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

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6/21/16

      All together now: "BUT THE BEES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OUR FRIENDS"

      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.

6/28

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

      

      

6/29

      Message on my answering machine, just now:
      (long pasue) "shluurrrp"
      "shluurrrp"
      "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.

6/30

      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?

7/4

      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.

7/6

      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?

7/7

7/9

7/10

      Major Howdy Bixby's Forgotten Warbirds.

7/11

7/12

      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.

7/13

      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.

7/14

7/15

7/17

7/18

7/20

      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!"

      

      

7/21

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

7/22

7/23

7/24

      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.

7/28

      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.

7/29

7/30

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

8/1

      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.

8/3

      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.

8/4

      "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.

8/5

      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.

8/6

8/7

8/8

      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!"

      

      

8/10

      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.

8/11

      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.

8/12

      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

8/13

8/15

      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!"

8/18

      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."
      "What?"
      "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

      fuck
      Bacon.
      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.

8/19

      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!"

8/21

      Other synoyms for "mischievously adorable Byron at the vet"!
      Murder-Machine
       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--
      "MAY THE POWER OF PONCH COMPEL YOU!"--Moltar
      --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."
      AH-HAHAHA
      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...
      WTF
      WHERE WERE THE FUCKING BEES?!
      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.

8/25

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

8/26

      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.

8/27

8/28

8/30

9/1

9/2


      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:
      "DONALD TRUMP
      "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.)"

9/4

      

      

9/5

      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"
      ZIP!
      "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!"

9/6

9/7

      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?
      The package says--yes, in caps--"THIS PACKAGE AND PACKAGE DESIGN ARE FULLY PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. INFRINGEMENTS WILL BE PROSECUTED."
      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.

9/9

      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.'”
      Indeed.

      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.

9/11

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

9/12

9/13

      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!"

      

      

9/14

      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!"

9/16

9/17

9/19

      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.

9/20

9/21

9/24

      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!"

9/25

      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"?

9/26

      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.

9/27

      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!!!

9/28

      

      

9/30

10/1

10/2

      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?

10/3

      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

10/5

      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"!

10/6

      Twin Peaks Tarot Deck.

10/9

      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!

10/10

      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.

10/12

      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.

10/14

10/16

      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.

10/17

10/18

      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"?

10/19

      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.

10/20

      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!"

10/21

      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."

10/23

      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.

10/24

10/25

10/27

10/29

      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."

10/30

10/31

      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.

11/2

      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.

11/3

      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.

11/4

11/5

11/6

11/7

      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!

11/8

      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!

11/9

      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 538.com, 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.

      

      

11/10

11/11

      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 Snopes.com, check it out sometime. It's easier to read if your head isn't up your ass.

11/13

      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!"

11/14

      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.

11/15

      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.

      

      WTF THERE'S A HOUSE ON YOUR TANK
      "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."

      

11/17

      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

11/18

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

11/20

11/21

11/22

      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.

11/23

11/25

11/26

      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.

11/28

      The work phone rang a half hour before closing. A coworker mockingly said "What time do you close?" as I answered.
      "Hello, [store name]."
      "I THOUGHT YOU CLOSED AT NINE!"
      "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..

11/29

11/30

      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!

      

      

12/2

12/3

12/4

12/5

      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:

      

      

12/6

12/10

      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.

12/11

      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.

12/12

      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?

12/13

12/14

      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

12/16

      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.

12/18

      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.

12/19

12/20

      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!"
      "FAMOUS POTATOES!"
      "...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"...wow. 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.

      

      

12/22

      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!

      

      

      

12/23

      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?

12/26

      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?"
      "NO."
      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."

12/28

      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."

12/29

      "Body, WAKE UP!"
      "Brain--fuck off."
      "NO THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT YOU NEED TO GOOGLE IT!"
      "...no..."
      "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?"
      "THIS IS IMPORTAAAANT!!"
      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.

1/4

1/6

1/7

1/8

      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?"
      "...NO."
      (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!

      

      

1/9

      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.

1/10

1/11

1/12

      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.

1/14

      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.

1/16

      Trump quotes as old comic book covers.

1/18

      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.

      

      

1/19

      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!

      

      

1/23

      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.

1/25

      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?

1/26

      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.

1/28

1/30

2/2

      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)

2/3

.

4/8

4/9

      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

4/10

      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.

4/12

      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--"
      "I WANT SOME FREE PUBLICITY!!"
      "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.

4/13

      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.

4/15

.

4/16

4/17

      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?

4/18

4/19

4/20

      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..."

4/21

4/22<

      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.

4/23

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

4/25

      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 and...no 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.

4/27

4/28

      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.

4/29

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

4/30

      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

5/2

      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.

5/9

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.

5/10

      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
      BLASTING METAL SHRAPNEL THROUGH YOUR UPPER TORSO.
      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.

5/11

5/15

      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.

      

      

5/16

      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!

      

      

5/17

      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!

5/20

      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.

5/22

5/23

5/24

      

      

6/23

7/20