Monday, February 28, 2011

Perils of defered maintenance

Contemplating our political goings-on is causing me abdominal wretching.  I'm getting tired of writing about it.  Even the "good guys" are pizzing me off:  Like the R's in Congress crowing about saving $100b in the latest continuing resolution, when it was really $60b.  "But it was pro-rated!  It would have worked out to $100b if it had applied to the whole year!" they try to explain.  Shaddup.  I don't want to hear about "taking a scalpel" or "taking a hatchet" to the budget.  I want to hear about some multi-armed Hindu goddess of destruction going after the budget with a thermonuclear chainsaw in each hand. 

See what I mean?  I didn't even want to get started on all this bilge but I couldn't help it. 


No politics.  No politics.  What then to talk about?  Oh, how about my home improvement trevails?  See, this was my "catch up on all the stuff I've procrastinated" weekend of doom.  It went like this:

Project #1: Wife complains that light in laundry room is not working.   "So what?  I never even go in that room" I start to tell my wife, but then manage to stifle myself.  Saying that would be the kind of thing that'll earn a guy a grievous wife-inflicted injury.  Plus, I was getting tired of wearing "recycled" clothes...  Start with the obvious.  Burned out bulb? Replaced the "you can pry the incandescent lamp from my cold, dead hands" light bulb.  Nada.  Still darker than the ace of clubs up a coal miner's rectum at midnight.  Tripped breaker?  All breakers functioning within normal operating parameters.  Hmmm...  Figure out how to hold multimeter, probe the center and outer contacts, and flip the light switch on, all at the same time without getting a faceful of sparks?  Got juice (and no sparks!  phew!).  Hmmm some more...  Take the socket's smooshed-down center contact and bend it so it'll actually TOUCH the contact on the crappy made-in-China lightbulb?  WINNER!  Let there be light!

One project down, two to go.  So far no blood, smoke or cussing...

Project #2Figure out why the vacuum stinks of burnt rubber and is barfing dust all over the room.  First of all, I want to know who decided that all modern vacs have to be bagless.  Oh, duh.  I know.  The same despicable individual that wants to make me buy an $8 filter instead of an 89 cent vac bag.  Curse him!  Take vac apart, remove several cubic kilometers of dog hair from hoses, ducting, filter, and every other nook and cranny in the darned thing?  Dust barfing continues unabated.  Belt?  Belt is OK.  Dig some more, learn that there is a secondary filter that is so confunkulated that no air will go through it.  Dust-laden air is forced AROUND this filter for it is so full it is basically airtight.  Replace filter.  WINNER! 

Two projects down, one to go.  So far no blood, smoke, and only mild mutterings...

Project #3:  Replace the broken kitchen sink faucet.  The base of this thing broke a couple weeks ago.  It still worked fine, it just wobbled a lot.  I went through this same process about two years ago.  I s'pose that's what I get for buying the cheapest Home Depot piece o' junk faucet last time.  Turn the little twisty valve to shut off the cold water.  Likewise for the hot water.  Double check that both valves are all the way off.  Disconnect the little brass nuts that hook the flex hoses to the the faucet.  Remove the little wingnuts that hold the faucet to the sink.  Gee, this seems easier than last time.  Maybe I just have WAY TOO MUCH practice at it or something.

This is where I go full retard full "Tool Man Taylor"...

Dang, the hot-side flex line doesn't want to come out of its fitting.  Yank. Yank. YANK.  Keep in mind, I'm chest-deep in the cupboard area under the sink.  Flex line come free.  GEYSER!  Hey, I shut the valve off, this shouldn't be happening!  2.5 year old grandson is watching.  "Gramma!  Gramma!  Uh-oh!  Grampa bwoke it!"  So I try to block the stream with my thumb.  Now getting a shower instead of a bath.  Thankfully the water heater is at the far other end of the house, so this water is still pretty much cold.  Speaking of that water heater, did I mention that I HATE running out of hot water?  To fight this, a while back I popped the access cover off the water heater and turned the thermostat on that puppy up to "magma."  Anyway, back under the sink I'm still getting soaked and the water is starting to warm up quickly.  I try to stuff the flex line back in its fitting but it just laughs in my wet face at that idea.  Now the water is officially scalding and I...

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:16 NKJV

...I dropped an f-bomb.  Maybe more than one.  I haven't done that in a long time.  So I'm just letting y'all know that sometimes I ain't so saintly.  Especially when I'm getting hosed with wickedly hot water.

My wife comes running out and I was about to tell her that she had to run outside and shut the whole house off.  Then I remember that we're in a duplex with separate water meters, so there'd be a 50/50 (read: "100%") chance that she'd shut off the wrong one and I'd be boiled way past al dente by the time it was off.  So I had to give up on blocking the flow and run across the house and shut off the hot water at the water heater.  Which is what I should have done to start with, but whodathunk that the valve under the sink would suck so much?

On the bright side, putting in the new faucet went smoothly after that.  And the lake in the kitchen cleaned up fairly easily. 

Three projects down, none to go.  No blood or smoke.  Just some minor scalding and a lot of bad words.  And maybe I should just stick to making fun of liberals.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ranting: It's theraputic!

Still haven't totally kicked this bug.  I keep having my sleep interrupted by heartburn and spastic fits of coughing.  That leaves me a little bit sleep deprived, and just a little tenser the next day.  Which leads to more heartburn and more sleep deprivation...  What he have here is "unsustainable" if I can borrow that phrase.  (Actually, hippie, shut up.  I'll steal your buzzwords any time I feel like it.)  Each day is like a couple more ounces on the trigger.  And the sear is starting to get fidgety.  I might just go off.  I may even totally lose all self control and post a long rambling rant on a blog that nobody reads!  Take that, cruel world!!

So, the weatherman's been hyping everybody up about snow and cold.  Yesterday the snow finally showed up.  About 4", which is pretty good for around here.  Wet snow, which quickly compacts to ice.  I actually like driving in it.  No sarcasm, really.  I dunno if it is my Manly Sense of Invulnerability or what, but I think it is fun.  Like, what fun would it be if every single time you fired, you put it right in the middle of the X-ring?  The challenge of making the bullet go where you want is most of the fun.  Likewise with cars.  The car doing exactly what you want at all times gets kinda old.  I like sliding around on ice.  Like Brian Boitano without all the ghey costumes.  It's pretty awesome.

'Cept most everybody else in town is a moron.  They can't drive.  Fortunately(?), they're aware of their moron status and refuse to do any dang thing when there is a slight chance of snow or ice anywhere.  Which brings the whole town to a grinding halt.  More road for me, but c'mon.  Last night the University and many other public entities declared a preemptive "ice day" and told everybody to wait at least two hours before coming to work.  Well, the snow and ice were all long gone by yesterday afternoon.  But the ice fatwa had already been decreed and there's no turning back now.

Which means most of my biggest customers are ordering a whole lot of nothing and it is slow as heck in the shop.  That means I can no longer justify procrastinating on a job I really don't want to do...  There's a high-falutin' private school here with a "donor tree" where people get their names engraved on an anodized green aluminum "leaf" when the make their donations.  Yay.  Anodizing a sheet of aluminum gives it color, and also produces a gemstone-hard layer on the aluminum that's only a few molecules thick.  Engraving on it sucks.  It takes a fair bit of pressure to get the diamond bit through the anodizing but the aluminum underneath is way stinking soft so once the diamond "breaks through" it wants to go too deep.  Like trying to engrave a @*#^$ hardboiled egg.  Annoying.  But wait, there's more!  They're running out of blank leaves and need a bunch more.

A guy with a die cutter could make them in a couple minutes.  I don't have a die cutter.  And even if I did, it's pretty darned unlikely that I'd have a 1.625" x 3.5" elliptical die.  So I have to mill them out on the engraving machine.

Real milling machine at work

But I don't have one of those.

I have a little engraver that kind of thinks it is a milling machine.  It's way slower and doesn't have the liquid coolant.  Nor much for chip collection.  So now I'm flecked in little aluminum fragments and look like friggin' Ziggy Stardust.  It there is any truth to that rumor that aluminum contributes to Alzheimer's, I'm in big troub

Whoa!  What just happened?  And why am I standing in the parking lot?

Anyway.  The anodized aluminum doesn't mill worth crap.  Have you ever tried to precisely bisect... an Oreo... with a Sawz-All?  That's what I've been up against.  Hard shell and gooey middle and lots of hand filing to clean up the edges.

All so that some Lexus-driving putz can congratulate himself every time he sees his name engraved on a fake leaf.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The 'How much random junk can I put in one post?' Post

Cool vid of US/Israeli joint project to intercept inbound missiles...

Closing Velocity has the more biggie version and all the backstory. If this thing works as well as it looks, maybe it makes barry's weaseling out of the missile shield in eastern Europe less painful. (Or maybe even smart?)


I wish somebody close to Murmur K'daffy would tell him that Gargoyles sunglasses stopped being cool when The Intimidator died. "Colonel, it has been 10 years! Dude!"


November was buttnumbingly cold.  December was wet to the point of minor flooding.  January and most of February have been so mild here that my springtime hayfever is already starting to tease me.  Now AccuWeather says we're looking at chunky rain, but the guy on the radio says there'll be 2-4 inches of snow, and the National Weather Service says we'll get 5".  Of course the feds rarely get anything with numbers right, so who knows.  Anyway, when sending me your monthly tribute money put an extra stamp on it just to make sure I get it OK.


In my house, the life expectancy of a decent digital camera is about 3 months.  My Olympus D620L continues to work flawlessly, however.  It was a kick-butt camera a dozen+ years ago but positively sucks by today's standards.  And it goes through batteries faster than Michelle goes through a rack of ribs.  Dunno why I even still have it, except I hate throwing away stuff that still works.  Why can't anything that takes a decent picture be as rugged?


AutoTune was invented so black people could yodel.


If I could draw like a political cartoonist, I'd draw a hilarious pic of Wisconsin democrats running into Illinois from the west while chased by the Tea Party.  And Indiana democrats running into Illinois from the east.  Then the two packs of running 'crats would crash into each other 'cuz they were looking over their shoulders at their pursuers instead of where they were going.  And their fat ugly faces would collide and become even more misshapen.  But I can't draw, so use your imagination.



Seriously, who doesn't just love yodeling?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Barry sickening

Haven't posted since Monday.  Not that there is much unusual about that.  But instead of lethargy and/or indifference and/or writer's block, I've been dealing with a nasty case of "what goes down must come up."

So far the poptart I ate this morning is staying put, so I think I've turned a corner...

Really grody stuff for the brave below the fold:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Corvallis drives me nuts

Remember a couple months ago when that Somali punk tried to blow up the Christmas tree lighting in Portland?  And then the next day his mosque here in Corvallis got torched? 
Mohammed the Somali Jihad Elf

Well, yesterday was "can't we all get along" day here in Cowvallis.  About 200 people gathered outside the mosque to participate in the planting of a "Peace Tree".  (SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING:  Gag-worthy multi-culti liberal crap at the link).  Supposedly there was some 5 year old kid who was so heartbroken by the arson that he decorated a brick and offered it to the Imam for part of the reconstruction and everybody cried the Happy Tears of Unity. 

Question:  What kind of ridiculous hippie mutant upbringing must a kid be subjected to, in order to already feel the pain of the poor muzzies at AGE FIVE!?!

Follow-up question:  What kind of ridiculous hippie mutant parents would make their kid paint a brick so that they, the parents, could get their names in the paper?

But ya know what really gets me?  Those 200 people didn't fit outside in the mosque's neatly manicured landscaping dirt with some bark dust on it.  And those dirty heathen sinners certainly aren't holy enough to be allowed inside.  Sooooo they spilled out onto the street.  In such numbers that the cops had to close Kings Blvd. 

I live on Kings Blvd.  I drive on it daily.  I had to take a one-block detour on my own [bleeping] street to get to Papa's Pizza for my granddaughter's 1st birthday party.  The gall of these people! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Taxman

Just finished my taxes.  Hallelujah!  I don't owe!  Well, I mean, I don't owe any more than they've already jacked withheld.  I'm getting small refunds from both Oregon and the feds!  WOooOOoo!

See, three years ago my tax situation suddenly changed and I found myself owing over $3000 that I didn't expect.  That pretty much kicked my fiscal rearend.  I cranked up the withholding amounts to make sure it didn't happen again.  But it did happen again.  So I cranked up the withholding even more.  And it happened yet again last year, but "only" by about $1400.  Withholding ratcheted up even higher last year and finally - finally! - I've crossed back into refund territory. 

It's party time!  Well, actually, it would be party time if I wasn't so pooped out from working two jobs to pay the stinking taxman.  But it is progress!

PS - the recommended withholdings on the W-4 are full of crap.  Jus' sayin'.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Barry confusing events

National Security Council meeting. 

[Obama] "Guys, we need some solid intel on Egypt.  Nobody seems to know what is going on and it is embarrassing.  Mubarak comes out last night and says he's sticking around, which is the polar opposite of what we've been saying.  What are the conditions on the ground over there?"

[CIA Chief Panetta, pointing at flatscreen] "That TV over there get CNN?"

[Obama, facepalm]

[Obama] "Clapper!  Then you come out saying that the Muslim Brotherhood is peaceful and mostly secular.  How could you say such a thing?"

[Nat'l Sec Advisor Clapper] "Back when I was in college, I had a muslim roommate who was in the MB.  He was really cool.  One time I gave him a pork rind and he didn't even get mad enough to kill me.  All he did was light me Reeboks on fire.  He had a great sense of humor."

[Obama] "Well!  When I was a kid in Indonesia, the MB kids used to pull my ears.  One time they made me sit on an anthill.  And if I was late to prayer they'd hit me in the face with the chalkboard eraser.  I don't like them." [pause] "It is apparent that you guys are useless."  [presses button on intercom] "Get Biden in here.  He's the one with all the foreign policy know-how."

[intercom voice] "As soon as we get him untangled from the swingset, we'll send him right up."

[Obama] "Thank you."

Several minutes go by...

[Biden enters, singing] "Barack like an Egyptian"

[Obama] "Please, Joe!"

[Biden] "OK.  Maybe you'll like this one better.  'Born in ol' Nairobuh, moved to Illinois-uh, King"

[Obama, interrupting] "Knock it off!"

[Biden] "OK.  I couldn't think of anything that rhymes with 'Tut' anyway.  I was pretty much stuck right there."

[Obama] "So you go on TV the other day and say that Mubarak isn't really a dictator.  Explain."

[Biden] "He's a notch or two below dictator.  Maybe more like a 'putztator' or something like that.  He isn't so bad.  Not like Saddam or Sarah Palin or people like that."

[Obama] "In you foreign-policy-expert opinion, what should we do?"

[Biden reaches for remote, turns TV to CNN]

[CNN talking head] "This just in.  President Hosni Mubarak has resigned his office.  The streets of Cairo are full of rejoicing!"

[Biden] "Dang.  Didn't see that coming at all."

[Panetta, Clapper] "Neither did we."

[Obama] "So now what?"

[Biden, Panetta, Clapper] "Dunno.  Who's up for some beerpong?"

[Obama, laughing] "Number 1, make it so!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easily digested nuggets of news

Shamelessly stolen from iOTW
"Keep Mubarak in...
...Kick Mubarak out

Keep Mubarak in...
...then express a lot of doubt

Got my thumb up my bum
while Cairo's burnin' down

That's what it's all about!"

"We are absolutely serious about signaling that we are serious about sending a message that says we are serious about making budgets cuts.  Seriously."

"I did not resign because of the 'shirtless pics/ happily married/ Craigslist slut' so-called 'scandal.'  I resigned because, OK, gimme a second... This is hard... I resigned because, like, if they ever made a movie about Will Ferrel going to Congress, he'd look, I mean, dangit, OK...

...I quite because I look a lot like Will Ferrel and I just can't stand it any longer."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Obama, please zip it

Why, barry, why? Why did you have to flap your yap? Your beloved Chick-ah-go Bearsss already lost, so this would have been the PERFECT time to stay mute.

But no!  Staying mute is not an option for this grubworm.

The Immovable Object:  Pittsburgh Steelers defense

The Irresistable Force:  Shloppy kiss from Princess Barri

Now my Steelers have the curse of Obama on them.  Grraa!!  Who is able to overcome the ObamaCurse?  Every team he has rooted for has crapped out.  Every.Single.One.  Will the curse be finally broken?  Will the sun shine anew on our fair land?  Is the prodigious might and towering strength of the Steelers enough?  Can this be the ending of Obama's fell powers?

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Egyptian violence

Good Evening.  This is Anderson Cooper, live in Cairo with the latest updates about the present unrest and violence.  Let's get an on-the-street opinion from one of the locals.  That guy right over there...

Death to infidels!  Death to outfidels!  Death to Joooos! Death to Yankee imperialists!  Death to Red Sox imperialists!  Death to Shiites!  Death to Sunnis who aren't the exact same sect as me!

 Mr. Local Guy on the Arab Street, what are your thoughts about Mubarak and this revolt against his presidency?

Shut up!  You play for the wrong team!  That is an abomination!

Why did you hit me?  That wasn't very nice!  I assure you that I play for neither team.  I am only a neutral observer.

Shut up!  You assume a wide stance!  That is an abomination!

But, I don't get what you're...

Shut up!  When you travel, you pack clothing.  Also fudge.  This is an abomination!

Please stop hitting me.  Please.  Can you just answer some questions without hitting me?

Shut up!  You putt from the rough!  This is an abomination!

Now on that one you're flat wrong!  I chip from the rough!  But sometimes I do putt around the fringe.

Shut up!  When people at a basketball game say "swish" they are talking about you.  It is an abomination!

You've stopped hitting me. Is that because you are ready to embrace tolerance and democracy?

No! It is because my hand is sore!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

People like me. They really, really like me!

Yesterday I round-filed two posts that were just too weak to publish.  One was about barrycare being found unconstitutional.  It had an animated .gif of a happy dog but that was about all it had going for it.  Everything else about that post sucked.  The other postus delicti was a parody about Pinch Sulzberger figuring out how to boost newspaper readership by using "snortable" (like scratch-n-sniff) ink that would get the reader high (and addicted), with Charlie Sheen as a very willing spokesperson for a new "read you local paper" ad campaign.  Yeah... Well... I thought that idea might have some legs but it went NOWHERE.  Turns out the "concept" was way funnier than the "execution."  Couldn't bring myself to click "publish."  Bye-bye, lame-o posts!

I've had ZERO ideas for anything to write about today, either...

But wait!  Hark!  What light through yonder inbox breaks?  An Award?  Yay!

See, fellow northwesterner Buckskins Rule finds me worthy of this:

I am thankful for this recognition for a couple reasons.  For one, it's just nice to be appreciated.  For another, it also helps allay some fears that Buckskin's the one that has been stalking me.  If he thinks I am stylish, that proves conclusively that he has never seen me before nor even been in my zip code.  I am NOT stylish.  I don't give a crap about style.  Neither am I fashionable.  I don't give even a tiny fraction of a crap about fashion.  So I can scratch Buckskins off my "possible stalker - be ready to singe this person with a traffic flare" list.  Phew!

Receiving this award comes with some conditions: I'm supposed to list 7 things about me, then list 15 good blogs I've recently encountered.  Those 15 bloggers will then be eligible for this award, if they likewise mention those 7 things and list 15 good blogs.  You can do the math... If each of those 15 cite 15 more and so on, that's 15n and n doesn't have to get very big before every last blog on earth has been mentioned.  How unfortunate it'll be for that last very blogger to receive this award - the one who realizes that there are no more blogs out there left to forward this award to, and this whole thing has been nothing but a viciously darwinian way of determining who is the very LEAST stylish blogger in the world.

So, here are some things about me that you probably don't know...
  1. When angered, I do not turn green.  The color I turn is really more of a chartreuse than a true green.  (Pantone 380C if you happen to have a color swatchbook handy.)
  2. People get really pissed when they find out I'm secretly a multibillionaire.
  3. In a parallel universe somewhere, there is a cool version of me - with a goatee.  In this reality, though, my face has a "bald spot" that renders a proper goatee quite impossible.
  4. I exceeded my daily allowance of long rambling punctuationless overly-complicated sentences early this morning but I won't let that stop me I'll just borrow some from the future and let my grandkids pay for it  Win the future, baby!
  5. #5 is still classified.  Sometime long after I'm dead and gone, maybe it will be safe to reveal.
  6. I'm increasingly annoyed by the mooselimbs but not quite chartreuse-annoyed.
  7. My biggest goal in life is to someday have a rifle cartridge named after me.  Something like .772 innomagnum.
And in no particular order, 15 blogs out the the jillions I try to keep up with.  Some of these aren't really "recent" discoveries but if you don't like it, maybe you should try being a little less judgmental!
  1. Black or White Is a Choice - Fellow Oregonian, so he gets the #1 spot
  2. King Shamus - Biting sarcasm, pop culture and KFC Double Downs
  3. Manhattan Infidel - His imagination knows no bounds
  4. Max Redline - Another Oregonian.  Good coverage of local issues. 
  5. Woodsterman - Been reading him a long time but too funny not to list
  6. Sentry Journal - Thoughtful news and commentary
  7. Conservative Hideout - Thoughtful news and commentary and I think Matt is a Steelers fan.
  8. OregonGuy - Thinking man's blog.  Well, most of the time
  9. Skunkfeathers - Outsmarting the scam artists.
  10. teresamerica - Thoughtful news and commentary
  11. Moogie's World - Life in the Big Easy
  12. The Javelina Bomb - Funny takes on current events, but aA had to tell me what a Javelina is.
  13. Pundit Press - News and commentary from the Jumping in Pools crew.
  14. Fleece Me - Thoughtful news and commentary
  15. Bob's Blog - He links me a lot which shows he has good taste!
Now git to clickin'!


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