NEW 119

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
--Elbert Hubbard

Jump to the Newest of the New

10/7/14

      

10/8

      For once, I was the one who was late. Three times I had to stop because of tree trimming. Then I got stuck on Rt 74, the most one-laniest no-passingest road ever, behind a tow truck with 2 SUVs. As soon as I passed it (on the only place you safely can for 20 miles), a state cop was behind me. And when I got there, she wasn't.
      Her car was, but where was Jess? On the other side of the parking lot, checking out a map. I said "Happy Feral Cat Day!" with a 16-pound bag of Purina One in my arms. "How long will this last you, a week?" She said "Yes."
      We were both impressed by how much Putnam has changed since we were last there--what, only 4 months ago? When the economy tanked thanks to the housing bubble 6 years ago (THANKS OBAM--I mean, DUBYA), every time we went, another business had closed. It was amazing how many had opened since the Spring. A new antiques store had opened, as organized as a hoarder's house. Nothing says "WELCOME!" like a bunch of employees loitering by the door smoking. Tables of dirty old bottles and VHS tapes. Nothing was priced, which is always a red flag. "Oh, you're interested in buying that? Now it's going to cost more!" Jess found a Creepy Doll and a ceramic cat. The girl said "Most things aren't priced, because we haven't figured out what's collectable yet!" That's not a flag, that's a flare gun. She checked the price by taking a picture and emailing it to her boss. Because "He needs to see if it's collectable or not!" 10 minutes later, still no price. "Tell your boss he needs to get on the ball!" said Jess, and we left. When we came in, she asked "How long have you been open?" after we'd threaded ourselves around blocked tables of unpriced, random crap. The girl said "Three--" and I thought "..days?" No, "Three MONTHS." Maybe before you open, you should figure out what things cost.
      The comics shop has been there for a long time, but we made maybe our second visit. She started looking at the old issues bin at Sandman comics, with a slightly baffled look. "My Mom collects these," she said. I said "Those probably aren't the ones she wants." Meaning she was looking at Kirby, not Gaiman.
      There was a replacement for the book store. More of a book kiosk, and used, but I bought a CD. Jess groaned when she saw one of daughter's college textbooks there, for a fraction of what she'd paid.
      New stores galore! But not relevant to our interests, so we went to our old haunts. One was a cluttered mess. And if I complain about clutter and mess...! I almost bought a zeppelin model. But, ten bucks, I'll pass.
      At The Big Place, I saw what I guess was this time's theme: Slim Jim mugs. Minutes later, she pointed at a print of the Last Supper and said "Look! It's Jesus, eating a Slim Jim!"
      At the brew pub for lunch, I had a Nut-Meg Ale (did not contain nutmeg; CT is the Nutmeg State) which was good, and an Oktoberfest, which was meh. She filled me in on the latest with her daughter's romance with a guy her husband calls "Mensa", and does so with great irony, and I told her about Kev & Meg's latest adventures. She showed me her purchases. A 1980 Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook that I found, as an Xmas gift to her husband. I didn't know that taun-tauns originally looked less like camel-llamas than like big-beaked emus. Yoda looked like an old hippie. "Bogart that joint, you should not!"
      She bought a ceramic black cat with one painted eye missing. "He's winking," I said, "just like Kill Kill does to me. I ask her, 'Are you flirting with me?'" Some ugly dolls, because: Jess. I said "This doll isn't that creepy by your standards." She said "Look at her head! And the way she holds her arms. I'm going to cut her head off and have her hold it in her hands." Okay, I think we can go with "creepy enough for Jess" then. She also bought a bag of plastic toddler dolls, one of which came with a huge hat. Like some kind of Pilgrim hat. I took it off, and it had hair above some tiara thing, but it was the ultimate buzz cut. It looked like it was undergoing brain surgery. At my suggestion, she's going to paint it so it looks like exposed brains.
      As for me, I found 4 CDs I wanted to buy, but 3 of them were so damaged that they looked unplayable. One clearly had coffee spilled on it. I got a fridge magnet that says "I MADE IT ACROSS THE ROYAL GORGE ON THE AERIAL TRAM," because my collection of fridge magnets is oddly short of aerial tram magnets. I only get the interesting ones now, as I'm running out of fridge. It was in its original 1970s packaging, and Jess found that the company was still in business. I didn't get a Hanna-Barbera superhero comic from 1969, even though it had the Herculoids. Space Ghost, sure if he was in it I'd buy it, but "BIIIIIIRD MAAAAN!"? Also, The Mighty Mightor, the caveman hero who was the least imaginatively named superhero since The Fucking Fuckhead. Hey, they were cavemen. They didn't have a lot of names.
      I took some photos, but they came out terrible. The camera claims to have an "Image Stabilizer", but it seems to add shaking hands to every pic. Yes, this is the best pic of 3 I took:

            

      Cloves, Opium, Extract of Cannabis. Make sure what you're looking for before you give Grandma some cloves. Jess said "This has to be in my house!" But it was full of cleaning supplies, so I guess NFS. I also took shots of a 70s stereo, with "STEREO-MATIC FUTURISTIC SOUND", and "POOPS The Ultimate Bathroom Sport", which was a guy sitting on a toilet with his pants around his knees throwing a basketball, because it was just a hoop you hung by the toilet. You wouldn't need this if you just ate some fiber.
      But I did get this:

            

      Because like I'm gonna pass up on a "Smoking Monkey with Magic Cigarettes". On the back: "AND THE MONKEY WILL SMOKE BLOWING RINGS LIKE A MAN." Yeah, toy designer, when you're designing toys, maybe lay off the Magic Cigarettes.
      Also, that one CD I bought? I own it already.

10/9

      I forgot to mention: yesterday, I twice passed a church with a sign that read "JESUS LOVES ASHFORD JOHN 3:16". I did not know that there was a clear reference in the New Testament to a Connecticut suburb. Well, what else has the guy had to do for the last 2000 years? Just obsess on CT towns and appear on tacos.
      "JESUS CHRIST!"
      (playing the XBox) "Yah, Dad?"
      "When are you going to go out and look for a job?!"
      "GOD, God! Like who's hiring messiahs right now? NO-BOD-Y."
      "The Jews have been looking to fill a position for millennia!"
      (picks up some food, eats) "Sorry, Dad, I can't hear you over this delicious PORK CHOP. Ooh, wait, is this shrimp cocktail?! NOM NOM."
      "MEDAMMIT! Do you want to move in with Lucifer?! Wait till your mother hears about this!"
      "Mom? How old was she when you magic-banged her, like 13? And Uncle Satan, your drinking buddy? He seems cool."
      "JESUS CHRIST, Jesus Christ! You'll not take that tone with me! It's time you got a job and moved out! You're 2,014 years old!"
      "OKAY, I'm doing it, I'm doing it NOW, OKAY!?"
      NEXT DAY:
      "Welcome to the Ashford Cumberland Farms. I love it here! Would you like infinite fishwiches with that?"

      The latest in the "Dear Kitten" series from Friskies. The ad part is very, very brief. Also: dogs are dumb.

      

      

10/10

10/11

10/12

10/15

      Woman ahead of me in line today, to the cashier: "I have to go to the optometrist to get new eyedrops, because I'm pregnant and my doctor says I have to be careful what I put in my body. Pack of Marlboro Box, please."

      Also, AGAIN, my site has been hacked by some fucking foreign clothing store. For a change, NOT the Swedish coat factory, but a Chinese maker of Uggs.
      Anybody use a host that's not ReadyHosting? If it happens once, it's bullshit. When it's happening several times a year, it's "fuck you, we got your money already" utter incompetence.

10/16

      ...Or, um, I could just re-upload my Thoughtviper index page again. Yeah, that worked.

10/17

      We have a donation box outside the store, like the Goodwill boxes you may have seen (they're very large and made of metal). They take bags of clothes and shoes and give your out-of-style workshirts and Nikes that aren't trendy enough anymore to people in the Third World.
      Someone left a bunch of boxes in front of the bin. I'm sure that people in impoverished countries really appreciate a blender and a half-dozen old lampshades. They can wear them on their heads after they make margaritas!

      I went to dinner at Mom's. Chicken Parmesan, twice-baked mashed potatoes, apple crisp with Ben & Jerry's, all home made ("Except the ice cream," said Mom). And for beer: Unibroue La Fin du Monde, because MY MOM IS MORE AWESOME THAN YOURS LIKE TEN TIMES MORE.
      She said "Tell your friend Jess that's what I do now that I'm retired!" Retired at 81, and what she did was bogging. Not blogging, going to a Cape Cod cranberry bog. (Oh, the things you people miss by not being New Englanders!) Dinner was interrupted by a phone call. "I need to talk" said one of her old (and I mean old) friends, about a "meeting." She sighed and said, "It's probably about our friend, who's 87, and has lung cancer. Right after getting treated for breast cancer." We talked for another 20 minutes, then the doorbell rang. For the meeting. So we wrapped things up, and she left me with wrapped-up leftovers, several day's worth. She offered to help me bring it out, and I said "You're going out to the meeting anyway." She said, "I have to freshen up first!" Octogenarian women judge each other on their looks?
      I already only cement my hair on workdays, and alternate between the same 2 pairs of pants every day, because I don't care. And I'm 26 years younger. Until Fashion-Sense Jess says "Bill...You need new pants," that's what I'll keep doing.

10/18

10/19

      I was looking at some InExObs today--navel-gazing, for sure, but I wrote 'em, I can do that. And the link that was always busted was busted again. Here it is, just play this over and over in your cubicle until someone threatens to kick you with their boots:

      

      And when they do, say "Cheese, what a grouch!" and then loop this: The Wisconsin National Anthem. Any song that promises "Yodeling, too!" and it's not meant as a threat...
      And then spend the rest of the week trying to get those songs out of your head, too. "Sexy little schoolgirls!"
      "HAIL KINKY BOOTS! Cut off one boot, a second and kinkier one will take its place!"
      "But look inside first. There may be some cheese!"

10/20

      I think I may see The Book of Life over my 2 days off, due to its del Toro pedigree, it's "very fresh" Rotten Tomatoes score (every review lists its amazing look, but predictable story), and, because of this review, in 3D. And the fact that 3D movies are only $9 if I go to the first matinee.

10/21

      I finally emailed Kevin to see how things are going in Texas. And actually--not that bad! I'm just going to be lazy and include a big chunk of the email that I sent to Jess. I haven't spoken here about some events, so this may be a bit in media res to you. But if there's anything I've learned about my readership over the last near-two decades, it's that you people are very smart. You'll fill in any blanks.      Doctor Who ads! Once it stops showing ads for the Doctor, it's not showing any more. Although you can hang around for a goofy ad for Activision Atari 2600 Hockey if you want. Because if you like hockey, you only watch it for the fighting.

      

      

10/22

10/23

      Hey, Stupidest Things calendar, what's a "TY show"? Does it star Ty Cobb? I think he died before TV shows, so that'd be one slow-moving program.
      "Ty Cobb, what do you think about this?"
      (rotting corpse's arm falls off)
      "There we have it--on this week's 'Ty Cobb's Opinion'."

      I saw The Book of Life. It was good, but not great. The 3D was well-used, but there's no reason to see it that way, or even see it in a theater. It did look truly amazing, with weird character design, a really weird plot--two feuding gods of the Afterlife--but they feud using the ol' love triangle story. The movie should've been weirder. It was only weird in safe ways, like a Nightmare Before Christmas Lite.
      The human characters were rendered as jointed wooden dolls. Since the Gods treated them as puppets, maybe? I did like how the Gods were depicted not as primal forces of Good and Evil, but as angry exes after their bitter divorce.
      The theology/mythology was convoluted. If you die, you go the Land of the Remembered, where you party all the time. Until everyone alive who remembered you dies, then apparently you're forgotten and you fade away to ashes...so I guess eventually everyone goes to the cold, grey Land of the Forgotten? And yet, we're shown that you can last a long time as the Remembered when no one should remember you but other corpses? Also, how much does a threat of death matter to a dead person?
      It does feature Placido Domingo as a bullfighter who wants to be an opera singer, and who fought bulls with an arm replaced by a sword, and a leg replaced by another sword, because "Arms and legs are for cowards!"
      TY COBB: "Stop stealing my shtick!" (leg falls off)

      Diner waitress: "How do you want your coffee?"
      "Two sugars and a Hitler, please."
      "We're fresh out of Hitler. Would you like a Mussolini?"
      "Ugh, those are so fattening! Give me half of one."
      (to short-order chef): "One sweet, half stays on the lamppost!"

10/24

      Crimeny, Stupid Things! Yesterday, you didn't know how to spell "TV"--which is not that hard to spell, given that it has two letters--and today you just post one done as an obvious joke. An early inspiration for the InExOb was National Lampoon's "This Is True," and even 30 years ago they said "Stop sending us photos of packages of 'Mother Fukker's Nuts'."

10/25

      I thought that the worst type of beard was the neckbeard, the kind that exists solely below the jawline. And whose practitioners seem to think "The more pubey, the better!" But I saw one worse.
      The hair was bushy and 3 inches long, but only from a surface area of one inch. One on each side, on asymetrically positioned, hairy facial moles.
      My beard isn't 3 inches long. Or in 2 random spots. And he works in a restaurant, and I'm guessing not as a waiter. Mole Man probably just touches your food in the kitchen, strokes his tiny mole beards, then touches it again.
      Dude, if it hurts to shave that--seeing as you shaved the rest of your face--it's called Nair. Or it's called scissors. You can trim your waving mole beard hair jellyfish. Maybe he got bitten by a radioactive tarantula, and got a really, really shitty power.

10/27

      I had to chain Byron down.
      After 3 days out of 5 of me either waking up or getting home from work, he'd knocked his Tower of Solitude down. This clearly caused him stress. And it was his fault--he jumps off it violently, and in the wrong direction, so it falls down, goes boom. Hey, St. Simeon Stylites, you've been living there for over a year, and you haven't learned a proper dismount yet?
      I needed to tie it down, but I didn't have anything. Hey, there's all this 10-years unused crap at work, maybe--Yes! Those giant zip cords! All I need are 2, to tie the tower to the park bench! (There's a park bench in my living room)
      There was exactly one zip tie. And someone had zipped it into a big, empty loop around nothing. I should point out that they were kept in the bathroom, so it was probably some conceptual art project performed by an idiot coworker whilst taking a shit.
      I dug through the bathroom box, full of unneeded screws, empty plastic bags, some caulk, and a mouse. But there was a pair of chains, the kind that hold neon beer signs to the ceiling. Loop on one end, clasp on the other, 18 inches long...Could work. Since they'd been there forgotten for 10 years, probably not going to be missed.
      When I got home, the tower had fallen again, with an agitated cat. Way to stick the landing, Byron. It took a while to get the first one on. The distance was about 17.5 inches. And of course, back on his Isengard, Byron kept swatting at the chain. Before I put the second one on, I held it up so that he could sniff and bat it. This time, he seemed to grasp what I was doing, and watched approvingly.
      That was yesterday, so we'll have to see if it works, but I tried it when he was off it, and it may sway, but it shouldn't fall.
      Why, what did you think I meant when I said "I had to chain Byron down"?

10/28

      Worst Album Covers.

10/29

      My grandparents got the Farmer's Almanac, which was basically a thing that existed to tell you when the sun came up or set, because you didn't have an internet. I would always read their copy when we visited on Thanksgiving, just to laugh at how wrong their year-long weather forecasts were. Wow, it's snowing now? Looking out the window says No. I'm pretty sure you can't predict the exact weather months in advance based on how many wooly bear caterpillars you saw today.
      They were my Mom's parents, so of course she had a love for it. So for the last 3 decades, I would buy her a copy. Then they offered a gift subscrition service, so that I could give her it, and not worry about forgetting.
      Last year, they sent her the bill for the gift sub. That's not actually how those work. She got her copy anyway, so I said "Let's wait until next year."
      And they didn't send her a copy, or me a bill. I went online, and there were no gift subs available. I could send her a single copy as a gift. It cost $6.99, plus shipping & handling.
      The S&H? $15.50.
      Yes, it's triple the price you'd pay over grabbing it off the impluse rack in the checkout line. Who handles and delivers it? Scarlett Johansson or Tatum Channing in their Underoos, via zeppelin?
      And they have an e-version, which costs $3 more, due to the prohibitive cost of not shipping or handling or even printing it. FU, FA!

      Due to my neighbors refusing to pick up any restaurant fliers that are lodged in their doorways, I've become used to muttering "If you don't want it, don't leave it in the common hallway, recycle it! Shit, I'll just do it myself." And so I have extra coupons for the People's Choice Pizza Soviet, the BEST wings in town! I will use these coupons discarded by the decadent capitalist fools to enrich my life! With wings.
      For once, I asked for the hottest wings, and got them. When asked, I said "As hot as the fires that will scourge the Romanov's dachas when we burn them to the GROUND!" And the guy said "Is that for pickup?"
      Hot they were! Even after washing my hands, casually touching the corner of my eye with my thumb, and spending 5 minutes pouring store-brand Visine in there.

      Linda Scott posted this costume on Facebook:

      I responded with

      I demand SEXY ISIS MILITANT! Also, SEXY DICK CHENEY. And SEXY HOME DEPOT BAG OF DEAD LEAVES. SEXY DOG VOMIT, AND YOUR DATE IS A SEXY DOG EATING THE VOMIT.

      I just read the "PLEASE NOTE" on the ebola costume. GOOD TO KNOW. And I was almost planning on wearing it to my next radioactive waste disposal party!

      (Then she posted "Sexy PhD Graduate," although it could be "Any Graduate, Maybe Even Middle School, But Sexy.")

      This is no threat to my "Sexy Barnacle" costume!

      I was going to make a "Sexy Scarlett Johansson" costume, but a sexy PhD told me that it would destroy all life when it created a Sexy Black Hole.

      Sexy Adopt-A-Road sign! Sexy Day-Old Potato Salad Left in the Sun! Sexy Improvised Explosive Device! Sexy Gum on the Bottom of Your Shoe! Sexy Recycling Bin! Sexy Used Condom! JUST PUT SEXY IN FRONT AND IT'S A COSTUME
      Sexy Asexual Organism that Reproduces by Budding!

      Sexy Unexplained Anal Discharge! Sexy Unplayable Netflix DVD! Sexy Invisible Man! (bonus: this costume means you don't have to go to the party. Also applies to Sexy Amelia Earhart or Sexy Jimmy Hoffa) Sexy Spleen! Sexy World War One Infantryman's Trenchfoot Infection! Sexy Bloody Shards of Glass! Sexy Single Strand of Spaghetti! (Cooked for women, uncooked for men) Sexy Cat Tree, Sexy Desk Lamp, Sexy Political Junk Mail! (okay, I'm just glancing around the computer now) Sexy First Trillionth of a Trillionth of a Second Before the Big Bang! (Costume requires infinite density, and can only be seen by anyone wearing the Sexy Large Hadron Collider costume) Sexy Oh God, That Party was 4 Hours of My Life I'll Never Get Back! Sexy JOHN PAUL SARTRE! "Hell is other costumes."

      I think you could trump all these costumes with "Sexy Freudian Psychoanalyst."
      Sigmund Freud's would just be "Sexy My Mom."

      If you're wondering how long it took me to come up with those, it was just a little more time than it took to type them. BILL'S SEXY WEIRD THOUGHT PROCESSES!

10/30

      Since this is the last time I can do this before next year...
      Sexy Hindenburg Disaster! ("Oh, the SEXUALITY!") Sexy Meatloaf! (the singer eating the food loaf, meat juice running down his chin, but sexily) Sexy Root Canal! Sexy Panama Canal! Sexy Love Canal! Sexy MiG Alley! Sexy Captain Kangaroo! Sexy Tire Fire! (Do not wear costume in room with a sprinkler system) Sexy Gingivitis! Sexy Square Root of [your favorite number here]! Sexy Burqa! (this easy costume cancels itself out; becoming a tshirt and mom jeans) Sexy Pond Scum! Sexy Elephant Man! Sexy Elephantisis of the Testicles! (maybe TOO sex-ay!) Sexy Aluminum Siding Salesman! Sexy Aluminum Siding! Sexy Battle of Dorking! (Which is not a Comic-Con argument between a Sexy Star Wars Nerd and a Sexy Star Trek Nerd over which franchise is sexier, because there are no sexy Trek vs Wars nerds) Sexy Soren Kierkegaard! Sexy Honey Boo-Boo's Mother! (the only Sexy costume that involves putting on more clothes) Sexy Scarlett Johansson, Except Her Mother's Egg Was Fertilized Just 2 Weeks Ago, So She's Still Only a Sexy Zygote! Sexy Yalta Conference! (requires 4 people: Sexy Churchill, Sexy FDR, Sexy Stalin, Sexy Multi-Lingual Translator) Sexy Badly Translated Kung Fu Movie Subtitle! ("You, so loamy! I punch in the odd face you own, for it offends my glands!") Sexy Third Stage Syphillis!

10/31

      Out of 27 Halloweens living here, this is the 26th without a single beggar. The only time I had a visit, it was just an older sister and a little brother, and luckily, I actually had some candy. I gave them all I had. After that, I'd be handing out individually wrapped slices of American cheese.
      Since then, nobody. Thank you, USA, for your quarter-century of paranoia about Halloween! No thanks for your unending paranoia of "BOMB THE WORLD! Bombing will make us SAFE! Can we bomb ebola, too?"

11/1

11/2

      The Brown-Nosing Guy had extra help on Friday, despite the obvious fact, due to the 15 kegs going out, that all the Halloween parties were happening on Saturday. My day to close, Lickspittle's day off. So instead of kissing ass, I ran mine off.
      One 3 keg order was rung up and done, when I asked for the buyer's ID to fill out the required paperwork. It was expired. By 2 days. But you can't use an expired credit card, and if you're pulled over, the cop has to be in a pretty hospitable mood to let it slide. Three kegs in the trunk? Yeah, that's fines all over the place, especially for us. And the police station is literally across the street. But he was calm about it, and just called over a guy with valid ID. I've had people flip out because their ID expired "just" 6 months ago. Here's some food I found in a dumpster that expired "just" 6 months ago. Wanna eat it?
      The phone rang, I looked at the caller ID, didn't recognize it. "Do you have kegs?"
      "Yes, 2, a Keystone and a Natural Light."
      "Do you have taps?"
      "Yeah."
      "I just want a tap."
      "Sorry, but our policy is to only let taps go out with kegs bought here. We had too many come back broken, or get returned to other stores." (We still get the deposit back, but then we're out a tap, and have to buy more)
      "No, we just want a tap..." (goes on for a while)
      "Sorry, that's our policy, maybe try [another store in town that sells kegs]"
      10 minutes, phone rings, different guy, exact same conversation. Me, to coworker: "If they call back again, we're out of taps."
      15 minutes later, phone rings, without looking up I say "Do you have any taps?" coworker answers: "Nope, all out of taps. All our kegs went out today" (that was true; the owner had to run out and buy more taps a few hours earlier, since we had none left. Too many broken, too many never came back) "He said the tap broke."
      ME: "They broke the tap [inaminate objects do not commit seppuku]. They called the place they got the kegs from, and were told 'You own it now.' 'Can we get another one?' and they said 'Why, so you can break another?!'"
      Although there's only 75 minutes left before we close, I say "This isn't over." I mentioned how our "no taps unless you bought a keg" policy came from--not just because of the broken ones, but because our nearest competitor sells kegs, and tells customers to come to us for taps. If they break the tap, he's not out anything. We then remembered that we have "Pony" taps for sale--plastic ones good for about 8 uses.
      And 30 minutes later, a college kid comes in: "You have any taps?" "We can sell you these. But, you buy them, you can't return them." He left for 5 minutes to talk to his bros, and didn't buy one. I hope you guys don't try what the last tapless idiots did, and try to open the keg using a screwdriver and a hammer. If you do, have everyone carry a bucket and hold their mouths open, because the only beer you're getting is from a foaming geyser.

      Did you know that the very first comic book was published in Connecticut? It was just a collection of old newspaper strips, because who in the Depression bought every newspaper for the comics? You bought newspapers to eat for the fiber.
      There was an imitation that eventually, when some "Super and Bat Men" guys changed comics forever, added original characters. They weren't very good. Thanks to the wonder that is the Interweb Tubes, you can read the whole run of Popular Comics for free.
      I haven't read them all. I just mention it because I finally found one of the legendary "Wait, what?!" characters of the Golden Age: Doctor Hormone. Yes, apparently, that was his birth name. He debuted in Popular Comics #54 (August 1940), and his adventures ran until issue #60 (February, 1941).
      Starting around the time the Nazis conquered France, it was of course obsessed with the greatest current threat to world peace: Stalinist Russia! Okay, some guy who looks exactly like Stalin, but runs a country named "Eurasia." Man, have we never not been at war with Eurasia? Abruptly during its run, it decides the villians are from "Nazia." And say things like

      

      I think that's Germanish for "So, this is Switzerland, Hans!"
      (Ah, shit. I saw "scheisse" and thought it meant "Ah, shit." It means "shoot immediately")
      So what were Doctor Hormone's powers? He was a doctor who gave people hormones. How do you make a hormone? Give her an extra 50 bucks, ha ha! (Joke I heard in middle school) Basically, someone thought "What would it be like if Doctor Moreau was a good guy?" and then ran with it, and I mean he ran because men in white coats with butterfly nets were chasing him. Supposedly they were done by "Bob Bugg," because as the series progressed, it became bugfuck insane. Literally, it involves a lot of insane bug-men. I'm guessing the creator was a technical artist moonlighting, as his drawings of planes and tanks are perfect (look at the above--he drew the rivets), but human beings get drawn kinda weird. The granddaughter is drawn somewhere between the ages of 16 and 8, depending on the panel.
      Anyway, via a site I'm going to visit regularly for its public domain comic book madness, here's the entire Doctor Hormone saga. Each link is to the entire issue the good Doctor and his mighty hormones appear in; use the drop down menu to skip to the indicated page where the madness begins. I think it's safe to say that it's hard to predict where the plot goes.
      Page 23
      Page 53
      Page 41
      Page 60
      Page 20
      Page 52
      Page 44
      Yes, it just does end like that. But it leaves open a possible sequel--
      Doctor Hormone vs. Tod Holton!

11/3

      Happy Monday indeed! Kevin has a JOB, working for cybersecurity company Websense! I was pessimistic about everything, but, well, I was wrong. And I'm so glad to admit it!
      And right after I found out, iTunes played Siouxsie's "O Baby," possibly my favorite Happy Song.

11/4

11/5

      A KMart worker is putting big bags of Halloween candy into a shopping cart, obviously to bring them to the clearance aisle, where I had just bought 2 big bags of Halloween candy on clearance from.
      CUSTOMER: "Where do you have candy?"
      WORKER: "What kind of candy?"
      "The kind in bags."
      "What size bags?"
      (points at the bags in her hands) "Those size bags."
      She told him to go to the clearance aisle, and not "Right here, Dr Hawking."

11/6

11/7

      Hey, know what's pretty much not optional in New England? Heat in the Fall! Mine went out. Again.
      Living on the 3rd story of a brick building, I don't lose heat quickly. So yesterday was just a matter of 2 layers of clothes, including pants and socks. But it'll drop into the 20s tonight, and my lovely condo ass(ociation) won't fix anything on the weekends. Why would they? They don't live here!
      The heat is back on, but I expect a bill. For something they "fixed" 1 or 2 years ago. Hmm, that conversion to gas heat they did this Spring...funny how just days ago, the gas company was here, digging up the gas main in the driveway. I'm guessing they weren't fixing it because it wasn't broken. This may repeat.

      I ordered a CD from Negativland, which I may regret, having only heard 2 by them. (Dispepsi is a classic, their attack on commercialism done in a commercial way)

      

      I received a package in the mail. A big one. It wasn't until I got it inside that the return address was "Kitsplut."

      But she was only going to send me a CD of the weird Beatles' Xmas LPs! I thought "Is there a tshirt in here?"

      Indeed there was! Enjoy this Shonen Knife tshirt before it's completely covered in cat hair! Kitty saw SK in concert recently. I don't know if that "Music to Splut By" mixtape I sent her lo those many years ago was her first exposure to them. If it was, well, I don't have a long list of accomplishments to my name, but that would count as one. Being friends with her would be another.

      And CDs! Full of much music, from that mixtape! Sakamoto, Plastics, P-Model, Shonen Knife! Given my limited computer skills, I thought it'd be 1 album per artist, and it was for some. Looking through the files at the rest, including SK and some guy I never heard of...I think the first DVD-R has maybe 50 albums on it? The 2nd she sent has more? I stopped buying Pizzicato 5 because there was a period where I loved them, but not so much as to buy every Japanese-import-only CD they did, and they sure seemed like they were coming out monthly. P5 was a Mandelbrot set; every album released resulted in an infinite number of more. There are a lot of those here, possibly repeating to infinty, from the Big Bang to the End of Time. And a bunch of Real J-Pop people. Of course, iTunes hates it and won't import it, as Steve Jobs' ghost hates everything his corpse isn't making money from. But I think I can't complain about having nothing to listen to for a long while.

      If you watched SCTV, you know the Plastics, for at least that one awesome song (although they had a lot of awesome songs) and that video:

      

      As I always said 30 years ago, "It's really not funny, unless you think 3 Japanese people dressed as Santa doing the Twist on top of giant dice is funny."

11/8

      Extra pics from before the camera died yesterday:

      

      The Sovereign State of Byronsylvania.

      Miss K still hoping that she can go explore the common hallway, 5 years after an unleashed neighbor's dog chased her from there into our home at 1AM.

      Hey, it's everybody's favorite 80s sitcom, Too Many Cooks!

      

      

11/9

11/10

      "Always--winterize your PANTS!"--My favorite line from the absurdist comedy Batman and Robin
      That's how I read it as anyway. It's legendarily bad, but I enjoyed it. The director made it as a tribute to the 60s TV Batman, and then forgot to tell anyone. I went in knowing that, and really liked it, given my low expectations. Stupid and super colorful and goofy and did I mention stupid? Better than any of the Nolan Batman movies, because it wasn't a dark & gritty oh-so-dramatic story about a psycho who beats up other psychos while wearing his weird rodent-themed underpants. Everyone overacts, okay Ah-nold can only do overacting, but Uma Thurman is hilarious, both as Poison Ivy the leafy seductress, and as a greasy-haired bespectacled nerd, because what other kind of nerd is there?
      I should say that trying to make Uma Thurman unsexy succeeds about as well as putting Bat-nipples on a costume to make Robin sexy.

11/11

      I guess Veterans Day is a big deal at the Cracker Barrel.
      The only time I'd seen so many cars was the day after the October blizzard 2 years ago, when many people had no power (and didn't yet know that it'd stay that way for 7-10 days). I gave up and parked in a spot labeled "RV/BUS," because Honda Fits are enormous.
      I waited outside for 10 minutes, went inside for a few seconds to see if she was in there. It was as loud as a middle school cafeteria. As I walked out, Jess waved. I said "We may want to go somewhere else." But we went in and stood in a line for the first time ever, but we were given a table quickly, and our food wasn't much longer than usual. I guess when you have parking labeled "BUS" you're used to crowds.
      "Wow. There are a lot of old people here!" she said. Yes, there are times when I'm the youngest person there, and I'm freakin' 55. We're talking many wheelchairs, and if they were vets, they served in Korea or WWII. Their Cracker Barrel reward? "Free hot fudge brownie sundae!" said the sign. Thanks, veterans! You survived the Bulge or the Chosen Reservoir or Khe Sanh, here's something your diabetes or heart condition won't let you eat! Not "free any dessert," or "free entree," but "free you're between 70 and 95 years old, maybe eat this fat-laden calorie bomb for the last time, fuck your doctor's orders! Also, please sign this consent form first."
      And I guess this is some weird tradition, because they had plenty of staff on, and our slightly complicated orders came out perfect. They come out wrong when the place isn't busy. "Could you please heat her butter?" I asked after she ordered, and the waitress said "We have whipped butter that's a little warm." All those years going there, no one else has offered that. So, good tip for her! As I had leftovers, I asked "Can I have something to put this in?" and she said "Sure! Do you mean a box?" And Jess and I were polite enough to not laugh until she'd left. "No, I want it gift-wrapped!"
      Jessie's shitty neighbors let their shitty dogs shit all over her lawn, where they don't think they have to pick up their warm, rancid dogshit. They were actually stupid enough to send their kids over to her house for Halloween. So she gave them candy and toy flutes. The thrilled kids started screeching on them before they left her doorstep. The parents can either allow the baleful bleatings of Nyarlethotep in their houses, or be the bad guys by taking them away. THAT, my friends, is Master Level Passive-Aggressiveness.
      Antiquing! aka Junk Shopping. As usual, she bought a lot, mainly cat stuff and weird dolls. Despite her love of black cats, she passed on "Blackie," a kid's tale of a kitten who's hungry, as the little girl who takes care of him is on a birthday cake hangover, and walks around the barnyard politely asking chickens and ducks if he can murder and eat their babies. "Mrs Chicken, can I please eat one of your fat chicks?" No, really. (Don't worry; at the end, Momma Cow gives him some milk, ending his very polite murder spree. Possibly Blackie is Canadian)
      She found a little Scots doll in a kilt, handed it to me and even I said "Could those eyes be any more dead?!" It had black holes, as empty as its soul. She had a brother-in-law over recently who slept in the room nearest her Creepy Dolls who asked "Does this door lock?"
      "Look at this!" she said about a little bag of tiny dolls. "That baby's wrapped like a mummy! His face is so pale!" I looked at it, saw the little angels, and said "I think that's baby Jesus." And lo, the tiny price sticker did proclaim "Plastic angels and Baby Jesus." And, verily, which did decline into a skit about Jesus dying and being reborn over and over as a kid just because he could, to the point where Joseph said "JESUS, Jesus! I'm not paying for any more funerals!" It was funnier if you were there. She found little cat-themed things over our trips, but here--Jessie found JESUS! In a little baggie for $3. I didn't buy "Bugs Bunny Hangs Around," wherein Bugs is a fucking thieving asshole and Elmer's the hero, and at the end Bugs gets his leg caught in a trap that would break both his legs and his neck, ha ha, you kids LOVE the Elmer and hate the Bugs, right?

      How stoned are these people?

      At the end, I said "I promised Sailor Kitty a picture of me in the Shonen Knife shirt!" which Jess had complimented me on back at Cracker Barrel. Crowded as the place was, I'm betting that the Shonen Knife tshirt ratio was a number that a math person would say was very low. (Sorry, but I'm not a math person) I said "Make sure the shirt's in the picture!"

      I think she thought instead of "shirt" I said "shoes." Hey, she has an excuse to not know how to use that camera, it's only her old one.

      That thing is my SECRET AGENT LUNCHBOX

      It was $14. The net says it was from 1968 (more images here, and the hero is either jumping on a motorcycle or getting shot off of one. Gets points for Lady Spy turning up a second time). It looks like it says "Secret Agent T", but the T stands for Thermos. Why not just do a James Bond lunchbox? Thermos' rival Aladdin beat them to that, in the days before licensing was a big thing. As I remember, Thermos was the prestige brand, as the cheaper ones meant warm, sour milk from their
      Huh. I do not know what to call a Thermos but a thermos. Whatever they called themselves in a non-legally actionable manner, in 2 months an Aladdin box would stink of sour milk. For you youngsters under the age of me (Did you wish me a happy Veterans Day?! NO, you didn't, and I ran up San Juan Hill for you ungrateful jerks!), that was a bad smell that never went away.

      SPY MAN: "Those FIENDS! Their rocket bomb missile is shaped like a CROW!"
      SPY LADY: "What? Dammit, that is a crow! The missile is there!"
      "Where, by the crow?!"
      "No, that is a CROW. The MISSILE is shaped like a MISSILE, and it's 10 stories high! It's right there! WHERE I'M POINTING!"
      "Umm..."
      "Where...I am...point-ing! Finger pointing! Will you just stop squinting and admit that you need glasses?!"
      "WHY WOULD I START FINGER-PAINTING?!"
      (Evil base's sirens begin going off)
      "And also a hearing aid. Oh, just start blasting away, I'll be in the Spy Car."
      "Hey, it's not my fault! My logo's shaped like a dagger and it's stuck in the back of my skull!"

11/12

      Stupidest Things calendar, given that the Republican Senator in charge of environmental laws is a "global warming skeptic," aka "bought and owned by the oil companies"...maybe that guy in 1875 was more farseeing than you think.

      I added to global warming myself, running errands in my 35+MPG Fit. Doctor's appointment, just a follow-up visit. And to get a flu shot and refill my scrips. While waiting after a brief exam by a med student, I heard a baritone singing "Happy Birthday," not normally a thing heard in doctors' offices. Dr. Han came in, and he had sung it. "Last year I sang it in a minor key," he said. I laughed incredulously and said "To make it more depressing?"
      Then I ran to Best Buy, right up the road, for my last free visit of the year. Chicken, microwave bacon, hummus, a belt, a 20MM Oerlikon automatic antiaircraft cannon (it was on sale). I bought a belt there last year, and it's the first belt that's lasted that long. Guys with 29 waists don't find good-fitting belts. After a year, they fall apart. I impart this information to you in case you ever suddenly find yourself turned into a man with a 29 waist. I don't think that happens a lot. Maybe you should tweet about it if it does. Get you some followers at #OHGODWHYWHYWHY
      Best Buy was up the road, and my computer is acting weird. It's 5 years old, which is like 70 in computer years and probably 2 in Bill's Belt years. I also wanted to see if they still sold used CDs, but they barely sell CDs, period. Just 3 rows, mainly cheap "Best Of"s, when 20 years ago it took up a whole department at Lechmere, or a whole store at Sam Goody. If the computer dies, I guess an HP Pavilion is the closest replacement to an eMachine, since they don't make eMachines anymore. As I can't find any USB ports on my antiaircraft cannon.
      Next, KMart for close-out Halloween candy. They had none, except for a giant rack of candy corn. Enough to feed a starving village that decided to not die of starvation, but from diabetes. I did get to hear Christmas music, YAY

      Thing I forgot from messing with Jessie yesterday: A porcelain figurine of a naked little boy, complete with penis, being head-butted by a goat. No, I have no idea either.
      ME: "Goat vs. Naked Baby was a big sport back then."
      JESS: "My money's on the Naked Baby! As he's so very Naked."
      ME: "And that's how the sport got the name of cock-fighting."

      There will be another online MST3K Turkey Day Marathon this year (warning: autoplays). Not until Thanksgiving, but you can watch 2 episodes now, although they're only "Mitchell" (again?) and "Hands: The Manos of Fate." No word yet on what will play during the marathon.

11/13

11/14

11/15

He’ll never be flavor of the month with the Republican Party, but he’s edible to all elements of the party at this point.--political strategist and former congressman Tom Davis on Mitt Romney

11/16

11/17

      I turned and looked down for no apparent reason. Possibly I heard a small sound that only registered subconsciously.
      A sound like "squeak," maybe. As I saw a mouse in a glue trap. I hate those fucking things!
      Glue traps, not mice. The miserable thing looked at me in terror, squeaking what I can only assume was its version of "Help me!" When my parents lived in the Vermont woods, they had mice. They laid out poison pellets that made mice thirsty, so the mice went outside looking for water and then quickly croaked. Glue traps--they can be stuck there until they starve, or maybe have a heart attack from panic. Which would kill you first if you were in the same situation?
      It was pouring rain, so I kinda thought "If I put it outside, maybe it will drown." Not likely; it wasn't raining that hard. But I said "Sorry, buddy, the trap wasn't my idea" and took the tray outside.
      15 minutes later, the New Owner saw it as he was spitting tobacco juice out the back door. His compadre, a guy who likes watching death videos on YouTube, freaked out "EWW EWW EWW!" because...I have no idea. Dead humans=Entertainment! Dying thing right in front of you=Pampered suburban boy whose parents pay for everything, I guess. "I took the glue tray half the way to the dumpster," I said, "you can do the rest." He flinched with worry, like the mouse had ebola, and said "Is there a shovel?" Apparently, death isn't as entertaining when it's in front of you, even if it's a tiny rodent. One female coworker said "There are shovels in back!" and New Owner rolled his eyes dramatically and "YEAH, we have shovels there, duh!" He didn't say that to his squeamish idiot buddy, of course, who asked it first. Bro-Morons before Hos!
      Screw it, I thought, I'll throw the poor thing in the dumpster. But it was already dead. Maybe putting it in the rain was a good idea. It might've ducked its nose down to escape the rain, but caught it in the glue. Asphyxiation isn't a good way to die, but beyond "in your sleep," there aren't any better ones. Since this was only minutes after "EWW EWW!" it had to have been quick.
      Good thing we got rid of that mouse! It could've snuck into our granary and eaten some of our lentils!
      Before you say "But you have cats!"--cat vs. mouse is the circle of life. Humans vs. every fucking thing alive on this planet, including other humans--the Circle of Death. Cats kill mice for food. We kill other animals for food, but also out of habit.

11/19

11/20

      I haven't written much lately, have I? Nothing really much to write about.
      Recently seen: X-Men: Days of Future Past Pluperfect. A sequel to a prequel (X-Men: First Class), and which the first 15 minutes could be titled The Uncanny X-position Men, as every word of dialogue explains the setup. Set in the dystopian future--I suppose I should just say "future," since when was the last time a future wasn't dystopian?--of the distant year 2020, where evil robots--should I have just said robots?--destroy all of humanity by making big holes in buildings that you can see through, which I guess is the new CGI thing (it was in the recent Godzilla and several other movies). They must send someone back in time! Which is apparently Kitty Pryde's new power. Since they can only send back their most popular character, they send back Jubilee--wait, no, wrong name--Cypher--no, that's not it--it's Boom Boom! Ha ha, fooled you, they send back the guy who brings knives to gun fights. His name is Werewolf I think.
      Interestingly, Basil Wolverton isn't sent back to Year You're Watching This Movie, but 1973. He has to convince Professor X, an alcoholic drug addict, to get off the DNA-altering sauce that makes him walk (the science isn't very accurate), and convince Magneto that maybe he could not be an asshole just this once.
      It was okay, just like First Class. SPOILER: Stabby Muttonchops saves the world, and it reboots to--the end of X2, so apparently the whole exercise was to utterly lay waste to The Last Stand, a movie no one could stand. And so ends the X-Men Ratner-verse. It only took a decade for them to admit that sucked.

      Boris and Natasha: bad movie. Rocky and Bullwinkle: bad movie. Mr Peabody and Sherman: really bad movie. I was put off from the start, when home-schooled Sherman goes to "Susan B. Anthony Elementary," and Susan B is depicted as a scowling crone in a bad wig. I thought "Bet there's an evil female government social worker," and then we meet the antagonist, "Ms Grunion," grunion being a type of fish and what smells like fish, amirite guys? and she's a raging bulldyke feminazi and an evil female government social worker. The other women are idiots or golddiggers or assholes or D: All of the above. I spent most of the movie distracted by trying to figure out its politics, which seemed to be Rich White Guy Misogynist Libertarian. It could've been titled Mr Galt and Sherman. That may say something about me, but it sure says something about a kids movie being so boring that I was thinking about that. Maybe I should rent George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right and just get my bad Jay Ward-based movies over with.

      Recently heard: Trying to grab a few CDs to replace some stuff that's X-pensive on iTunes. They Might Be Giants' Lincoln, was $10 on iTunes, but $4 (free shipping!) on eBay. I have it on LP, but only really liked 5 songs, which would be $5 on iTunes. Wow, I see why I never grabbed this on CD before. It's really depressing. Apparently the songwriter's GF broke up with him, end of the WORLD! I mean, every song is like that. It'll be fine on shuffle, but trying to listen to it all at once made me turn it off halfway through.

      Album I'd strangely forgotten: Thomas Dolby's Golden Age of Wireless. There's that one song you may have heard, I think it's about alchemy making you deaf, but every track is great. And how did he get all these great artists on his first release? Andy Partridge, Bruce Woolley, Lene Lovich, Les Chappel, Akiko Yano? It's a veritable Who's Who of 1980s musicians Americans have never heard of! Ms Yano's contribution is 10 seconds of vocals, so for all I know Dolby ran into them at the pub one night, drunkenly asking them if they'd seen his tubes and wires, his careful notes.

11/21

      You're welcome!

      I guess I won't be getting more CDs from eBay using my credit card, as it seems they charge me an extra dollar every time I do.

      I thought that my only day off was going to be Thanksgiving. That was my favorite holiday until I had to start going to work at 8AM on Friday. Now it's "Dinner is at 4!" but it's 6 before we eat, and at 7 I have to leave to get to bed on time. As I need more sleep than you, is why. Like 9+ hours, especially after running my ass off the day before, because my co-"work"ers just stand behind the counter.
      So I'm staying at home with the cats this year. I have my Butterball turkey dinner ready (it's in a microwaveable tray), and for my cranberry sauce stand-in a bottle of Dogfish Head Kvasir, and the online Shout! MST3K Turkey Day Marathon.
      They've announced a Turkey Day box set, so I guess these are the movies they'll show: Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, Squirm.
      I only recognize one title, which makes me wish my Thanksgiving meal was "a hamburger and french fried potatoes!" I'm guessing the rest are Sci-Fi era Mikes, so I may get indigestion.

11/22

11/23

11/24

      I work one Sunday a month, but for some reason it seems to always fall on a holiday week. So it was very busy, and I was tired when I dragged home Sunday. And then I found out from the Onion's AV Club that a movie I've wanted to see since I was like 14 was available online!
      Because of how TV worked back then, one could see reeeeally old movies at odd times. I got into 1930s Busby Berkley musicals, but watched several crappy ones before discovering he had the magic touch. I also saw some fucking weird movies. I'm not going to try to remember the titles right now--400 cases of beer came in today for me to check in, put away, and receive, and let me note that 400 is a fuckload--but there was the one with the awesome party on a zeppelin, and the one where the President wasn't FDR but a fascist with armed police gangs driving armored cars with machine guns, and this was presented as a good thing. Welcome to the fantasy America of 1932! Or the real one of 2014.
      The one I never saw was Hellzapoppin. It was a hit Broadway show, but I have no idea how closely the movie resembled the show besides general insanity. They made a movie like this before people smoked weed?
      There's a long early scene where the characters mock Hollywood's cliched version of their show. It's shown on a screen while 3 silhouettes in the front row of seats point and laugh. Yes, in 1941, someone invented MST3K.
      It's utterly batguano, or however that phrase went 70 years ago. The Fourth Wall is broken to pieces constantly. When the songs start, even the pretty boy & girl singers turn and yell at the audience. It's screwball! Yeah, that's how the phrase went then!
      Until the second half, when the plot kicks in. And, yeah, it's the plot they made fun of. You'll know when it kicks in when a boring musical number has no jokes. It's in a ballroom with many couples dancing, so it could've been easily (and very cheaply) goofed up by background dancers making weird faces or wearing gorilla suits. I hoped "Maybe they're being normal to make things seem even weirder," but no. It does pick up again after this plot no one wanted nears the end, but the not-normal characters get to shine throughout. Especially the "man-hungry sister" with the great singing voice, and the deposed Russian count who is faking that he's a fake deposed Russian count. "He's not Prince Pepe!" they say in the MST3K part. "He's Mischa Auer!" (Mischa was always a welcome gem in a 30s musical)
      It's here, but not sequentially, so you have to click on the upper left window when one ends, and one segment ends a song mid-lyric. Also the transfer looks like it was filmed through a bowl of gravy, so--it's Thanksgiving themed!

      

      

11/25

      I bought groceries last week, because no way in retail hell am I entering a grocery store the week before Thanksgiving. And today I went to Dollar Tree to grab a few things, because no way in retail hell am I entering any store between Black Friday and New Years, unless it sells groceries or I work there.
      Guy behind me in line holding an Xmas stocking at Dollar Tree, which has signs plastered everywhere that say "EVERYTHING'S A DOLLAR!": "How much is this?" The clerk answered
      A: "Your immortal SOUL BAH HAHAHA!" (huge puff of smoke; clerks transforms into a clerk dressed in a dollar store Satan costume)
      B: "Well...how much 'is' anything worth, really? Why are we here? As Kierkegaard said..." (huge puff of smoke; clerks transforms into an underemployed philosophy major)
      C: "The unbearable lightness of being." (transforms into a 1988 VHS tape)
      D: "BLAAARRGGH I WILL GET YOU OPTIMUS!!" (transforms into a Transformer movie, leading to a 15-minute, incomprehensible action sequence)
      E: "A dollar." (transforms into a clerk who gets asked that question a hundred times a day at a store named DOLLAR Tree--actually, he said it calmly)
      F: "A tree. Did you not see the name?! We only accept payment in TREES!" Customer: "I want to see your manager!" Clerk: "PAUL? Customer wants to see you." (huge thudding footsteps are heard looming closer) CLERK: "Oh, here's Mr. Bunyan now!" Manager's gigantic head bursts through wall: "TREES! WHERE ARE YOUR TREES?! BABE THE BLUE OX MUST FEEEED!!"
      When he heard "a dollar," the guy dropped the stocking and walked out. Must've thought he was at 50 Cent Shrub.

11/26

11/28

      Letterman interviews Headroom:

      

      

11/29

      That's going to have to pass for the Stupidest Things Ever Said quote. And it counts, as that's what I get when I try to use Gmail. Or Hotmail. Or Firefox Help.
      I don't know. AT&T sold my service to somebody called Frontier, and there have been issues all month as they transition. I assume it's them, but I don't know. I get a lot of "A script has stopped working" messages now. Last night I downloaded the usual iTunes update, and it replaced my search engine. Whev, swicthed it back. But I immediately noticed that AdBlock stopped working. Then I couldn't get into Gmail. "This Connection is Untrusted." What, Gmail?!
      This morning, rushing to work, Gmail was still verboten, and my connection slowed to a crawl, as it has been doing every several days as Frontier switches over. Usually a reboot fixes it.
      Turning it back on after work, the exact same thing. Rebooted, exact same thing. Except with something about "Proxy server not connecting to network," and WTF is a proxy server? Some sites loaded, some didn't. Rebooted again, and grabbed the phone to call Fronti--Oh. Customer service closes at 6, thanks. I saw that iTunes had included some shit called Stormwatch, apparently a cloud-based ad service. Well, that's where AdBlock went. I deleted it, but it took half an hour. I rebooted again, and now nothing worked. The pox of proxy servers. I noticed a new file on my desktop, "Old Firefox Data." Wait, what? Top of the list: AdBlock. Explorer worked even worse, so, running out of ideas, I rebooted one last time, thinking "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting..."
      And it was back to where I started, most sites reachable, but incredibly slowly. I guess I'll wait until customer service finally answers the phone. But I really hope it's on Frontier's end, as if I could pick one time of the year to NOT buy a computer...
      Me to Jess, 2 weeks ago: "Knowing my luck, my computer will break on Black Friday!"
      Feel free to send me any advice (after Sunday, when I know more), but put it in the comments. I have a feeling I won't be reading my email much. I'm guessing it's not iTunes, since I don't think they give me a download that kept me from accessing their store.
      Okay. As of now (1AM Sunday) things seem to work. So I guess it's all my AWESOME NEW INTERNET PROVIDER. All Praise to my new Corporate Overlord!

11/30

12/1

      I'm still finding and fixing things that the iTunes "update" did to Firefox. (Which you may not know about, since Saturday I left the "newest" tag open to go to Friday) I guess it changed my Options to whatever the default is, in order to delete AdBlockPlus. My ISP going haywire Saturday didn't help. It didn't work perfectly until 1130PM Saturday, and it started going nutzoid at 1130PM Friday..."Hmm," I thought. I expected disruptions to service as they switched compnaies, but I expected them at 2AM for a couple hours, not for 24 hours on Saturday. My only other choice besides Frontier are the cable companies, and fuck no I'm not putting my internet in their greasy hands.
      I was aggravated enough Saturday at home that I left out the day's work frustrations. I was doing my orders the day before Thanksgiving, second busiest day of the year in liquor stores, when I saw an on-hand of "-1" for Yuengling 1/2 kegs. (That's the new hot, cheap beer that just came into CT in October. The company's owner so hated CT's "3-Tier" system--Manufacturer to Distributor to Retail, with states taxes at every step--that he refused to sell here. And he kept his promise for 30 years! He gave his children shares of the family-owned company stock, and as soon as they had enough shares, they fired their father. Trickle down economics and family values, the heart of the Republican philosophy!)
      I started to question it, but--we sold a keg we didn't have, on a day I worked, and 3 days later no one's said anything? Trust me, between the lackapates I work with and our cheap-jack inventory program, I just ignored it as some weird error.
      And you already saw where this is going. On Saturday, "We're here for our keg." Nobody knew anything about it. The owner didn't know anything. I tried to give them a keg of Bud Light, as that was the closest thing we had, except for the fact Yuengling Light tastes like it has a taste, and Bud Light doesn't. (If you're wondering, "Yuengling" is pronounced "Yingling," and not like someone from Copenhagen [the city] hocking up a big phlegmy blob of throat butter after chewing Copenhagen [the chewin' tobaccy]--"YOOON-Gling!! hhhack, haaack, ptui!" chin wipe)
      She wasn't happy--Yuengling was what they wanted. I called, in an act of sheer desperation, our salesman and--The Fuck. Taped to a piece of cardboard where I was looking into space as I called was the order. There are things taped to that that have been there for years. What one does when one orders beer is either clip it to my folder a whole 5 feet away, or TELL SOMEBODY. She told nobody. Her little secret.
      I eventually defused the situation with the Bud Light, $11 worth of free ice, and a lot of apologies. And rising anger.
      At the coworker who should've known better and had left for the day? No. There were only 2 of us there, there was a line forming, and I was trying to figure out how to fix this, and the other coworker yelled "You need to call Jean RIGHT NOW, and tell her!" I said "Unless she has the keg in her garage, I don't see what good that would do!" And she Would Not Shut Up About It. This is her thing: If you can't make yourself look good, make other people look bad. She's like a toddler; she likes nothing better than getting other people in trouble--as long as it's not traced back to her. ("You need to tell the boss about this!" Me: "I wasn't here, you were. You tell him." Her: "Er, umm...")
      And she just wouldn't give it up, line of customers and all. I finally told her "Just let it GO!" And she wouldn't.
      When I didn't immediately call up J., she just kept ragging on everything I did. She did this last year, when she was just an angry bitch and instigator of trouble from Thanksgiving to New Years, loudly complaining to customers about her coworkers even when the coworker was standing next to her. I finally snapped "Get off my back!" and sent her home.
      Today, J. was absolutely mortified about her dumb mistake, but she met the woman she took the order from yesterday, and joked " I think we're now best friends!" She was a new customer, but I think we (and especially I) didn't lose her. And the bitchy one was as sweet as could be all today, thank Gourd. I had already decided "Just ignore her this year," which is easy to say on a day off, when someone isn't in your face all day and you've a cat in your lap. Somebody must've said something to her yesterday, because I don't think she realizes just how thin the ice her job's on. We'll see how it goes. I never look for conflict, but I will always meet it if it comes.

12/2

      Since I am a stereotypical male shopper, I go straight to what I want at the grocery (or any) store in order to get the hell out. I go buy Flavored Chips and Brand-Name Beer to watch the Big Game with Regional Team! Go, New England Selkies! They're playing either the California Almonds or the Skaro Daleks, both top-rated teams in That Sport, but I always root for the under-seal.
      But I passed a table of Thanksgiving clearance items at Stop & Shop, and thought "Thanksgiving clearance is a thing?" It was little boxes of the exact same height, the exact same color scheme. They were of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Pumpkin Spice Flavor.
      I don't know how many boxes come in a case of Mac&Cheese, but I'm guessing that this was "all the ones the store bought." Yes, I think we have finally reached peak pumpkin spice.
      The next thing I went to buy was melatonin, which is a chemical your brain emits during deep sleep to keep that sleep deep. The BOGO one was completely gone, but so was my stock of melatonin, and if you take it long enough in pill form, your brain slacks off on making it. Should I get the full price one, or the $2 off kind? I was about to grab the $2 off kind, but then I saw that it was, gourd knows why, strawberry flavored. Am I supposed to chew it? Then I got scented cat litter, because they didn't have a big enough box of unscented.
      So I was wrong. Next year, there'll be melatonin and cat litter with pumpkin spice!

12/3

      Hey, Condo Ass? You took out the washers and dryers 2 weeks ago like you said you would. But you said they'd be replaced the next day. I have about a week of clean underwear left, Condo Ass.
      (There's a laundromat just up the road, but I'd rather spend 2 hours on my computer at home than staring at the rinse cycle so that someone doesn't steal my socks)

      Tis the season to sell rich beers! We have a couple of them. There's the rarely-available Dogfish 120 IPA, which we sell for a mere $9.99. Per bottle. A 12 ounce bottle, or 355ml if you live in a civilized country. Since our salesman got 3 cases to sell to his 60 stores, the New Owner said "It's not like anyone in town is going to undersell us!"
      And there's Goose Island Bourbon County, just $24.29 per 4-pack. We sold out of it last year. We sold one the other day to a guy wearing a "CATS R COOL" shirt.
      It just hit me that I need to tell everyone a caveat about the other 4-pack that's insanely expensive, but also not overpriced (23% profit margin, or what we make on a 6-pack of fucking Bud), the Chimay Tripel. It's unpasteurized. So you don't want to gift-wrap that and leave it under the tree for 2 weeks, unless that's what you do with your milk. At best, it'll taste awful; at worst, make somebody sick. "Merry Christmas! I gave you the gift of explosive diarrhea! The gift that keeps on giving! You know that song, The 12 Days of Christmas? That's going to have a whole new meaning for you! 'On the fifth day of Christmas, my colon gave to me--FIVE MASS-IVE SHITS'..."

12/4

      I rolled onto my back Tuesday morning. The cats know that it means I'll be dragging myself from bed soon, and their breakfast will follow. I was half-awake and had a towel over my eyes (to keep out the light), but I distinctly felt footsteps coming towards me. Since DJ was by my shoulder and Byron lives in his aerie, it must've been Killsy. I petted her, thinking "How weird. She hasn't come to the bed and gotten this close in years!" She and Byron used to both sleep with me every night. Then kitten DJ decided that meant "They want to plaaaay!" and would run after them. He stopped doing that years ago, so I'm not sure why they didn't come back. The last several times, all he did was raise his head and go back to sleep. But I kept groggily petting her. Wait...is that a lump? Don't panic, check it quietly when you get up.
      She soon offered her belly for pets, and, no, nothing. Good! Since I'd thought before bed how I missed having her sleep with me, and I never looked...maybe I drifted off and dreamed it?

      Today I started the computer, and--What now?! I have it set to open 5 windows, one with GMail and 4 with free charity donation sites. Only 2 of the 5 were what they should be. Two I last looked at about 30 hours earlier. Oh, and while AdBlock Pro was in my toolbar, everything loaded ultraslow, seemingly because of all the ads every site now had. I rebooted both computer and modem. That did nothing. So I tried again, after trying to download AdBlock for the 2nd time this week. This worked. Who's stuffing these ads in here? Is it Frontier, my super-awesome new ISP? If my experience is remotely typical, the cable companies are getting a lot of new customers.
      Killsy came up for pets, so of course I obliged and
      Fuck.
      I did not dream the lump.
      So, off to the vet early next week. She's eating and drinking and super playful and active, if skinnier than usual (which I put to the playing and running), but I need to have this checked out, pronto. My touching it didn't seem to bother her, much like Byron's now removed benign growth.
      Hmm. She just gave herself a thorough leg bath, and paid neither more nor less attention to the lump's area above her right shoulder. So I think it's not an emergency, but it will be taken care of within days.

      In less important news: Information is scanty so no link, but the next James Bond movie is titled SPECTRE and involves a character named Blofeld.

      And now she just outwrestled and chased a cat 10 years younger and at least 5 pounds heavier.

12/5

      I made an appointment for Killsy at work today. At home, she still won't give me a look at her growth. But by feel and location, I'm calling to cancel tomorrow. I think it's a scab from where crazy DJ bit her while playing. And not long after I thought that, he came up and bit her in the exact but opposite same spot. Twice. I think we can rule out surgery.
      The real health problem in the house is that DJ has become such a balloon, I should rent him out to MetLife. He seems to be eating obsessively from Byron's food bowl in the Sovereign State of Byronsylvania, so I think it's just because that's one of the only time Byron allows his former bestie to be near him. I'll switch to the senior food, I guess, but the 2 seniors are very slim and fit. But DJ's become the size of a moose that eats only mousse. And I just bought regular Purina One 2 weeks ago, only 3 months after giving Jess a bag of (then) unneeded IAMS Diet. I guess she'll be getting another bag of food for her ferals the next time we meet.

12/6

12/7

      Rock On! How to Throw a Punk Rock-Inspired Party. Because nothing says "Punk Rock" like Martha Stewart.

12/8

      CT liquor stores are legally required to not have public bathrooms. Because people may buy booze, drink it in there, and then drive. At my last job, they were replacing ceiling tiles and found about a hundred empty nip bottles up there. Yeah, somebody stood on the toilet rather than just stick the empty in their pocket and toss it later.
      We do allow people in our bathrooms, however. What amazes me is that the simple instruction "It's the white door on the right" while pointing at it always, always leads to someone walking to the white door, and then through the black door on the left. Yes, the white door has an "Employees Only" sign, but so does the black one. The black one has a "slop sink," all the cleaning supplies despite being horribly filthy, and also ladders, a hose, snow shovels, a vacuum cleaner, sometimes a lawn mower, old signs and the bike that magically appeared there one day. Not one person has ever been able to explain the bike, or why it's still there. Or why "left black door" is synonymous with "right white door."

      For no reason other than it was slow, as a customer signed his credit card slip, I noticed that his first name was Hugh and his middle initial was G. Sadly, his last name was not Rection.

      Coworker, to customers about another customer: "She worked in a prison as a--what's the word--as a mermaid!" Customer: "...Yeah, I bet they see a lot of mermaids in prison." Word she wanted: "Matron." "The Little Matron," that was a Disney movie, right? With the hit song "Under the Penal Code"?

12/9

12/10

12/11

12/12

12/13

      I went to my Mom's place after work yesterday, and parked behind a Honda CRV. It had a bumper sticker that read "Drum Machines Have No Souls." I rang her doorbell, heard a girlish giggle. Aha!
      My most beloved of the nieces and nephews, Cassie, was there! With her boyfriend Nick. He's a drummer, and owner of the CRV. I found out later that they were going to yell Surprise! but I figured it out before the door was opened.
      But a nice surprise it was. Since I sat out Thanksgiving, I hadn't seen Cassie in a long time, and because she's working Xmas, I won't again for another. She has all the artistic talent in the extended family. She first showed me her latest project, while wearing her earlier one, painted Chuck Taylors. The toes had Ariel and Eric from the Disney classic, The Little Matron. Her latest is painting rubber ducks. Some anime ones, some based on horror movies, all remarkably detailed. She also showed me some on her paintings on her phone, and she just keeps getting better. I think she's 19? Nick's band The Bonsai Trees has expanded, at least in the studio (he's the one on the right).
      It was a fun evening--the 81 year old, the 55 year old, the super-creative teenagers--with jokes that would go over several of our heads. Cassie & Nick work at a restaurant that hosts Rotary meetings. My Dad was president of the local club back then--it was a social group of small businessmen (only men, then), and it was how networking was does then. They're not the big deal they were then, but they still have meetings. They must be pushing 80-90 by now. Some are very nice, some are...less so. One said to Cassie, "I like you! That's why I'm not trying to look up your skirt!" Jesus, Don Draper. What's next, "Notice how I'm not dropping my fork now?!"
      Of course, as this is Mom, way more food than 4 skinny people could eat, with me taking some home. It would be nice if she & Nick came over every time we saw our beloved Mom/Grammy.
      On the corner by her condo entrance, I said "The fuck?!" There was an Xmas scene of biblical proportions, assuming the bible guys had $10K-per-month electric bills. I couldn't look closely, as I was turning left. As I was leaving, I couldn't turn look because I was turning right, and the left lane was backing up into one of the busiest roads in town. Here's a shitty video someone did of this very restrained scene.

      

      

12/14

      Help Pick Connecticut Person Of The Year. You outlanders may not recognize all the names, but it's short and funny.

      Apropos nada:

      

      

12/15

12/16

      Re the above: When I was a little kid, I thought that islands just floated in the ocean like big rafts. They didn't move because they were that big.
      But only islands in the Pacific. I had no opinion on the ones right off of CT's coast, like Long Island (pronounced "lawn-guy-land" here). This may be because that most of my knowledge of the Pacific Islands was supplied by that noted documentary about Gilligan.
      Note that I said I was a little kid. Not in Congress. You don't need a worldview beyond a child's to get into that place.

      Kill a bunch of people and be brown, you're a terrorist! Lock down the airports, increase surveillance, launch drone attacks! Do it while white: you're a lone nut, and we can't do anything about those crazy people, certainly nothing as insane as increase background checks on gun buyers.
      I thought that was an American thing, but apparently not:

12/17

      If I'm in bed, so is DJ.
      I got out of bed early this morning to pee and get a drink of water--the circle of life, or at least the reason I have to get up to pee at night--and was laying in bed mostly awake. DJ sprawled himself across my chest and fell asleep. I can't sleep on my back, so I slowly started to turn over--since there's always him in bed, I turn slowly all the time. But he freaked at the first motion and bolted, digging his claws into my chin and left ear. I wryly commented "GAAAAH!!"
      My chin was bleeding, but since he did his tire burnout on beard, it stanched quickly. The ear, man, that fucking gushed. I ended up light headed and seeing spots before my eyes as I stumbled back to bed, ear wrapped in toilet paper.
      It was still wrapped when I started to wake up for real. DJ, who had wisely kept his distance until now, came into bed to nudge me awake. With a claw. "NO DON'T DON'T!" I calmly shrieked.
      After a shower, the ear doesn't look so bad. Not that I want this to happen again. His most frequent target for "Hey, wake up!" claw nudges are my eyes.

12/18

12/19

12/20

      Ugh. You know I like to mock stupidity, but guess who left 12/16 tagged as his page's newest? (hint: it wasn't you)

      Last week, a pair of frat boys brought in a keg and a tap to get the deposit back, $30 for each. It still had the tap in it, so I tried to remove it. I did. Well, for 3 seperate parts of it. It disintegrated.
      "You own that," I said, and gave them the deposit back only for the keg, not on the broken tap. They both had the look of kids caught trying to pretend that "It was that way when we got here...well, it was worth a shot."
      Some frat-wit must've done a keg stand on it. Funny: it was one of the cheap "pony taps" made mainly from plastic. It would've broken from a keg stand by a toddler. Funniest: the keg was half-full, meaning the party ended right there. I hope the $30 came from the keg-stander's pocket. Eh, the university's tuition is only $32,758 a year, I'm sure somebody's parents can afford a tap after paying that much to send an idiot to college.

      Oh gourd, Xmas music on the work radio station! (And every station--glad I have an iPod for the commute). I think that this year's Worst Xmas Song is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Which I hear every 2 hours, in a slightly different duet version. "Say, what's in this drink?" she sings near the end, right as the roofies kick in. Have a Holly Jolly Date Rape! Why is there no version sung by Bill Cosby?

12/21

      The USA is threatening the number one insane nuclear-armed country in the world (USA! Number Two! USA! Number Two!), North Batshitarea, over the most horrible terrorist act since Dick Cheney got frightened by a spider in his mansion and had it burned down. The worst Hitlers ever, including Hitler, made Sony lose money on a Seth Rogen movie.
      How many people died? None. In fact, this may have saved lives, given how many people watch a Seth Rogen movie and die laughing! Or how many watch a Seth Rogen movie and wish they were dead.
      We must risk international chaos in order to keep the CEO of Sony's annual bonus a dollar higher. Christ, let's just change the country's name to the Corporate States of America and admit it. We already invaded a country to boost Halliburton's stock prices. We have non-stop wars just so our taxes go to buy more fucking bombs. Let's bomb our own cities, and pay corporations to rebuild them, so that they can destroy them again! Those aren't bombs falling on you, those are profits trickling down!

      In the liquor store (or as they are quaintly called in New England, the package store), someone asked me if they could buy bubble wrap. Another asked the owner if he could buy stamps. He said, "I think they're taking 'package store' too literally!"

      A customer is a schoolteacher. She took weeks off from work because her dog tripped her and she fell on her head. Days after she returned to work, she called out because her dog tripped her again. Yesterday, she came in twice, because "My dog broke the bottle when he jumped on the table." Y'know, my family dog was a cocker spaniel, and in 15 years, I don't remember her jumping on anything higher than a couch. I said, "She sure has a lot of dog-related accidents."
      And today she came in with a bandaid on her head that wasn't there yesterday. No one asked her about her dog. A coworker said "She gets injuries that don't look like she fell." Does she get so drunk she falls a lot, or lives with someone who gets drunk and beats her? We feel like we're enabling something, but don't know what.
      Sorry, but not all my posts end funny.       
      

      


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