have more mental clarity and not freak out like I used to. He hugged me goodbye again, because he is awesome.
      And the connection has gone off again. Until it didn't, half an hour later, dammit, annoying. Not sure if Bill should call Bill or not.


      My new ritual, performed every minute I'm awake, is to see how many green lights my modem has.
      After dragging myself out of bed this morning--more accurately, being dragged out by DJ stomping on me and licking me and Killsy yelling "BREAKFAST NAOW PLEASE!!"--it was all of them. Then I refreshed Gmail, and then BANG! Or whatever the sound is when your DSL goes down--"droop," maybe? Me saying "GODDAMMIT!" perhaps?
      I spent half an hour trying to bring that back up. Then I said "Reboot before you call tech support," and that didn't do anything. They said it wasn't anything on their end, so they'll send a tech tomorrow. Well, it doesn't hurt to reboot a second time...
      GODDAMMIT. Now it's up! This has to be a hardware issue on my end.
      The tech called before I could reach the phone, and didn't leave a number. So I bought groceries. 5 minutes after getting home, I decided I should get some People's Choice Pizza Soviet Hot to Trotsky wings, burning hotter than a panzer that just met an Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik. So hot, it'd be like a Sturmovik dive-bombing my stomach-vik! Then the tech called again, like 9 minutes before I was to pick up People's production quota of wings (Slogan: "Ready in 30 minutes or we all go to the Gulag!").
      I explained, and he said "I can give you a new modem. I'm in front of your place now."
      "I'll be right down," I said, as I was getting wings, and if you're late, People's has a big show trial. "I have let down Great Leader Stalin by my wing-pick-upping negligence, and also once wasted an entire potato."
      Jeff was an affable guy, about my age. He explained how to set the modem up, quickly did the transaction on his laptop, and handed it to me through his truck's window. "It's wifi."
      "I'm not set up for wifi."
      "You are now! Go get your pizza, I'll wait."
      I noted his treasonous assumption that I would get anything but wings, but I was in a generous mood, and ordered only his grandmother sent to Siberia. I hooked up the modem as fast as I could, in my Jerry Lewis spastic way ("The cable goes WHERE oh LAYDEE!"). And it worked. I thanked him and he tried to shake me with the wrong hand--a sure sign of a counter-revolutionary--but so magnimious was I in my kindness, decided to have his children not killed in front of him. In the next room over, sure, but I'm that kind of Stalinist. My wings were getting cold, but I'm not a monster.
      Do I have wifi? Dunno, Copper! That light and the DSL ones are on. It didn't ask me for a password, so I guess not? I went back to browsing, which didn't seem any different, so I guess I'm still on DSL
      I got an error screen. No connection. And I guess I don't have wifi, as that light stayed on and he DSL went red.
      The never-before seen error screen said "click here," and I did. And did. And did again. NKVD-DAMMIT! Then, BANG! like a firing squad, the connection was back. Well, that's an improvement over the last few days anyway.
      The tank jokes are still coming ("OH BOY SUPAH COOL" says that one reader who sticks bamboo under his fingernails then sets it on fire), but the Fascinating Story, Epic in Scope, Cast of Thousands, of Bill's Connectivity Issues obviously has taken precedence. On the plus side, you have probably seen every "joke about Stalinist Russia" you will see for weeks.


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


      Man, you just keep falling for that one, don't you?

      Okay, that's a bad picture, first time using the new camera. I was supposed to get together and junk shop with Jess today, but she had something come up.




      Yeah, pretty rude of her, asking me to BATHE IN KITTENY GLORY. I reluctantly accepted haha I almost hired a helicopter to get me there as soon as I heard.


      The adult cats were gone--they're farm cats and work for a living. They were there so the mothers could nurse the wee tots. And everyone get spayed or neutered, so this doesn't happen again. These are 3 litters, now aged 2 to 4 weeks. "Make sure to wear clothes that can get dirty. Kittens are very messy!!! Especially these!"


      I wore a pair of old work jeans that, if the crotch was ripped any worse, would be more like chaps, but I held on to just in case I needed to do something sloppy.


      And sloppy it was. These guys had food all over their faces, and their paws, and sometimes their butts, and I don't even know how you do that. Even the youngest could use the litter box by now. Their wet food stank worse than the box. The garage door was open, and the nonstop buzzing of flies made me feel like I was at a landfill. Jess had a tennis racket-sized electric fly swatter, and a lot of flies met their match in her. The Insecticidal Serena Williams. (Her neighbors across the street raise chickens, and ever since they moved in, flies have been everywhere)
      They were super friendly little guys. They ate and played and crawled all over us, then ate again. Two of the wobbly-legged 2 week olds especially, who kept going to their plates and pushing each other out of the way to eat from the same spot, even if this meant lying in perfectly good food. Siblings, am I right?
      "What are they eating?" Jess asked the farmer. "I dunno. We give them cow milk." Jess told me "You can't imagine what kitten diarrhea smells like!" When she went to pick this whole crew up--again, 26!--"It was chicken slaughter day. On the sidewalk was a chicken's head. They had this big dog, and he was real good with all the cats, even the kittens. I turned my back on him and heard 'crunch, crunch' and he ate the chicken head! It's eyeball popped out! I started dry heaving." You may recall a month ago, when this same woman wanted to break into a chapel to take home a dead bat.


      The 2-weekers sometimes still need bottling feeding.
      After a couple of hours flew by, I complained about that still smelly, awful wet food. She said "I don't smell the food--I think that's their poop. Kitten poop doesn't smell like cat poop." I was truly getting nauseous at this point, so we went outside for some fresh air, and to let the kittens calm down and sleep. We talked for a while, as her neighbor's rooster screamed.
      It was a long hour's drive home. My clothes smelled like kitten scat. I wish I'd brought a change, and just burned the ones I was wearing in her fireplace.




      Stupidest Things Calendar, "TUNE-A-FISH." Did you not get that? Crimeny.

      Speaking of stupid:
      Coworker, to customer: "Are you going to The Big E"? (This is New England's big harvest fair thing)
      Customer: "I've never been there. But I've been to the Texas State Fair!"
      Coworker: "Where's that? In Texas?"

      I went to the Big E exactly once, 40 years ago. The only attractions I remember besides the stinky cows, gross food and terrible rides were "Bonnie and Clyde's Death Car" and "Hitler's Limousine." Oddly, I found that a car in which two people had been machine-gunned to death and the luxury auto of a guy who had half of Europe machine-gunned to death were not things I wanted to see. My father was very disappointed in me.


      Yeah, the site was down. I checked at work to make sure it wasn't just me, then got home and, yep, still down. I grabbed the phone to call those lackapates at ReadyHosting again. 10 minutes later, I decided "I don't want to be on the phone for the next hour" and went to the online "Complain Here Yeah We Pretty Much Suck" hotline. I went back to get the exact wording of the error message ("You are not authorized to view this page, and you will never be loved by another human") and the page was up. I shouldn't have to pay for 32 hours of nothing, but whatever.

      At work, the Emergency Alert System came on. A beautiful day, so I thought "just a test" as I went into the beer cooler. When I came out, it was still running. Something about the alert area covering everything from Rhode Island to New Jersey? Whaaa?
      The radio was turned down way low--everyone hates the only stations we can play, how many fucking times can you hear "Rock Me Like a Hurricane" in a week, so I turned it up. Eh, no biggie, it's just
      A TSUNAMI.
      I said "This has got to be prerecorded message they sent out by mistake," and it was. The Morning Loudmouthed Idiot Show for Other Idiots played this all up, once they realized it was a goof. "Maybe a REALLY FAT GUY jumped in the OCEAN HAHAHA" was a typical little slice of wit. Hey, DJs, maybe you've sliced your wits a little too thin.

      Since my every thought--unlike those radio DJs--is as precious as gold or really nice weasels, here I post something I put on Facebook because is funny thinks I.

      Okay, so you're just walking around Bespin, under one of those Cloud Cities, and then you hear somebody scream "You're not my father aahhh" and you look up, and you get hit in the face with some jerk's severed hand.
      What do you do?
      A: Swear an eternal quest for vengeance against the hand! Since it's just lying there on the ground, you kick it. FEEL GOOD NOW TOUGH GUY?
      B: Call Dinkelmush Slud, Jedi Lawyer, whose ad you saw on the side of that Space Bus! He looks trustworthy. He has 13 eyeballs and a walrus head, which is on his foot.
      C: Say "Forcedammit! I should stop walking under these Cloud Cities! I know how they flush their Sky Toilets!" Then dodge some really huge Wookiee poop. To be extra funny, you say "It must have been corn on the cob night!" You then swear an eternal quest for vengeance against Wookiee corn on the cob nights. The first Wookiee you meet kills you with a stick of melted butter.
      D: Sell it on spaceBay. Fuck you, that was in the Expanded Universe. It was in that novel, "Darth Needs Cash." Or sell it on Space CraigsList, which you title "NEED A HAND??"
      E: Hope there isn't a prequel about this.


      A customer came to the register with a single can of beer.
      ME: "Hi!"
      HIM: "Yes."
      "Is that it?"
      "Okay, that's $1.05."
      "Yes." He's wearing gloves, even though it's not cold out. He takes off a glove to give me $1.10, then immediately puts the glove back on.
      I ring it through and put the can in a bag. He says "Yes," even though my mouth-parts haven't said anything.
      "Here's your change."
      "Yes." He takes his glove off for his nickel.
      "You have a nice day!"
      "Yes." I thought, Well, you're certainly an agreeable fellow. Then he put his gloves back on, and I notice that they're actually socks.


      The NOAA weather radio uses a text-to-voice software that keeps calling hurricane Joaquin "Joke-Win." I suppose that it's better than the times it calls Cape Cod "Cape C.O.D."

      Yes, long time no post. Let's just leave it at the fact I had to call Jessica from work while having a panic attack. She talked me down (she gets them, too). It happened Saturday, but here it is Weds and I still have no idea whether I have a job. I didn't burn the store down, it was a fuck-up and nothing more, but this is how my brain works.
      At the end I changed the subject and asked how her clowder of kittens was doing. She laughed, and said she's moved them into the house, as they're less messy now. "Less" of course, is not the same as "not." One tried to vault the child barrier she has set up in the door, and "He pooped himself in midair! This big shart came out, and as soon as I thought 'He's going to land right in it and slip around,' he did!" Kittens are wonderful, but they're also huge slobs.

      Per request, here are some not-kittens, from the first time I tried out the new camera.






      I suppose I should eat. One would think that 3 yogurts and 4 hot wings over 4 days would be enough food for anyone.
      Yeah, Prozac, you may not be cutting it.


      I finally worked with the owner after the Saturday disaster, and he said...nothing. It wasn't even mentioned. So, yeah, a day of panic and a week of worry, all for nothing.


      The best thing about a day of work is leaving it.
      Thursday I got home 20 minutes late on a drive that should only be 20 minutes, thanks to a pointless construction detour. Then, the AC unit I had on the day before due to the humidity had to be wrestled from the window because overnight it was going to drop into the 40s.
      Friday, it took 30 minutes extra to get home because...reasons? Traffic was at a standstill, with no cause I ever discovered. When I got home, the computer had a window saying "You must update your Yahoo software. This will replace your home page with Yahoo and make Yahoo your default search engine and Chrome your default browser." Well, thanks for detailing the utter chaos you were about to unleash. Will Yahoo will also steal my car and set it on fire? Oddly, there was no "Ask me later" or even "Cancel" button, just "Continue." Yeah, fuck you, I haven't even updated iTunes in 6 months because I don't want to spend the next day removing garbage and getting my computer back to normal. I right-clicked the window to close it in the tray, thinking "WTF 'software' does Yahoo have anyway?" I was really annoyed to see that, without me doing anything, it had changed my homepage.
      After reading a comment from Lilly--"Uhm...something has happened...with part of the new News now being ?replaced? by ?last month's? News...time vortex...spinning out of control...must reverse the polarity of the neutron flow...the ship's dilithium crystals are deteriorating...or, y'know, the usual culprit, ReadyHosting, if not a mistyped bit of HTML...?" I checked here and thought "Huh, I don't see what she's talking about," I made it through 90 minutes before the DSL light on my brand new modem turned red. After doing everything I could think of--like I did when the last modem decided to route itself to Valhalla--I called Frontier.
      They have very nice customer service reps. I sure talked to them long enough to find out.
      I spent 1.75 hours with one guy, who tried every possible thing he could and put up with my general cluelessness. I apologized for using so much of his time, and he said "This is a learning experience for me." Yeah, I love to push the envelope of dopey customers. I asked him about the Yahoo ad, and he said that wasn't it. Until he finally said "You have a lot of malware."
      Rep #2 only talked to me long enough to verify that I needed someone to remotely clean up my computer, and of course that costs money ($15, so not a lot, but it probably will turn out to be a monthly fee; they didn't say). Rep #3 just took over. I plugged my iPod into the boombox and watched him move my cursor around for an hour. Nice that one of the main things he did (that I paid for) used "AntiMalwareBytes Free Edition."
      So I was up for about an hour more, then went to bed. I didn't do a lot of browsing yesterday, but missing a few articles on Cracked isn't going to kill me. Unless I missed titled "BILL FALLING PIANO AT 3 OCLOCK!"
      Was it Readyhosting? I don't know. I haven't downloaded anything, so I have no idea where Yahoo's Evil Twin came from.



      Rogue, a brewery noted for its odd beers, has come out with the first seasonal beer brewed for "Movember": Beard Beer. It's made from the finest ingredients, including yeast from the brewmaster's...beard. Makes you wonder about the guy's personal hygeine regimen. Might also be some old soup in there.
      It could've been worse! At least it wasn't from his girlfriend's yeast infection. They could call that "Bearded Clam Beer."
      I never said this page was anything but the classiest!



      Maybe I've already talked about the new trend in beers, Participation Mystique. This is (what I call it) when you can't get a beer, so you want it. As soon as everybody can get it--you know, not just magnificent you, but some average slob, then no one wants it. Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, Grey Sail's Captain's Daughter, something called Heady Topper or Hedy Lamarr's Torpedo, I don't know. Nobody wants the beers we have from these guys. How are you going to lord it over your equally assholish friends then?
      Of course, we charge what the market will bear. Most beer is sold at a 23% markup, which is nothing much. Sip of Sunshine? Yeah, twice that. $15.99 for FOUR BEERS. (We had a tasting the first time we got that, verdict: 2 "It's okay," 1 "Meh," and 1 "Disgusting!") So everybody's trying for this new market.
      Vermont's Long Trail is getting in on this, with "Space Juice." Which I immediately mentally pronounced a la Space Ghost, "SPAAAAACE--JUUUUUUICE!"
      It's 10.2% alcohol, which is a lot. It also assures us that "Contains No Juice." But I already put it in my 2 year old's sippie cup! No wonder he got aggressive and waved his pacifier at me, squeaking in anger "Does Little Toby have to cut a bitch?!"



      Jessica just had another successful feral rescue mission, adding 5 kittens to her already crowded clowder. The current kitten count is now eighteen.
      "Her husband must be a patient man," you may be thinking. Well, no, he isn't. When Ron first heard that Jess was taking 13 kittens home, "he squealed like a little girl!" and blew off his post-work plans to lie on the floor, covered in kittens.

      The store had a tasting for Jack Daniel's Honey, done by the distributor. It's expensive, but tasty. Expensive, but the guy doing it sold a good amount of bottles. Of course, he bribed every potential buyer with freebies, mainly tshirts and some metal mugs.
      It used to be that store employees would get something, usually shirts, but today, that might take 50 cents of off the CEO's $5M quarterly bonus. He left us the stuff that no one would really want, stuff he literally could not give away. This turned out be some giant foam fingers, for people who want to wave "I LOVE BOOZE" for no reason. Some college kids came in for kegs, so I said to them "Can I give you the finger?" And they were actually pretty excited to get them. Dorm decor, or just something to goof around with at the party (they put them on and started finger fencing).
      While we were ringing them up, they discussed other things they needed to get. "Dude, we're totally out of toilet paper!" I wonder in what condition those fingers will be in tomorrow...
      The rep also left socks. Yes, Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks. I just bought socks this week, so damn straight I took all 3 pairs. Free is free! And it's not like I can fit my shoes on with my foot in a foam finger.


      I am not a morning person. I have to get up at 7AM twice a week to go to work, and I hate that (getting up, not work--okay, I hate that too). But lately, on the days I can sleep in, I wake up feeling crappy, and just sort of hide in bed while hoping it goes away. Eventually, I force myself up, and today I noticed that I always feel better after about 20 minutes. Today I thought, This has been going on for about 2 months--or, since I started taking Prozac. The first thing I do after getting up is to take my meds. Which take about 20 minutes to get into the bloodstream...
      I wouldn't think that waiting an additional 2 hours would matter, but I guess I have something I can experiment with.

      Yesterday, I tried on my Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks. They're...unusual. I thought "These look long" before I opened the package. I thought "These are freakin' knee socks" after I did. They fit my men's size 7.5 feet perfectly. Too perfectly, as if they wouldn't fit any sizes much smaller. They were so tight, it was actually kinda hard to stretch them up my legs. While pretty much the only muscular part of my body is my legs (have a job where you walk 1.5 miles every hour, so will you), they're not like tree trunks. Who are these for? Maybe...they're girl's athletic socks? For something where one wears shorts, but still needs socks being covered to the knees that will never fall down? Like...I have no idea. When I was in high school during the late Pliestocene, the only "girl sports" were lacrosse and field hockey. But I don't think your high school's going to think too highly of your Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks if you're under 21. No wonder the only way the guy could give them away was to abandon them.
      In what I think is unrelated news, I have a big blister forming on my pinkie toe. Unrelated unless Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks come with a free bee packed inside.
      Michael Caine: "But the Jack Daniel's Honey branded socks have always been our friends!"
      General Dick: "My pinkie toe--blistered! Will history blame me--OR THE SOCK BEES?".


      Yesterday I was talking about one of the greatest movies of all time, depending on what metric you measure it on, The Swarm. (Said metric would be pointing at the screen and laughing) Too bee fair (GEDDIT?), here's Marvel's evil bad person, Swarm.


      He is a radioactive Nazi skeleton made of bees.
      In case you missed that, he's a radioactive Nazi skeleton made of bees.
      No, his skeleton was not made of bees! That would be as ridiculous as a nuclear power plant exploding in a mushroom cloud because some guy sat on the giant red "EXPLODE IN MUSHROOM CLOUD" button, with his ass. (It was the ass of Richard Chamberlain)
      The bees made up the muscles on his skeleton. Next time I think negative thoughts about my job, I'm going to say "At least I'm not one the bees forming that guy's glove hands!"
      He had the power of bees. Not like Spider-Man, who has the proportional powers of a spider, so why no one's ever killed him with a rolled-up People magazine is a mystery. No, Swarm...shot bees at you. He could fly, which makes me glad I'm also not a bee trying to carry that jerk's hoodie aloft. Fly, and is made of bees, wow, impressive. They're mutant bees, so why this guy never was recruited by Magneto into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is another question for the ages. They had guys whose powers were based on being a Blob and a Toad.
      MAGNETO: "What talents will you bring to this company--OF EVIL?"
      "I can catch flies with my tongue!"
      "I have the proportional powers of a slob made of cellulite!"
      "YOU'RE IN! And you?"
      "I'm made of bees!"
      "Hmm. If the bees are gone, does your skeleton taste like Jack Daniels Honey liqueur?"
      "I, umm, I've never actually licked my skeleton. I have no tongue."
      " are you talking?"
      "I have a bee tongue. It's made of bees."
      "Oh, good, I thought that horrible buzzing when you spoke was my tinnitus acting up. We'll be in touch."
      "I'm also a NAZI!"
      "YOU'RE--Well, isn't that interesting. Toad, how hungry are you?"
      TOAD: "MMM, honey barbecue!"


      Speaking of mutants, here's a story about the SR-71 spyplane (the X-Men had one, so...segue?) It's entertaining, but not what the clickbait headline says: Most Amazing Story Ever THIS IS GOLD No Seriously, Click Here and Actual Gold Will Come from Your Compooter and I Sure Hope Blackbeard's Ghost Isn't Around When You Do, Hoo Boy! I hate ghosts

      Bee holding up Swarm's hoodie: "Beejus Christ, this weighs a lot! Hey, drones, why are we even doing this?!" (throw clothes off)
      Swarm: "AAH I'm totally naked! Well, except for all the bees on my radioactive Nazi skelet--HEY! Where are you guys going?! If you leave, I'm just a normal, boring old radioactive Nazi skeleton that can talk! You're limiting my job prospects!" (plummets to the ground)




      The Democratic presidential debate was yesterday. General online consensus: Bernie aced it, Hilary was a close second, why are these other doofuses even running? I had my own Facebook commentary.
      All the networks would've cut away from it to a story about Trump screaming "I JUST HAD A WET FART!"
      "And just how wet was Trump's fart? Analysis from our experts begins now. Janet?"
      "Bob, we could see it on the back of his pants, dripping down his legs. Another triumph for Trump! His poll numbers among likely Republican voters just jumped 29 points, but slightly less among Republicans who know what the word 'voter' means."
      "Janet, how is he doing with his key demographic of non-voters who pound sticks on rocks while screaming 'KILL THE OTHERS ARRRGH!!'?"
      "They're pounding those sticks on those rocks pretty hard, Bob. I'd hate to be a rock right now!"
      "Ha ha ha!"
      "Yes, Bob. Ha ha ha, indeed."


      I suppose it's become a cliche to even point this out, but today I heard my first Christmas radio ad while putting away the first Xmas-packaged beer.






      Prozac is not my friend.
      I'll just leave it at that--it's supposed to make me feel better, not worse. I wake up every morning feeling sick, I have mood swings, it's given me the clarity to find a brand new reason to blow the back of my head off. ("Jess might still be with her asshole, abusive boyfriend if not for me, and Byron would be dead because everyone else who wanted to adopt him wanted the deaf boy to be an outside cat. I guess my work here is done!" At least I have enough clarity to realize that's fucking insane)
      I moved my doctor's appointment up 2 weeks. I don't know if he'll give me something else, but I know I can't just quit this shit cold turkey.

      That would be a reason for the lack of posts. That and nothing really to talk about. Guy who got carded and was told "1996?! You're 19!" "No, I'm 21! The DMV made a mistake on my license!" Or "I don't have it on me!" and then gets in his car and drives away. YEAH SURE RIGHT NICE TRY GUYS, but barely worth noting.

      One of my favorite comics characters is Captain America. You'd think he'd be a jingoistic asshole with that name, and I avoided his books for that reason, but no. He was written by New York liberals, and he represents what's good about the USA. Here's a look at the latest right wing fauxrage, because now "THE CAPTAIN IS A NI--" (church bell rings) "What did he say?" "I think he said the Captain is near!"
      Sorry, Fox News: Captain America has long been a liberal, anti-nationalist character.
      The article points out that Cap was once a Commie-bashing loonie, but that got retconned into "Yeah, he was a fake and also a loony" and reintroduced as a bad guy. It doesn't mention that comics sales were collapsing in the 1950s, and he also morphed into "Captain America's Weird Tales," in imitation of the popular horror comics of the day. Since "Captain America" is an identity owned by the government, he was fired by Reagan and replaced with a different violent loony. After Watergate, he quit the job. In the Marvel version, that involved the Secret Empire, a bunch of crypto-facists dressed in black versions of the KKK outfit (okay, maybe not that crypto), and their hooded leader was called "The One." Cap finally chased him down to the Oval Office and unmasked him. "YOU--you're THE ONE!" We didn't see his face, but there was an unindicted co-conspirator whose campaign slogan was "Nixon's The One."
      Things could get interesting after the next election, when black Cap faces Trump-Man and his recently unemployed Canadian sidekick, The Harper.


      Co-worker, to customer: "How are you?"
      "Same old same old."
      "Same shit, different day?"
      "Bigger pile, smaller fork!" Which is a line I've never heard before and I laughed at. As he left, I said "Have a good day, and I hope you get a bigger fork!"

      There's a store called Savers, which is basically the Salvation Army with an advertising budget. Not a big budget, as they only advertise this time of year, and I've never heard the ad more than once a day. Well, semi-heard; I'm at work and busy, so this is not an exact transcript. It involves a little kid, and I mean like 4 years old, asking someone "What are you going as on Halloween?" And an adult begins singing "Turning Halloween, I think I'm turning Halloween, I really think so!" Those of you who owned a radio in the 1980s may recognize that as The Vapors only hit, "Turning Japanese." Which was about masturbation.
      (The band claims it's not about wanking, but they've also never given a really satisfactory answer about what it is about, not unlike the Beatles saying "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is not about LSD, although it was written when they were taking enough acid that Timothy Leary would've said "Whoa, slow down, dudes!")
      "What are you going as on Halloween? I'm going as a Cyclone Ranger!"
      "I'm going as Onan the Barbarian!" (fake Austrian accent) "Taste the meat of mein pork sword!"
      "Jesus! Go fuck yourself!"
      "That's the plan!"



      On the commute to work, I saw in my rearview a red convertible sports car with its top down. "Guaranteed it's driven by a late middle aged man who's bald," I thought. And sure enough...Seriously, check that out from now on. "Driving with the top down" has 2 meanings, one for the car, one for its driver.
      The car in front of him passed me, and its license plate was "007 PPK." A Walther PPK was James Bond's handgun of choice. The plate wasn't on a sports car being driven by James Bald, it was on a minivan. Pretty sure Q never gave 007 a tricked-out version of one of those. "Press this button, and sippy cups of juice come out."

      In other automotive news, a distraught woman came into the store, panicking that her car was stuck on the railroad tracks outside. I called the police and was told "We've had a report; there's an officer already on the scene."
      A coworker and a customer went outside with her and didn't see a car on the tracks. "Maybe they already sent a tow truck," I said. "But how does your car end up the railroad anyway? I drive over those at 50MPH, and I can't even tell!" Coworker said "Maybe she ran out of gas?" "Right there?"
      "Your shoelace is untied," said the CW to her. She bent down to tie her shoe, and it took a while for her to do it, and she knocked a bottle of booze to the floor, which fortunately landed on the only carpeted part on the store and didn't break. CW: "She was staggering! I think she's drunk!"
      Another customer came in and said he'd seen her do it. She'd turned onto where there was no road, and drove onto the actual train tracks. You aren't driving too far on those things. CW said she saw her getting helped into the back of a cop car. So she's paying for the tow, and probably bail and a lot of other related expenses.
      Don't drive drunk! Stay at home and sit drunk!


            Yeah, I got another one of those Daliesque surveys again. What is with their obsession with unicycle riding? Do they get a lot of Yes answers to that?

      Very happy to see a certain BFF today. She was having an awful day--she had to drop some of her kittens off to be fixed, but traffic held her up to the point she was half an hour late. The vet's receptionist was pissed about that. Why, I don't know. It's not like they were going to do the fixing right then. I've noticed that, just as there are guys who blatantly stare at her, there are women who immediately are hostile to Jess. She called her husband afterwards to calm down, and his first words were "Don't worry; the kid's fine."
      "Jacqueline lost a wheel today," she said of her daughter. "What, she had a flat tire?" She swiped on her phone and handed it to me. No, the wheel. Fell completely off, from the axle. She wasn't going fast, but she was going to college, and that means the Mass Pike (aka Fury Road), so it could've happened at 65MPH...
      Just days earlier, Jess noticed one of her tires was noisy. "The lug nuts came off in my hand!" She brought it to a mechanic friend, who looked at it and said "Have you had a tire rotation recently?" "Yes, at the dealership." "They didn't tighten these ones." They just lightly put them on and didn't use the Machine That Goes BRIRRR! (That's the technical term) So, if that tire had decided to go flying at 65MPH...
      She went to the dealership, and the manager condescended to her, refused to do anything, and even called her a liar. She went back with her husband to speak with the owner, who spoke only to him, referring to her as "your wife." She said "I'm right here!" There are also men who think "Beautiful women are idiots," and a lot of them work in car dealerships.
      The owner kept insisting that there was no way it happened, these are how tires work, blah blah blah, and her husband said "Your version of the law of physics doesn't work!" and began hitting the guy with a two by four with nails in it calculations off the top of his head, because having a guy who's literally a genius at math proves handy. The guy said "I'm not risking my business over a $400 [free replacement] rim!" Her car cost $75K, and I know from when Kevin was an RV salesman, they make a LOT of profit. I think losing customers over $400 is a bigger threat to his existence. Apparently there is a thing called "narcoleptic rage," and Jess was getting it. "There were pictures of his fancy boat on one wall, and his fabulous family on the other, and I said 'I hope you and your fabulous family are on the boat, and it SINKS, and your family DROWNS, and YOU LIVE!" I said "Whoa, Jess! I would've pointed at the boat and said 'I helped pay for that!'" "I already did; we were way past that point!"
      Unfortunately, the Cracker Barrel food argued with me, and I felt sick. She was fine, so I don't know--another side effect of Prozac? "You call me so I know you got home safely!" she said as we parted. Right after calling her, I started puking. I felt better a couple of hours later. So, the shortest visit we've ever had, but one of the more memorable.






      On today's installment of Words That Have Likely Never Before Been Used In Sequence: "BITE the cheese! Byron, you can't eat cheese by licking it!"
      It is possible Mary Shelley said it once.


      The Best Worst Sexy Halloween Costumes Of 2015

      Cool or creepy? How common is your last name? "Young" is 590th most common in the world. Most prevalent: USA. Highest density: Pitcairn Islands. You know, the place where the Mutiny on the Bounty guys went. Last I heard about that place, they currently also has the highest density of rapists. With 10% of the people there having that last name, possibly also inbred ones. Yeah, kinda creepy.
      I checked my Mom's rare surname, and it was 909,713rd most common. 172 people in this country have that name, which is oddly specific. The only other result for it is a hyphenated version, with approx 2 people in the world having it. They being my cousin Liz and her husband. It's more like 3, but their kid apparently isn't old enough yet. Yeah, just plain creepy, that someone can index that info.



      A coworker called me over and handed me a license. "Is my math right?"
      Yes, the kid was 19, and yes, he was the same one from 2 weeks ago. I assume that no liquor store is falling for his obvious idiocy. If he comes in again, we're calling the cops, and he won't have a license. However, he will have a shiny new arrest record.

      During our abortive visit to the indoor flea market last week, there was a small pile of small boxes I pointed out. "'The Deadly Mantis'!" Jess said. "What are those?"
      "8MM movies. They were silent and took a 2 hour movie and reduced it to...10 minutes or so." What caught my attention was "Godzilla vs The Thing" (said Thing being Mothra), but at $30, not exactly worth it as someThing I'd use as a decoration. I thought "You know what I bet...?" and sure enough, here it is online in its glorious entirety, with a dubbed-in soundtrack. I was a tad off on the length.


      If you're wondering why anyone would watch these things, so am I. 1 or 2 of them came with the 8MM home movie camera and projector my parents bought in the 1960s, but I may still have the glossy catalog of the hundred or so movies available.
      They were made by Castle Films. The legendary William Castle, the guy who gimmicked up his cheap movies with a plastic skeleton being hauled over the audience, and "THE TINGLER" in which he basically shot electricity through the audience's asses. Rent the pretty good movie "Matinee," which was inspired by him. It includes the fake movie "MANT!" ("Half Man, Half Ant, All Evil!" IIRC) Note that the first of those awful Sy-Fy movies was "MANSQUITO" and there's no way they didn't steal that idea from Matinee.

      I've started reading "Miracle at Midway," about the pivotal WWII naval battle, and probably the only one that resembled the end of Star Wars. (They made a movie about Midway, creatively called "Midway," and it was actually a confusing and boring soap opera) It seems well written and entertaining. Paraphrasing, as I don't want to go down 3 stories to the car for the book: "After Pearl Harbor, Admiral Nimitz was made CinCUS [I assume this means "Commander in Chief US"]. This was later changed to Cominc. Say 'CinCUS' out loud, and you will see why."


      A beautiful global warming day, and I voted. I voted Whig. I do not trust the Know-Nothing Party (or its successor, the No-to-Everything Party).
      I was helped by 4 bespectacled teenage girls, and at risk of sounding like a sexist dirty old man, they were kinda hot. I have a girls with glasses thing, okay? Three were women of color; the one by the ballot machine was a blonde who said, after I put my ballot in, "Awesome!" That's the sticker they should give you--not "I Voted Today" but "Voting is AWESOME!"
      It's an off-year election, so it was just for mayor. Since the voters here are usually 95 years old and still mad at that Commie Truman, I can guess which party will likely win. My favorite memory of voting here was when the GOP candidate held out his hand for me to shake (or to pick my pocket and give my wallet to a giant corporation), and then blanched when he saw the vintage 1932 button I was wearing: "WE NEED YOU Franklin D. Roosevelt." The candidate's name was Hoover.

      Via Ernst in The Comments:

      The reason I'm pretty sure I still have that Castle Films catalog is because I pored over that thing obsessively. I'm sure now that the projector for our home movies came with 2 Castle reels. One was a 3 minute Abbott and Costello silent. They weren't funny even with sound. Okay, sure, that first time as a kid you saw "Who's on first?" but that's about it. Know who would've also been funny? The abbot of a monastery and gangster Frank Costello.
      ABBOT: "Prithee, brother, who may currently reside upon the base of first?"
      FRANK COSTELLO: "I ain't talkin'!" BANG! "Tonight, the abbot sleeps with the monkfish."
      The other was almost 10 minutes, and had sound. No 1960s home movie cameras had mikes, but the projectors had speakers, as they were used in schools. I was not of the generation in which turtles exorted us to Duck and Cover, so I think ours were mainly of the "Smoke a dose of marijuana, and the next day--you're on THE HEROINS!" type. However, I knew that this was the other movie that came free, and boy did I want to watch this a lot! The first second of the Youtube I remembered it. It's the finale of the W.C. Fields surrealistic classic, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break." A perfectly choreographed car chase, which was a rarity in 1941. And still funny. It also gave me a crush on Gloria Jean. She is a bit Dawn Wellsish, isn't she?






      An old lady wanted a bottle of wine. A standard bottle is a 750ml. "That's too big. What do you have that's smaller?" I showed her the 187ml 4-packs. I said "It's just a single glass."
      She started to take 2 individual bottles, then paused. "This looks like more than a glass!"
      "Well, it depends on the size of the glass."
      "I have really small glasses. I'm only going to take one. We're going to split it 4 ways."
      Yes, those would be small glasses. Thimbles, maybe?
      She eventually got an entire 4 pack, each bottle the equivalent of half a bottle of beer. WOO PAR-TAY AT GRAMMY'S 2NITE! Then, of course, she changed her mind and switched it for a different type. This happened during the busiest part of the day during the busiest day of the week, and frequently involved 2 of us, so...There was a lot of work for a $7 sale.
      I expect her to come in soon and say "This was too much wine!" and expect a refund on 2 bottles.

      For no reason--well, other than I work in a liquor store--I thought about Beard Beer, which was brewed using the brewmaster's beard scum. "I hope that 'Movember' isn't followed by 'Decem-butt'," because my brain works that way.
      "Yes, Rogue's new offering is brewed from a fine harvest of our brewmaster's dingleberries. It's a brown ale. It's normal for the bottom of it to collect a lot of sediment. You may detect notes of undigested corn and peanuts."
      "Note to retailers: You'll be flush with success after you have a run on these! You'll sell a shitload!"


      Human-caused climate change increased the severity of many extreme events in 2014. What's interesting about this article is that it catalogs what science thinks wasn't caused by human activity. Science knows what's a natural variable, and what the hell sure isn't. This is also a bit like saying "We can't blame the drunk driver for this accident, because this time he wasn't driving on the sidewalk."

      "The decor at Ben Carson’s home in Maryland shows that Donald Trump may not have the biggest ego among the Republican candidates. On display are awards, certificates, medals, and a painting of himself with Jesus."



      Yeah, I've not been super-talkative. Blew my back out stocking the beer cooler on Saturday, kind've fluctuated between "in pain" and "medicated for pain," since then, which does not make for "funny internet guy" very much.

      The Uninvited, a horror movie about a frequently baffled orange tabby who murderfies people after becoming a terrible Muppet that can shoot a kitten from its mouth.
      "Hey, kids, it's me, Count Floyd! Yeah, even I know that's bullshit!"

      Do watch the video clips, but be warned--It's so scary that you'll have to run to the litter box before your pants get all--Okay, I've seen scarier hairballs.


      Sign seen on the way to work, with most print too small to be read even from a stopped car: "Lil Mo-Ron G." Why you'd want to have your stage name include "Moron," I don't know. Was Lil Dip-Shit already taken?




      Latest search that somehow found the page: "ibay wantedto buy electronic no back pain doctor mouth of japan"

      "Oh, you want wine? Ask Bill!" Yes, thanks for that, coworker.
      "What type of wine did you want?"
      "I don't care!"
      "Red or white?"
      "I don't care."
      "Dry or sweet?"
      "How much did you want to spend?"
      And of course, for this wine that is white red sweet dry, with a price between pocket lint and the end of infinity--My every suggestion was met with "No, I don't want that. Or that. Or this! I used to drink Yellow Tail!"
      "If Yellow Tail's what you like, you should stick with--"
      Other woman, possibly her sister: "Do you have any wine that's tangy?"
      "'Tangy'? What do you mean by 'tangy'?"
      "I've never heard of a wine described as 'tangy.' Shiraz has kind of a peppery finish--"
      "Oh, you don't know what you're talking about!"
      *I* don't know?! So far, all you've said is that you want "wine" that you can pour down your "food hole." Am I wrong about it going in your mouth? "Have you tried this fine French Chateau d'Enema? It's best served at room temperature whilst bent over."
      This, of course, was during the busiest part of the day during the busiest day of the week, so I was helping Lil Mo-Ron and her sister Dip-Shit as the line expanded. It only ended when the husband grabbed 3 bottles and said "YOU buy this, and YOU buy this, and I'll buy this!" "Why are you buying champagne?! You don't even drink!" He said "For the toast afterwards!" but he also asked me for the biggest bottle possible, and champagne comes in very thick glass, so I think he may've been planning to christen them like a ship with it. On the back of the skull.
      It reminded me of this classic conversation: "Do you have any wine?"
      "Um, yes. What kind were you looking for?"
      "It's made from grapes."
      Well, then I won't show you the onion wines...


      I admit to not being "hip" to the "jive talk" of the latest generation. I actually just learned that "Netflix and chill" does not mean "Chill while watching Netflix." Glad I found out before I ever said that.
      "Hey, Jess, it's Bill! Wanna Netflix and chill?"
      "Do I--what?!"
      "You heard me! I was thinking of a Tim Burton theme."
      "I think my husband might have an opinion about this!"
      "Oh, he's welcome to join in if he wants!"
      "Huh. I thought they liked Tim Burton."



      Yeah, the bible also says a lot more about not eating shrimp cocktails than it does about your hooters or gay marriage, but whatever floats your Ark, Miss Prejean. Hey, why don't you marry some Levis, divorce them, and become Miss Postjeans? Just don't eat no clams!

      I went to KMart to replace my decomposing hoodie (when you carry as much as me at work, your clothes get very worn. Also, so does your back), and a new coat to replace my filthy, battered trenchcoat. It will be no time before both get filthy and begin to decompose, but hopefully not for a year or two. I've decided to go with the fashion-forward statement at work of "I no longer look like a homeless guy." I hope it will at least keep people from yelling "Hey Aqualung!" at me.

      Of course, since it's in the same plaza as KMart, I'm so poor that I first went to the Salvation National Guard hahaha I came up with that joke 15 years ago, and I will use it until I'm dead. Get used to it! All I bought were 2 CDs, which I was told were 3/$1, so 2 were 50c each yeah whatever. One was by Liquid Mind, which of course I disovered that I already owned, the other titled "Chakra/Brainwave Harmonizer." While it certainly harmonized my whatsits, it also caused an evil monkey to manifest in my kitchen and steal my microwave.
      Fucking teleporting monkeys, am I right?

      The ACROCATS! Not exactly the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater:


      I was at Dollar Tree--because no way am I setting foot in any retail store between Thanksgiving and New Years--and saw Mennen Lady Speed Stick deodorant, all pink and glittery, and named "Teen Spirit." Look: it's false advertising if it doesn't smell like a flannel shirt and heroin.

      Hmm. Coulda sworn I bought more bananas than this--


      There are 2 extremely lame jokes a customer can make. One is "It doesn't scan? That means it's FREE HAW HAW HAW!" If you're supplying your own laugh track, and people who say this always do, it's not funny.
      The other, of course, is hearing the total and saying "THAT WAS A GOOD YEAR!"
      Today, me: "That's 19.12."
      Old lady, maybe in her late 80s: "That was a memorable year!"
      Me, laughing: "I do not believe that you were around to see it!"
      "I was close. I was born in 1915."
      "My hundredth birthday was last week."
      We spoke a bit about the Great War (WWI; it actually was not so great). Her father and my grandfather were both in the British Expeditionary Force to France. I offered to help her out with her wine, but she shook her head. "I'm a tough old bird!" and took them out herself.
      Just think about that. When she was born, cars were a rarity, planes were made of wood and canvas. Now she's buying wine in view of giant cell phone towers.

      Other customer, about my age, paying for his beer with a 50: "Hey, can you get me a joint?" I went to take the 50 for his beer, but he said "No, that's for the joint! I'll pay $50 for one joint!"
      He wasn't kidding. He was asking 2 people who just were, ya know, not his close friends, to get him weed. And he kept going on about it. I decided to say nothing, but my coworker said "This is my job!" because who the fuck's so stupid as to offer buying some random guy some drugs?
      As he persisted--as if we carried joints around us at work--another customer came up. Coworker said "He works in a restaraunt; those guys are always lit up!"
      "$50 for one joint!"
      "If I wasn't going right to work, I might take that offer!" And the negotiations continued, well into the parking lot and a handshake.
      Dang, I remember when a joint was one dollar. (This was in 1915) But ya know what? If it gets this blatant, LEGALIZE IT ALREADY. Washington state made a billion dollars in tax revenue after legalization. If little Connecticut makes 1/10th of that, the budget is balanced.
      And of course, it's only a matter of time. Massachusetts will be the first in New England, followed by the rest of New England. It will still take a while, because this is AMERICA, and pot isn't guns. You can't shoot people with weed!
      And as you no doubt are wondering--Yes, I bought a quarter over 2 years ago, and it's now an eighth. Just not a thing I do that much anymore. This crazy weed the kids today smoke, one hit and I'm awake for an extra 2 hours. I'm at the age where 2 hours sleep is more important. As I was born in 1635. Those fucking Salem witch trials, am I right?




      In Which John Scalzi Selects a Current GOP Presidential Candidate to Vote For, 2015 Edition: "Sadly for Santorum, there’s only room for one smug and awful bigoted fossil at the bottom of the GOP polling charts, and that’s Mike Huckabee, because he’s got seniority. I rank Santorum slightly higher than Huckabee in my preferences, but that’s like ranking “puke on your shoe” slightly higher than “bloody puke on your shoe.” It’s still puke on your shoe."



      Thanksgiving Eve--the 2nd busiest day of the year in the Booze Biz. I had the day before off, so I asked the Owner if he'd ordered any beer. "Not much," he said, "like 20 and 20 cases each." "That's nothing!" I said.
      Somebody's math was wrong, as I'm pretty sure 60 + 90 does not = 40, and is certainly far more than nothing. Especially as 300 cases had come in 2 days earlier.
      So I was glad when that day ended. I got home to relax, and the DSL was out. I tried everything I knew to try, then called the phone company. I was hoping for a local outage, but it's worse. Something on my end, and they have to send out a tech. Not until Friday, of course. This couldn't have happened one day earlier, when I was off, and I went no farther from the house than the mailbox? And by "worse," I mean I had to call support 3 seperate times. The 1st 2 I could understand them, but they could barely understand me; the 3rd, it was vice versa. The connection was so bad I'm not sure of the sex of the operator, or even the species. He/she sounded like Donald Duck had inhaled helium.
      I have to work, and the latest appointment I could get was for 430. I'm scheduled til 5, but it'll be a really slow day, and work will be happy to not pay me for an hour. Hopefully this will be a quick fix and outside my condo, and not a multi-day affair of them ripping wires from my walls. That's why I gave this the date of "?/"? as I have no idea when this will post.

      HOLY SHIT IT JUST CAME ON THIS SECOND! I guess I don't have to play Solitaire any longer! I'm guessing this affected a lot of people who were too busy traveling or cooking to notice until today, when they made a phone call and wondered "Why does Grampa sound like a Munchkin on PCP?"


      Thanksgiving was interesting. It was to be the smallest gathering ever, just 8 of us--me, my Mom, 2 sisters, 2 husbands, 2 nephews, 1 dog. Twice that is the usual amount, sometimes 3 times that.
      Two of my sisters have very distinctive houses. This one is the biggest, but also a 1970s Colonial on a street full of them. I have a rough idea where it is, but I'm there once a year, so I always go online to check the house number. That was not an option this year. I went to where I thought it was, but it was deserted, not a car in the driveway. I rang the bell, nothing happened. So I went to the nearest one with cars everywhere. Yeah, not theirs,"It's 2 doors down! It's the brown Colonial!" Oh, not the not-brown Colonials here in suburban Williamsburg. I saw my brother-in-law cooking on the grill on the back deck. "Yeah, there's not a lot of people this year. I think everyone's coming with Pat and John. They're always late." I said "Good point."
      A UConn basketball game played in the background, and there were some unhappy viewers, the only exclusion being me and the dog, equally disinterested. There was enough food for--the normal crowd, even if one of the stuffings got a bit burned. I had turkey, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, corn, and caramelized Brussel sprouts, followed by Mom's apple crisp, all of which were delicious. The conversation turned to bacon jalapeno mac & cheese, in the off-chance you haven't seen it. Hey, he just went to court 2 miles from me! There's another, rather tenuous connection between me and that privileged little shit, but I have been told not to share it, even though it's not remotely bad.
      "What is with this music?!" asked Pat. It was Xmas music. "'Rum-pum-pum-pum!' Can't you play something more upbeat? Like Harry Connick?" I said "Whoa, let's not get crazy now!"
      The brother-in-law said, repeatedly and slightly smugly, "It's the Christmas season." He's the Fox "News" guy of the family (his son once said of a news story, "If it's not on Fox, we don't hear about it.") "No," she said, "it's Thanksgiving!" I jokingly said to him "Why are you having a War on Thanksgiving?!" Which he had no reply to, and, umm, no one laughed at. Possibly it was because everyone else there was a liberal (including aforementioned son).
      Oh well, I still got a ton of turkey to take home, and also a drumstick for Killsy and Big B to nibble at.




      The permanent tag sale I drive by on the way to work--he doesn't bring the stuff in at night, just throws a tarp over it, because you might want to buy furniture that hasn't been directly in the rain--now has a side gig. Here's my best approximation of the sign advertising it:
      D U M P
      R U N S
      And, scrawled to its right:
      Look. I used to do this, it was called The Inedible Objective or something. I'm at a loss. I really have no way to decode this sign. Does he only do dump runs of fish? Does he sell fish he finds at the dump runs? Does he take a dump in rivers when he has the runs, then fishes there? What will the sign say next time?
      "OIL PAN DRAININGS mascara"
      "SEPTIC TANKS hot fudge sundae"
      "FREE PUPPIES rabies shot"
      "POLONIUM-110 REMOVALS back rubs"
      "UNEXPLODED BOMBS rodent control"


      C'mon, Stupidest Things! That guy was probably joking. Me, I would've said "In the beginning, God created...the number 2 pencil. He wanted to start small. On the Second Day, he created the eraser, because he knew he was going to make a lot of mistakes."

      I was listening to the news on the commute home the other day, and gripped the wheel tighter, at the words "Colorado Springs."

      ""HI! I'm the Republican Base, BASEY! Me LOVE Colorado Springs, home of CHUCK ASAY!"

      Or as you may better remember him, the much-unloved Upchuck Asswipe. And then, the word "shooting."


      And then "Planned Parenthood."


      And gritting my teeth in anger, I thought, "In this country, a massacre was inevitable."
      The Deafening Silence of the Republican Field in the Wake of the Planned Parenthood Shooting



      This Guy Inserts Pop Culture Characters Into Old Thrift Store Paintings. I'll bet you can't guess my favorite! If you can, "OH YEAH!"       


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The Old News