Friday, January 27, 2012

Biden asks the important questions

Why is it, that no matter how thoroughly I pick my nose,
it is full again just a few minutes later?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hey, inno? Where's the funny?

Hopefully I'll get back to normal soon.  But today ain't the day.  Mucho back pain and sore fingers from ripping out waterlogged carpet.  The flood was pretty damaging.  It only got a couple inches inside the store, but the whole place now smells like a hardboiled diaperload.

Oh yeah, and the computer...

Yesterday I fired it up.  OK, I fired it up AFTER I hooked it to a new surge protector.  The dirty water in the old surge protector seemed to be causing a bit of a problem.  It booted!  Yay!  That's about all it did.  Got to the desktop and just sat there.  Well, I could move the mouse pointer around but that got old pretty quickly.  Rebooted.  Got to the desktop a little quicker.  Tried to launch the CD burning software.  Hang.  Reboot.  Could hear the tick-tick-tick of a struggling hard drive.  Must've been a ton of read errors, 'cuz it took about 10 minutes to get to the desktop.  Another 20 minutes or so for the burning app to launch.  Finally was able to get an up-to-date copy of all the junk created since the last backup.  Rebooted again for the heck of it.  Everything started to work normally.  Woooo!  Check email, print, browse the web.  Heck, even QuickBooks worked normally, and the company .qbf file is like 300+ megs!



Ratfart!  Took the hard drive to the shop, they confirmed it wouldn't even spin.  New HD time.  Oh, the joy of setting up Windows again... and re-installing all the drivers... and re-installing all the applications...  and restoring all the data...  Note to self:  when the moron at the PC shop puts the little Windows sticker (with the serial number) on the bottom of the PC case where it'll GET FREAKIN' WET AND UNREADABLE AFTER A FLOOD, write that number down somewhere and store it somewhere where it can't GET FREAKIN' WET AND UNREADABLE AFTER A FLOOD.  (Or, just put the PC on a high shelf when there is risk of flooding?.  -ed.     Hey ed, how about you just shut up?)

There was a time (like, 7 years ago) when I was *super* diligent about all this stuff.  Used to have a swappable HD *AND* a pair of drives with a RAID running so everything was perfectly cloned - two copies in the machine, plus the removable drive, which would get taken off-site.  Eventually, since we never seemed to need the backups, that ceased to be the habit. Even copying crucial things to a CD-R became uncommon.  Belated New Year's Resolutions:  1.  Make the boss-man do his backups no matter what.  2.  Don't let the boss-man set up his PC on the floor.  3a.  Find the person who installed that hard drive in the bottom-most bay.  3b.  Take that person deep-sea fishing and push him/her/it over the handrail.

Then came the carpet yanking.  Too bad it wasn't the stuff you'd put in your house that's just tacked down around the perimeter.  No, it had to be that commercial junk that is glued down solid.  Well, "solid" in the sense of "halfway unglued and all stretched out and wrinkled and muddy and smelling like a hardboiled diaperload."  Just enough glue, however, remained intact such that when the carpet came up, so did all the floor-leveling compound that was under it.  Ugh.  Did I mention that big logs of soggy carpet are kinda heavy?  Dang it Jim!  I'm an engraver, not a forklift!  Also, the particle-board junk in the toe-kick area under all the showroom displays was warping and falling apart.  And smelling like a hardboiled diaperload.  So everything is torn up.  The dumpster is overflowing and the "showroom" looks like the set of a cheesy disaster movie.

At least we don't have to re-key a ton of junk into QuickBooks, right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

I hate floodwater!!

Photo from KGW

Remember when Biff said "I HATE MANURE!!!"? 

Yeah.  Edit Menu > Find "MANURE" > Replace with "FLOODWATER".  File Menu > Save As > "AnnoyingBS.docx"

It isn't Minot or anything like that, but it is irritating.  Last week we had a fair bit of snow.  Our neighbors to the north up in Washington are still getting it.  But here, it suddenly turned to warm rain.  We got over 4" and it was 51o this morning.  Can you say "rapid snowmelt?"  Sure you can.  Parts of town are cut off.  Couple of mudslides.  Stepdaughter can't get to her house.  Water came up about 2" inside the signs-n-engraving shop.  Nothing really hurt by it.  Just messy.


The newest freakin' computer that we've only had since the end of December.  I wanted to go to Fry's and build a PC.  But boss man thought sending me to Fry's with the company Visa card might be, oh, just a bit of a risk.  So we bought one off-the-shelf from a place here in town.  We thought the water had peaked before it made it inside the shop, so no effort was made to lift the new PC from its place ON THE [BLEEP]ing FLOOR!  Came in this morning, and could tell from the ring-around-the-bathbub high water mark that water did indeed make it to the PC.  Took the cover off the side, and was saddened to find that THE MORON WHO ASSEMBLED IT PUT THE HARD DRIVE IN THE VERY LOWEST BAYNo other components got wet.  If the HD had been in ANY of the other half-dozen or so bays, it too would have stayed dry.  BUT NO.  Since we've only had it a couple weeks, we haven't even done a FREEKIN' BACKUP.   All we have is the klunky old HD out of the old PC with QuickBooks files that are now nearly a month out-of-date.


Monday, January 16, 2012

"Pissgate" and a theory.

It's old news now, that some Marines widdled on a dead taliban thug.  I'm firmly in the "don't care" camp on that one.  It doesn't bother me.  I don't want to institutionalize that behavior as acceptable, but neither do I think it is bad enough to warrant any kind of meaningful consequence.  To me, it should be like driving 70mph in a 65 zone - technically a violation, but generally ignored.

The outrage brought on by "pissgate" - both feigned and genuine - prompted me to do some thinking, though, and now I want to bounce that thought off you:

Compared to veterans of other wars, veterans coming home from the War on Terror seem to have a higher incidence of PTSD and/or troubles re-integrating into daily life.  I could be wrong about this.  That might not be the case at all.  But it certainly *seems* that way.  If it is true, the next question should be "why?"  Why are today's veterans more likely to come home with emotional problems?

In previous conflicts, the enemy was clearly depicted as enemy.  Check the propaganda of the time - the enemy was made worse than merely "enemy."  The enemy was made bestial, barbarous and barely human.  The enemy was given unflattering names like "Jap" and "Kraut" and "Gook" and "Hun bastard" whose entrails would make a "good lube for our tank tracks."  American society believed our troops to be better than the enemy's, and our cause greater than the enemy's cause.  Firebombing (or, gasp, nuking!) a city was acceptable.  If an American disrespected an enemy corpse, there wasn't outrage.  Because it was the corpse of a enemy!  Corpse of a quasi-human devil of an enemy! Americans lost in battle were mourned, and victors given a Hero's Welcome upon coming home.  The veteran comes home knowing he did right.

Contrast that with today.  Today is tolerance.  Today is diversity.  Today is moral equivalence.  Today it is unacceptable to much of America to assert one's culture is superior to the enemy's other's culture.  Today it is "proportionate response" instead of using martial skill and superior arms to the utmost. Kids are taught that all cultures and all religions are equally good.  And equally bad.  We are told that they are "just like us" and that their customs (however deviant or downright evil) should be respected.

What does all this PC junk do to our troops?  Instead of having confidence that the fight is just and the cause is noble, how does that Soldier or Marine not ask himself "What kind of person am I?  I've traveled halfway around the world to kill somebody whom I've been told over and over is just like me!  What kind of a monster am I becoming?"  The veteran comes home but there is no tickertape parade.  Instead there is doubt and angst and uncertainty that he did right.

Little wonder that today's veterans are more apt to suffer emotional problems, and that the (mostly harmless) act of urinating on a dead terrorist would prompt so much outrage.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Been diddlin' with the template

Don't think I'm done yet, but good enough for now.  Feedback appreciated.  Especially if it is too wide for your display.  It is too big for my old-school CRT at home, but I'm sure it'll be fine on my too-cool-for-you LCD at work.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not a blogiversary, but getting close

No AM "grunt" job today, and it is the middle of the post-Christmas dead period at my "real" job.  Boredom overload.  Which leaves me too much time to wander the political blogs.  Depression overload.  Gingrich, Perry, and to whomever else this may apply:  When you are finished curb-stomping your own dingleschnitzels, lemme know. 'Cuz I'd like a turn.

So then I started trying to write something funny about the Iranian nuke-sci guys getting themselves mysteriously blowed up.  Not really coming together, unfortunately.  I can hardly think of a more enjoyable topic, but it just isn't translating into good blog fodder.  Dead end.

But a comment Max left in the previous thread brought to mind one of the funniest things I've seen: I was in about 5th grade, and I was with my family was on a jet-boat excursion on the Rogue River.  The boats are big and fast and POWERFUL.  They're about the size of a bus and have multiple big-block V8s.  They have a driver and a guide who says things like "on your left you'll see an eagle snacking on a steelhead."

Anyway, as we were tooling down the river, there were a bunch of hippies skinny-dipping.  One was standing on a rock, naked as a jaybird, struggling to put on his wet socks.  The guide said over the PA "This is a family tour!  Put some clothes on, hippie!"  Rather than take the guide's suggestion, the hippie chose to elevate a finger.  (Thankfully, that's all he elevated.) This made the boat driver a bit irate.  He swung the boat around and mashed the gas, creating a GIANT roostertail which blasted the hippie right off the rock!  I've always dreamed of seeing a hippie get nailed with a fire hose or water cannon.  This was the closest I'll likely come to realizing that dream, and it was hilarious.  I will cherish this memory for all of my days.

Speaking of these boats, I love 'em.  I've been on their excursions a few times and look forward to doing it again.  Maybe this summer.  There are some spots where it gets really shallow.  Especially in summer.  Like maybe a foot or so deep.  Here, the boats have to go really fast and stay on-plane to keep from dragging hull on the rocks below.  Of course the river is twisty, so the driver has to drift sideways through the corners to keep his speed up.  Lotta fun.  They also do this maneuver where they do a panic-stop kind of thing and flip a quick u-turn.  This causes a big wave to come over the side and "dampen" the riders.  Nothing like seeing some little old tourist lady from Pasadena getting nailed in the face with river water.  Below is a YouTube clip.  I wasn't on this trip, and don't know any of the people on board, but it gives you a sense of what the rides are like.  (skip to about :25) (video now below the fold since youtube is taking forever to load the preview)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Most *disgusting* moment and other various and sundry stuff

The Not Romneys are gangin' up, makin' the Mittster look like Richard Gere's character in Pretty Woman.  Dunno how that will all turn out.  But it doesn't matter whether we're talking leveraged buyouts, prostitution or politics:  First, money changes hands... and then somebody gets screwed.


At the early AM grunt job this morning, we were one person shorthanded.  May not seem like a biggie, but that was a third of the staff.  So the Manager Girl was trying really hard to do the work of two people for a couple hours.  "How un-gentlemanly!" you say to yourself.  Well, I have assigned duties I'm not supposed to deviate from.  Plus, they've intentionally left me untrained for any of those other things just so they won't be tempted to steal me away from those assigned duties when problems like this arise.  Later in the morning, more crew begin to arrive on time and things get closer to normal.

Another Manager Girl arrives.  (Yes, ya pretty much gotta have boobs to get a promotion at this place.)  We'll call her "Cindy" for the sake of protecting the guilty.  She's about 5-foot-nothing and about 100 lbs with her coat on.  That famous short guy Napoleon didn't have a Napoleon Complex, he had a Cindy Complex.  Cindy is blonde and green eyed and quite cute.  And frequently meaner than a hung-over honey badger that just got off the phone with a bill collector.  We get along quite well.  Did I mention she's preggers?  Imagine a hung-over honey badger with hormonal issues and occasional abdominal pains. The joy, it is overwhelming...

She is an accomplished Complainer, and has a complete mastery of every variation of every four-letter word.  This morning, whilst standing inertly and doing nothing, she goes on a tirade about how everybody is standing around doing nothing and complaining about being shorthanded.  "Instead of [bleep]ing b*tching and bringing everybody down, why don't we just [bleep]ing get to [bleep]ing work and stop with the [bleep]ing complaining!" 

This event crossed the Maximum Irony threshold and I could no longer stifle my laughter.  Laughing at her when she's PO'd (in other words "laughing, ever") is like snapping Darth Vader with a damp gym towel.  Not recommended.  I think I still have the job...


The "Check Engine" light in my car came on yesterday.  Now the debate is whether to spend $69 bucks on a code reader to cancel the light, or to do the ol' "disconnect the battery 'til the car forgets that it is stupid" trick.  Which would mean re-learning how to set the clock and the radio presets.  Leaning towards getting the code reader.


We've done the "funniest" and "most embarrassing" things here, so what about "most disgusting?"  Yay, that'll be fun!  First, a little background...

In my old hometown, Memorial Day weekend is the big deal.  Parade, carnival, hydroplane races, stuff like that.  They call it "Boatnik" and it attracts every gap-toothed tweeker, weed-addled hippie and shirtless beer-sopped redneck in the area.  And I'm not just talking about the carnies.  The people-watching is almost as fun as the boat races.  It was Memorial Day 1990, back when I was Young-n-StupidTM (Give-or-take a year.  Gimme a break, I'm getting old) and a bunch of my homies and I took the weekend off from college to make the trip back home.  We had a bunch of pickups parked in a shape like a star, tailgate-to-tailgate and were beerbonging.  If you park your pickups in a ring and beerbong before the hydroplane races, you might... be a redneck.  There are two classes of boats...

Fast and agile hydroplanes
with outboard motors that
race against each other.

And larger two-man boats with gnarly inboard V8s
that race against the clock.

It was suggested that maybe we should climb down the rocks to the water's edge and get a good view, as shown in the pic above.

It's called Hellsgate Canyon for a *reason*, you moron!
I immediately said "no way!" because I'm not so fond of heights.  Nor am I real fond of plunging to a stony death.  I protested.  "People die trying to do that!" (true!)  Couple beerbongs later, I was quite full of beer and confidence: "Hey, I gotta idea!  Let's climb down the rocks and get a better view!!"  Suddenly we all thought that was just an awesome plan.  Except for this one kid named Lester.  He was looking kinda green and complaining about drinking the beer way too fast.

Cue dramatic music and brace for the disgusting...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Most embarrassing moment and other various and sundry stuff

Yo, yo!  Last night was a good one for hoops fans.  OSU beat Cal solidly.  The Beavs are now 4-0 at games I've attended.  Only one game left in our cheap tix package - hopefully the Beavers can go Undefeated While in the Presence of Innominatus.  When the Beavs make a three, the guys on the cheer squad throw rolled-up t-shirts into the stands.  One of 'em came our way and my wife beat the crap out of the nearby fifth grader who caught it and stole it out of his trembing hands retrieved it as it rolled down the stairs.  Yay for aisle seats!  Then we got home and learned that the Blazers beat the L.A. Lakurds.  Whoo!


This is cool.  It is optimized for Chrome but seems to mostly work in FF, too.  Haven't tried other browsers.  Type in the address of your childhood home or some other place you have a sentimental attachment, that also has a high likelihood of having been covered by Google Street View.


Strong, dark coffee + Cool Ranch Doritos = MAJOR YUCK.  If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight, try this combo.


Pastor's kids getting mini-donut maker + Pastor's kids bring mini-donuts to church = OPPOSITE OF MAJOR YUCK.


A while back I had a post about the funniest thing I've seen with my own 2 4 eyes.  Commenters added good stuff, too.  As a variation on that theme, I now offer the most embarrassing thing I've ever endured.  I had done a good job of erecting mental walls around that event and forgetting about it, but Manhattan Infidel had to go and bring it back to mind.  It goes like this:

Mid '80s.  I was a teenager.  My friend's parents took him (and me, and a couple other of his friends) out to a fancy dinner for his birthday.  It was one of those expensive steaks/dinner theater kind of places.  The actors were performing a comedic melodrama with a western theme. An Oklahoma! meets bad-guy-tying-the-girl-to-the-railroad-tracks kind of deal.  Friend's parents had arranged beforehand for the actors to come out in the audience and grab my friend and "include" him in a scene.  Unfortunately, he was supposed to be sitting in a certain seat since the actors didn't know which of us was birthday boy.

You know where this is headed...

Turns out, I was the one sitting in that seat.  I got shanghai'd into the play!  I had to roll up my pant legs and put on a skirt.  Which was doubly difficult because the 501 jeans that were de regueur at the time are kinda narrow around the ankles.  Anyway...  Had to dance a can-can Rocketts kind of thing in a paisley skirt with rolled-up jeans cutting off the circulation to my lower extremities.  To the hoots and jowls of everybody.  HUMILIATION!

Your turn...

PS - if this is the last post I ever put up, blame Manhattan Infidel for evoking this troubling memory - the mere recollection of this event makes me want to flee to Nepal and hide in the Himalayas where the Sherpas don't have internet access and know nothing about this.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Barry scary plane ride

Air Force 1 en route to campaign stop official business stop.  Obama, Plouffe, Jarrett and Axelrod discussing campaign strategy.

[Jarrett] "We need to ditch Biden.  The guy's a loon.  Get Hillary on the ticket.  That'll give us a thin veneer of centrism while we continue with radical redistributionism.  Might be enough to fool some of the rust-belt union types."

[Plouffe] "Agreed."

Obama's phone rings

[Obama] " Hello.  Commander in Chief speaking."

[Biden, on other end of phone call] "Hey, boss!  Joe here.  Just wanted to talk to you about the elections this year."

[Obama] "Joe, I told you not to call unless there is an emergency.  Is this an emergency?"

[Biden] "Is a frog's butt watertight?"

[Obama] "What?"

[Biden] "Is a pig's butt pork?"

[Obama] "Joe!"

[Biden] "Sorry.  I'm working on some folksy, down-home kind of stuff that'll endear us to the stupid southerners.  We're going to need to win at least a few of those states."

[Obama] "Joe, we're concentrating on getting the rust-belt voters, rather than those dumb southern racist crackers."

[Biden] "But the rust-belt people hate us."

[Obama] "That's why we're putting Hillary on the ticket to replace you.  You embody the rust-belt way too much.  So, uh, we're getting rid of you and putting another Chicago thug on the ticket."

[Jarrett nods in approval]

[Biden] "Sir!  I do NOT recommend that!"

[Obama] "I know you're just trying to preserve you job."

[Biden] "Naw, it's not that.  It's just that I saw Hillary practicing throwing stars, ninja-style.  She took down a bigleaf maple tree in three throws.  With Hillary one 'accident' away from the Presidency, I'd put the over/under on your continued existence at about, oh, let's put it this way:  Yo-Yo Ma wouldn't even be done playing Allah Save the King at your Coronation before Hill would be waving your head around on the end of a spike."

[Obama] "You exaggerate."

A disturbance is heard outside the plane.  All aboard look out the portside windows and witness a terrible scene...

[Obama, like a little girl] "Gaaahh! What it that?"

[Hillary cackles and throws a chunk of the Constitution into the jet intake.  The plane shudders as the engine begins to fail.]

[Hillary] "Barack!  You stole my destiny!  But I will steal it back!  This plane will be mine!  Mwaa-hah-hah-hah-hah!  I will paint that blue stripe on it pink and I will rule forever!"

[Jarrett] "Quick!  Recite the mantra!"

[Obama, Jarrett, Plouffe, Axelrod, in unison] "Whitewater, Whitewater, Rose Law Firm Billing Records, Travelgate, FBI files!  Whitewater, Whitewater, Rose Law Firm Billing Records, Travelgate, FBI file!"

[Hillary, in apparent pain] "Nreeee!  I'll be back for you!  Be sure of it!" [flys off, over the horizon]

[Obama] "Joe, you still there?"

[Biden] "Does a rattlesnake butt taste like chicken?"

[Obama] "Keep working on that charming down-home thing you're working on.  We'll be needing you on the campaign trail!"


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