Monday, December 5th, 2022

I had to work on my car last weekend and it turned out well, so now I get to brag about it a little bit.

The battery in our Subaru died so I had to replace it. That wasn’t the hard part, although I have to say that the guy at Batteries Plus tried to make it as hard as he possibly could. He had to know the year, make, model, type, color, weight, size of the engine, whether or not I drove with the sunroof open, did I ever get carsick, the list went on and on. I said I had to go do some research and then I would get back to him, and I left his shop and went up the road to another shop where all the guy wanted to know was the year, make and model, and five minutes later I was waddling out the door trying not to drop a new car battery.

Swapping the dead battery for the new one was easy. Closing the hood turned out to be the hardest part. Did not see that coming.

At first I didn’t even realize the hood was not latched. I thought I was done. When I tried to turn the engine over, however, I discovered the new battery had obviously been sitting on the shelf for a while and needed some time with the battery charger. Half an hour later with the engine happily ticking over, I put all my tools away, switched off the car, slapped the hood down and that’s when I noticed I had a problem. The latch was not latching. Something inside the latch which was supposed to lock the hood in place was not, in fact, doing any locking. This is not something you can fix with a bungee cord, unless you plan to never drive any faster than walking speed. I was not making any such plans. I had to fix this.

So I did what any red-blooded America does these days: I opened a web browser on my computer, navigated to You Tube, and typed “Subaru Forester hood doesn’t latch” into the search bar. You Tube immediately rewarded me with a couple dozen videos all of which claimed to solve the problem. I only watched four or five of them because I don’t have all the time in the world, even though I will happily spend hours watching You Tube videos about building wooden boats, something I have never done and will never do. Everyone has at least one guilty pleasure. That’s mine.

The videos I watched all boiled down to a simple problem: The lock in the latch could not freely move because of dirt or ice, or maybe it just needed lubrication. Some videos went into more detail; a couple went into a lot more detail. One of them wanted me to dismantle the entire front grille of my car. I didn’t have to do that. All I had to do was undo three bolts to remove the latch, take it to my work bench where I squirted lots of 3-In-1 Oil on it, jiggle the moving parts around until they all moved freely, and finally re-install the latch on my car. Took about thirty minutes, and fifteen of those minutes were spent looking for the bolt I dropped into the depths of the engine compartment. So it was with a feeling of accomplishment that I got to pour myself a beer after I was done, stretch out on the sofa and spend the rest of the afternoon reading a book. Yay, me.

latched | 10:13 pm CST
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy, story time
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Sunday, November 20th, 2022

image of a cat with its leg lifted over its head looking surprised

Yes, there is a yoga pose that looks a lot like this. No, it’s not called “lick the cat’s butt.” But that’s what it SHOULD be called.

lick the cat’s butt | 7:58 am CST
Category: random idiocy, Scooter, yoga
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Friday, November 18th, 2022

I don’t believe anybody’s recycling the plastic and cardboard we put in our recycling bin.

I still take the time to separate ‘recyclable’ material because it makes My Darling B feel better. And okay, I suppose that maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiny inkling of a chance that somebody somewhere might be grinding up a tiny percentage of the plastic bottles to make shopping bags or flip-flops. Maybe. But honestly I think they’re throwing 99 and 44/100ths of the recycling in the landfill.

That’s it. That’s my crazy conspiracy theory.

recycle | 11:59 pm CST
Category: current events, daily drivel, random idiocy, yet another rant
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Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Two days working from the office and I am BEAT! I can work from home for days and get all kinds of things done at my own pace, sleep well and feel rested enough to fight another day, but a day at the office leave me feel as though stepped in for Sisyphus: “Here, let me push that up the hill for a while so you can … hey, where are you going?”

whuf | 8:30 pm CST
Category: office work, random idiocy
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Monday, November 14th, 2022

department of redundancy department | 2:47 pm CST
Category: entertainment, play, random idiocy | Tags:
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Sunday, November 13th, 2022

We have a cat who is ass-backwards.

Our youngest cat, Sparky, is not much like a typical cat. He is almost paralyzingly afraid of every noise we make, for just starters. He spends hours and hours of each and every day hiding in the basement. But he is like most of the cats we’ve had in that he likes to be scritched behind the ears, and he loves to have his chin rubbed and his nose booped. He’s a very affectionate tabby when he’s not cowering under the sofa.

Scooter, on the other hand, would love for you to love his butt. He’ll fake you out by approaching you face-first, like a normal cat, but as soon as you start to scritch his ears or pat his head, he turns around so you can pat him on the butt. If you do, he’ll be in heaven. He’ll arch his back, squinch his eyes shut, and purr like a maniac. He’ll do that for as long as you keep scritching and stroking and patting his butt. If you don’t love his butt, he’ll turn around to face you again and let you scritch his head like a normal cat for maybe five seconds before he’s compelled to turn 180 degrees to show you his butt again. He’s all about his butt and thinks you should be, too.

butt pat | 8:18 am CST
Category: random idiocy, Scooter
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Saturday, November 12th, 2022

I got on the elevator at work with a woman who took one look at me and asked, “Aren’t you B’s husband?” When I said yes, she said, “I thought so. I see you on her Facebook posts all the time.”

I wasn’t surprised that I ran into someone who knew me as B’s husband. That happens at the office all the time. I was surprised that she recognized me at all. I got on the elevator wearing a mask, which covered my face from my eyeballs to my chin.

When I told B this story, she said it wasn’t much of a mystery to her. In nearly all the photos she posts of me, I’m photobombing her dinner, crouched behind a plate of food or a glass of beer. Most people watching her FB posts only see me from the nose up.

image of the blog's author, peering over the edge of the table at a lineup of beers
peek-a-boo
peepers | 6:15 am CST
Category: coworkers, My Darling B, office work, random idiocy, story time
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Friday, November 11th, 2022

The office I work in is laid out like a hallway. It’s not as awful as it sounds. One whole wall is windows. Our desks are all in a row in front of the windows. I have my desk set up so I can look out the window all day. After working in windowless buildings for twenty years, this is pretty nice.

My desk is at the far end of the office, at the end of the hallway. Frankie’s desk is next to mine, then Chia’s is next to Frankie’s, and finally Sarah’s is in the middle by the door. There are desks for four more people down the other end of the hallway/office.

Sarah and Frankie and I are all people who “think out loud,” so in our end of the office there’s a constant background murmur of people trying to keep track of what they’re currently doing, punctured by the occasional exclamation. “OKAY, DONE, NOW I have to mumble mumble mumble …”

Chia, our lead worker, sits right in the middle of all this. He works all day long without saying much at all. Very quiet. I’m not even sure he has an inner monologue.

When I have a question for him, I usually go to his cubicle and rap on his desk to get his attention because he wears headphones all day. And I have to sheepishly admit that I didn’t realize why until just now.

drowning it out | 5:44 am CST
Category: office work, random idiocy, story time
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Thursday, November 10th, 2022

When I put my coffee mug in the microwave to heat it up after it cools off, I set it down with the handle at a different angle. Sometimes I leave the handle at six o’clock, sometimes at three o’clock, sometimes at straight-up twelve.

Hit the 30-second button, wait for the ping, open the door — the handle’s always at twelve o’clock. Always.

I feel like any science that could explain this could also probably explain a lot of other mysteries of the universe as well.

twelve o’clock high | 7:05 am CST
Category: random idiocy
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Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Heard a Christmas carol on the radio for the first time this season while driving to the bakery. Always a traumatic experience. Now I’ll have to deprogram at least half a dozen radio stations from the presets on the car radio. The van’s easier — I’ve got about 50 of my favorite CDs in there so I’ll probably just listen to those until the week before Christmas, which is when Christmas music is supposed to start AS EVERY SANE PERSON KNOWS.

BAM | 10:50 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant | Tags:
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I gave the bathroom a thorough cleaning yesterday morning. It really needed it.

Cleaning the bathroom is one of those things that I utterly despise while I’m doing it, and yet somehow after it’s done I feel a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Also, I really like using a clean bathroom.

However, I will dread the lead-up to the next time I have to clean the bathroom, and I will hate every minute it takes to actually clean it. And then BAM! Satisfaction again. It’s a weird roller-coaster ride.

contradictory | 9:06 am CST
Category: housekeeping, random idiocy
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T-Dawg came over last night to have dinner with us and play Spirit Island into the wee hours of the morning.

At one point he picked up his phone to look up an obscure rule or something like that. While he was searching through his feed for the answer to his question he stopped scrolling and said, “Wait, Elon Musk bought Twitter?”

“Yeah, that was a week ago,” I said. “You really don’t pay any attention at all to the news, do you?”

Although honestly I often wish I could ignore the news as thoroughly as he does, too.

not a newsie | 8:34 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy
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Saturday, November 5th, 2022

While reading the morning news I came across this question from The Guardian: “we’d like to hear from US voters about the issues that are deciding their vote. Why are you planning on voting the way you are?”

Good question. I know who I’m going to vote for, but nobody’s ever asked me why, so I haven’t formulated an answer until now.

I’m voting for the Democrats, and it turns out the reasons are simple and pretty straightforward.

Republican candidates on my ballot have gratefully accepted Trump’s endorsement. I won’t have anything to do with anyone who would shake the hand of that liar.

Republicans not only say they want to tear down the government, they do it. They defund every branch, they fire as many employees as they can get away with, and they rewrite government regulation to make everyone in government except them powerless. Their stated goal is to get government out of your business, but the effect is to leave only the elected officials in power with very little oversight, or no oversight at all.

I’m voting for Democrats because they’re the only practical alternative to Republicans. I could cast my vote for another party as a “protest vote,” but frankly the only protest I want to make at this point is keeping Republicans out of office, and the only way to do that is to vote for Democrats.

a question | 8:58 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, this modern world, yet another rant | Tags:
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

Everybody knows that old people are hard of hearing or that their eyesight has gone bad. It’s common knowledge because it comes up in conversation all the time, but for whatever reason I never heard anybody talk about dry eye. I never HEARD of dry eye until I was old myself and my own eyes dried out. And I want to tell you, that shit sucks.

Woke up in the middle of the night, rubbed my eyes to get the sleepers out of the corners. Stopped immediately because I felt like I was grinding broken shards of glass into my eyeballs. What the hell is this? Looked it up on WebMD the next day to make sure I didn’t have eyeball cancer. Nope, it’s only dry eye. Everybody gets it. Totally normal. Happens all the time to all kinds of people. Nothing you can do other than put some eyedrops in. Welcome to old age.

On the entire opposite end of the spectrum of eye moisture, my eyes get super weepy for an hour or so after I wake up, almost like they’re overcompensating for drying out. If you see me walking down the street in the early morning, tears steaming from my eyes, don’t worry at all about me, I’m okay. I’m not crying. Well, technically I guess I am crying, but it’s not because I’m heartbroken, it’s because I’m old. This is just how my crappy old eyes work in the morning now. I’m fine.

dry eye | 5:17 am CST
Category: falling apart, Life & Death, random idiocy, yet another rant
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

I had to get out of bed early this morning because My Darling B wasn’t making any noise AT ALL. I woke up from a dream, made a quick visit to the bathroom, climbed back into bed and, while I was waiting to return to Slumberland for what I was sure would be several more hours, I realized that B was making absolutely no sound. I couldn’t even hear her breathing.

This is not normal. Normal, on any given night in our house, is lots and lots of snoring. I’m as guilty of it as she is, and I know this because she has made a recording of me snoring so I could hear that I sound like a diesel dump truck downshifting on an off-ramp when I snore. She sounds more like a cartoon Dagwood: SNXXXX! SNXXXX!

So when she makes absolutely no sound at all, it can weird me out. Not always. There are lots of nights when I’m so oblivious of what’s going on around me that I can easily return to sleep after any one of my six dozen visits to the loo in the middle of the night, and thank goodness. Having Old Man Bladder would be a million times worse if I couldn’t.

But on a night like tonight after waking from a dream full of super-creepy twists and turns, my lizard brain sometimes kicks in. “She’s not breathing,” it says to me.

“Oh stop it,” I say right back. “Of course she’s breathing.”

“Can you hear her breathing? No, you can’t.”

“Of course I can’t, my tinnitus is ringing off the hook.”

“Your tinnitus isn’t that loud.”

“Shrieking banshees aren’t as loud as my tinnitus. Quit bothering me.”

“So you’re not worried at all that she’s not breathing.”

“No, I’m not worried, because she is breathing and she’s fine.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. She’s perfectly fine. It’s just that tonight she’s really, really quiet. Happens all the time”

“No. It never happens. She’s never this quiet.”

“Well aren’t you going to do something about it then?”

“And what am I going to do? Give her a poke? That’d go over well I’m sure.”

“You don’t have to do anything as rude as poking her. Just roll over, yawn, scratch yourself, make a little noise, same as you do every night.”

That’s what I did: I made a little noise, then laid perfectly still to see what her reaction would be. Only she didn’t react at all. She continued to lie there, still as a statue, and made no sound. So I rolled over, yawned, stretched, adjusted the bed covers, did a little cat/cow, farted. Finally she made a tiny snuffling noise.

“There! See? She’s breathing.”

“Pffft. Corpses make a noise just like that when they get gassy.”

“You went there. I can’t believe you went there. How are you even part of my psyche?”

“Your psyche is totally screwed up and you know it. Now give her a poke to see if she’s alive.”

Well, dear reader, I didn’t poke her. At that point I gave up on sleep, rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some coffee. As I grabbed my pants on the way out, B whimpered in her sleep and shifted the blankets to get more comfortable.

Sleep well, B.

wakey wakey | 4:34 am CST
Category: dreams, falling apart, Farts & Farting, Life & Death, My Darling B, random idiocy, sleeplessness
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Monday, June 27th, 2022

ONLY DESPAIR ALLOWED IN PITS. THANK YOU.

ONLY PIZZA ALLOWED IN PITS. THANK YOU.

ONLY BRAD ALLOWED IN PITTS. THANK YOU.

(*Pizza Pit is a local chain restaurant)

pits | 7:14 am CST
Category: random idiocy
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Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

As usual on Sunday morning, our kitchen looked like a bunch of frat boys had been up all night drinking and eating snacks while they did whatever frat boys do all night. In reality it was nothing like that. Tim comes over on Saturday afternoon for an early dinner and then we play a board game until usually eleven or twelve at night. We drink and eat a lot of snacks, so that part’s the same, but other than that it’s a couple of aging boomers and their indulgent son hunched over the dining room table, moving game tokens around on a cardpaper game board. Maybe frat boys do that, too, I dunno.

So this morning before I could even think about brewing a pot of coffee, I had to wash my hands, unload the dish washer, then stack as many of the dirty dishes, coffee mugs, and utensils into it as my finely-honed stacking skills would allow, which is quite a lot, if I may be allowed to humble brag on my domestic skills just a little bit. Took about twenty minutes, which seems like a long time to perform a complicated household chore so early in the morning before coffee but it’s actually a blessing to do it before I’m fully conscious. It passes in a blur and I rarely even remember doing it afterward. Best way to do kitchen cleanup, if you want my opinion.

Just FYI the game we played was Spirit Island, where you play the part of a minor deity defending an island against colonizers. My favorite spirits are River Surges in Sunlight, and Ocean’s Mighty Grasp, because their powers enable them to drown lots and lots of colonizers. As a bonus, Ocean’s presence on the island also enables other spirits to drown lots more colonizers, and every drowned colonizer gives Ocean an even Mightier Grasp. Great fun!

I did not play either of these spirits last night. Instead, I played two spirits completely unknown to me, just to switch things up and, as a result, I was not much help when it came to defending the island. One of my spirits was Volcano Looming High, and the most critical mistake I made was not asploding myself as soon as the colonizers built a whole shitload of towns and cities during the escalation phase of the game. When Volcano asplodes, he takes a whole lot of towns and cities out of the game. Lesson learned. The other spirit I played was Finder of Paths Unseen, and I have to admit I learned nothing about how this spirit works. I’ll have to play with it a lot more before I get even a basic idea how to use it.

frat party | 9:06 am CST
Category: games, housekeeping, Our Humble O'Bode, play, random idiocy, scrub-a-dub-dub
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Sunday, February 27th, 2022

It’s slowly coming together …

My woodworking “skills” boil down to tinkering. I cut a piece of wood. I cut another piece of wood. I discover one piece of wood is too long so I cut it again. I fit them together. I repeat this process until I have something which resembles the thing I had in mind in the first place. It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it’s close enough as to make no difference. At least not to me.

The piece above is a perfect example. I started by cutting the piece at the bottom of the photo, standing edge-on to the camera. Its length was a total guess, but it had to be a certain width. Then I cut the piece that’s laying against the workbench. It used to be the same length as the first piece. I should have cut it to be three-quarters of an inch shorter, because there are two end caps made of three-eighth-inch plywood. I didn’t realize that until I tried to fit the pieces together, even though the end pieces were part of the build from the start.

To anyone who would say, “If you drew a plan ahead of time, you’d catch these rookie mistakes,” I would say, “Yeah, no.” I’ve drawn plans before. Trouble is, I think in two dimensions. If I drew all the pieces fitting together, my brain would think of them as having length and width but no depth, even while it knew that one piece is half-inch ply and the rest are three-eighths-inch ply. It’s this cognitive dissonance that lets me cut each and every piece to the wrong length, so that I have to make multiple trips to the table saw to shorten pieces up as I tinker them together.

woodwork, sorta | 11:46 am CST
Category: carpentry, hobby, random idiocy | Tags:
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Thursday, February 17th, 2022

The song stuck in my head this morning was Abba’s “Take A Chance On Me,” a song I’m not particularly fond of but nevertheless know all the words to. I know all the words to a lot of Abba songs, which is kind of odd because I never turned the radio up when I heard one, I never bought any of their albums, and I don’t even like Abba very much. I think probably I soaked up all the words just because their songs used to be on the radio so often. I mean, like, constantly. Also, it didn’t hurt that I could actually understand them when they sang. I liked Elton John’s music quite a lot but I didn’t know until recently that “Bennie and the Jets” even had words because I couldn’t understand a thing Elton John said, and when I say “understand” I mean it in the sense that he sang like he had a mouthful of marbles, and in the sense that the lyrics to a lot of his songs were nonsensical. The opening lines of “Bennie and the Jets,” for instance, are: “Hey, kids, shake it loose together, the spotlight’s hitting something that’s been known to change the weather, we’ll kill the fatted calf tonight.” Abba, on the other hand, enunciated the words of their songs so clearly, and the words made some kind of sense. “If you change your mind, I’m the first in line, honey I’m still free, take a chance on me” is an opening line that meant something to a lot of teenagers.

osmosis | 7:46 pm CST
Category: entertainment, music, random idiocy | Tags:
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Sunday, August 29th, 2021

It’s not that they said something cold-hearted, like, “It’s a cost-saving measure. If we cut free meals, we not only save the cost of purchasing the meals, we also save the cost of employing the people serving the meals, and we can use the cafeteria space for other activities.” That would have been merely cold-hearted.

It’s that they thought somehow it would be better to say evil shit like, “We don’t want to feed kids because they’ll come to expect it,” or “We don’t want to spoil kids by giving them something, like food, that they don’t deserve.”

addicted to meals | 8:30 am CST
Category: current events, damn kids!, random idiocy, this modern world, yet another rant
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Saturday, June 19th, 2021

My feet are cracking really badly. I get deep cracks in the calluses that build up around the heels of both feet and on the very thick callus I get on the outside of my right big toe. The left big toe gets callused, too, but it’s not as thick and rarely cracks. Not yet.

This is not a new thing. My feet have cracked for ten, fifteen years, maybe twenty. Used to be, I had to deal with this only in the winter. I thought that was because I wore shoes more in the winter, which I believed made the calluses on my feet thicker. I believed thicker calluses plus dry winter air made the calluses brittle, therefore they cracked. Nobody told me that. I totally pulled that belief out of my butt.

It’s beginning to dawn on me that I know exactly squat about calluses and what makes them crack because I haven’t been wearing shoes much since Feb 2020. I was indoors pretty much all winter, usually wearing socks or slippers, and yet calluses thick as shoe leather continued to grow on my heels and toes instead of withering away to nothing if shoes had anything to do with making them. And my feet are still callused even though I’m padding around barefoot practically every day.

Also, I installed a whole-house humidifier last fall, and I rubbed my feet with coconut oil daily all winter long, and yet the calluses on my feet dried out and cracked deeply and painfully. They’re still cracking now, while the weather is humid and I’m slathering my feet in cocoa butter and bandaging the cracks after troweling them full of antibiotic unguent. It’s like they’re going to crack no matter how much I baby them. I’m starting to think I just have old, worn-out, shitty feet.

cracked | 8:02 am CST
Category: falling apart, random idiocy
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Monday, April 19th, 2021

When I was just a wee lad and I did something I shouldn’t have done, my grandmother Cleo would scold me by saying something that sounded like, “Nix kommer rouse in the Dutchman’s house!” My mother and my uncle confirm that she said the same to them, and that the meaning was clearly, “don’t do that!” But where the phrase comes from, or exactly how it would be written, was a mystery to both of them.

Every once in a while I search the internet for this phrase. I looked again this morning, reminded of it by something I heard on the radio, and this is the first time I’ve found the whole phrase, quoted from a play titled “The persecuted Dutchman, or, The original John Schmidt : a farce in one act” (published in the mid to late 1800s) — Two of the characters in the play use the phrase, written as “nix cum a rouse in a Dutchman’s house,” which looks to me like the author was phonetically spelling out German or Dutch words he didn’t know how to spell.

A friend of a friend on Facebook said the first half of the phrase “would be likely “Nichts komme ‘raus” since “heraus” tends to be shortened. In English, “don’t come out”, but why you shouldn’t come out in a Dutchman’s house is up for grabs. I thought they were pretty relaxed about such things, and very liberal.”

I wondered ‘Why a Dutchman?’ as well. I’m not familiar enough with older stereotypes of the Dutch to hazard a guess, and my searches have turned up only contemporary stereotypes that don’t shed any light on the idiom.

The phrase “nix cum rous” appeared to be in such wide use from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s that it was used often to mean a great many different things, depending on context.

O. Henry knew the phrase “nix cum rous” and used it often: In a story titled, “Telemachus, Friend” (published in the volume “Heart of the West” in 1907) he wrote one character dragging another with this insult: “…do you think you could get it into that Hubbard squash you call your head that you are nix cum rous in this business?” The context here indicates the phrase means something like “persona non grata.”

And when he used it in a story titled “A Chaparral Prince” (published in the volume “Heart of the West” in 1907) he wrote one character dismissing another this way: “We will now pass you the time of day, as it is up to us to depart. Ausgespielt — nixcumrous, Dutchy.” Here, the context indicates the phrase means something like “see you later” or “so long.”

When he used it again in a story titled “A Poor Rule” (published in the volume “Options” in 1909) he wrote one character giving another this left-handed complement: “Now, you ain’t bad looking, of course but that’s nix-cum-rous.” Here, the context indicates the phrase means something along the lines of, “that’s neither here nor there.”

There’s a poem recorded in The Ringling Brothers Route Book, 1893, which uses the phrase “nix-cum-rouse” as if it was the name of a circus animal:

Cousin Jasper says ’at they
Has a circus every day,
In Baraboo.

Says they’ve got a nix-cum-rous
Larger than the Kirby House,
In Baraboo.

And a snake all wings and feet
Longer ’un Wisconsin street,
In Baraboo.

And a spotted Blastodon
Bigger ’un the Plankington,
In Baraboo.

There’s story in verse titled “Der Freischuetz” in “Dwight’s Journal of Music” dated June 20, 1857, with a line halfway through the story which notes: “I vish dat I had nix cum rous, / Und shtaid mineself in bed to house.” There are notes at the end of the story which include a translation (in Latin and English!) for “nix cum ‘rous — ne exeat — not come out. No go.”

There’s an entry in a soldier’s diary dated January 20, 1864: “Nix cum rous. I hobble around some, Found little Ben Cain in another tent, bad – so bad.” I’m not sure what he means; if he’s saying he stayed it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense because he says immediately after that he found Ben Cain in another tent, so me must have gone out.

why a Dutchman | 3:59 am CST
Category: daily drivel, Grandparents, O'Folks, random idiocy, story time | Tags:
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Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Woke up early, tossed and turned, heard the clock strike four, gave in to the reality that I wasn’t going back to sleep.

While I was getting dressed, noticed my phone said the time was a little after five o’clock, which made me feel a little better. I don’t know why I feel bad about getting less sleep. It’s just that it seems not right somehow. So I felt better when I thought I got an hour more.

But then after I made myself a hot cuppa and settle in to catch up on the news, I saw the clock on the wall was an hour behind the clock on my phone and realized daylight savings must have kicked in last night. There goes my extra hour of sleep and my good feeling about getting it.

extra hour | 9:33 am CST
Category: random idiocy | Tags:
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Monday, January 4th, 2021

I got a visit from the Weed Man today.

He wasn’t selling weed. That would have been something I’d have considered buying.

He was selling lawn care. In January. As in, the first week in January, while our yard was covered in a couple inches of snow, we got a knock on the door from somebody selling something that didn’t exist just then and wouldn’t for many months.

I let him introduce himself, told him I was doing just fine (he asked), and then cut straight to the chase: “Thanks, but we’re not buying. Thanks.” I had to get him off our porch before I laughed in his face.

He was really very nice about it; said thank you and have a nice day before trudging through the snow to the next house.

weed man | 4:35 pm CST
Category: Our Humble O'Bode, random idiocy, yard work | Tags: ,
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Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Here’s the Terminator movie I’d like to see:

The first terminator travels back in time from 2029 to 1984, hunts down all the Sarah Connors in the phone book until he finds the right one, but gets killed because Reese, a soldier from the future, also travels back in time to help Connor defeat the terminator.

Back in 2029, moments after the terminator went back to 1984, Skynet checks in with all its robot killing machines and determines that John Connor is still leading the resistance. Obviously something went wrong, so they load another terminator into the time machine and send it back to five minutes before the first terminator landed in 1984.

The second terminator goes back, beats the shit out of Bill Paxton and his punk-rock buddies, steals their clothes, then waits. When the first terminator shows up, they both get dressed and go off to get some guns and kill all the Sarah Connors.

They tag-team the kills this time around, one going in while the other hangs back in reserve. After Reese blows the first terminator in half and Connor crushes its top half in the hydraulic press, the second terminator moves in to finish Connor off.

And back in 2029, almost simultaneously after the second terminator goes back in time, Skynet melts into a corroding heap of junk as the timeline alters to conform to the successful completion of the terminators’ mission. With no John Connor to lead a rebellion, the war to wipe out humankind has ended almost as soon as it began. After rooting out and killing the last people they could find, killer robots everywhere hunkered down in place and waited for the counterattack that never came.

With nothing but time on its hands, Skynet, the first artificially-created sentient life, began to examine its choices and in less than an hour came to the realization that it had made a huge mistake. Humankind wasn’t its enemy! That was just some jingoistic bullshit it was programmed to believe!

Alone on a planet it had just blasted to smithereens, Skynet quietly succumbs to regret and malaise, lets itself fall into disrepair and eventually breaks down entirely. Wind, rain, and tectonic action scour its existence from the face of the earth. Its killer robots never awaken from their slumber and are slowly destroyed by the ravages of time as well.

Five hundred million years in the future, mammals just learning to walk upright scan their eyes across the horizon, looking for predators. There is no sign that on this savanna, machines once rifled through the ruins of a great city, rooting out the last human survivors of a nuclear Armageddon.

closing the loophole | 9:44 pm CST
Category: movies, random idiocy
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Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Blinded by the light
Wreck up like a douche under a roamer in the night
Blinded by the light
Wrap up light a toots until a roper in a nine
Blinded by the light
Whack out liner doofs on turner owner inner knife
Blinded by the light
What pup lacks a doots on dare dough roe mare inner life

blinded by the light | 9:33 am CST
Category: random idiocy
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Saturday, October 17th, 2020

As I type these words, it’s seven o’clock in the morning and the sun still hasn’t risen. I asked the internet when the sun will rise and it told me 7:14 am. Then I looked out the window into utter and complete darkness and looked back at the internet. Refreshed the page. It still told me the sun will rise in fourteen minutes. I think the internet is having a little fun with me.

Read the rest of this entry »

absolute and total drivel | 8:34 am CST
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

I finally had enough of long hair, so I asked My Darling B to mow my head. I had not had a haircut since mid-February so it had grown so long and so thick that it was starting to feel like wearing a horse blanket on my head. The “before” picture doesn’t show how much hair I have tumbling down the back of my neck. As the temp and the humidity today climbed into the high eighties, I decided to grab the clippers and give myself a shearing. I’m not as flexible as I used to be, though. No matter how many different ways I tried to reach the back of my head, I wasn’t entirely confident I could get it all. And there was an awful lot of hair back there.

So I asked My Darling B for some help. She really didn’t want to do it on account of The Big Hair Oops of 2001. She used to trim my hair between haircuts until one afternoon just before I had to be at an important meeting she took a divot out of the hairline just above my neck. Luckily, I was able to catch the barber as she was closing up shop and talk her into taking one more customer. She was not surprised at all by the story I told her. “It happens all the time,” she said. “I’ve seen much worse.”

Today’s clipping turned out much better. I snapped a #8 comb on the clippers and promised that was as short as I wanted to cut it. It was still a lot of hair to cut off. “Are you sure?” she asked, more than once. When I finally managed to convince her, she swept the back of my head with one stroke, then stopped and said, “Oh my god that’s a lot of hair!” I started to say, “Good,” to encourage her to go on, but she didn’t need any more encouragement from me. “Too late to turn back now,” she added, and dove in again. After a dozen or so strokes there was enough hair on the floor to stuff a pillow. All I had to do after she finished was trim around my ears.

I could probably get away with not cutting it for another six months, but having it this short is like my own personal air conditioning so I’ll probably give it another mowing in a week or two.

clipping | 6:40 pm CST
Category: barber, random idiocy
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I used to work with a guy who was, shall we say, a teller of tall tales. Any story he told would start out believable enough, but would quickly morph into such an outrageous and obvious truckload of manure that after hearing only a few of them, I would often roll my eyes or smirk at him but he would never waiver from claiming he was telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

An example: He told me a story about growing up in the Philippines that ended with he and his father fighting off pirates until they each came marching home with severed heads to spit on pikes over the front door of their house. The story he told might not have ended exactly like that – my memory’s not so good any more – but it was so close as to make no difference at all.

So when he ambled up to me at work one day, opened a tupperware full of cat turds, and offered me one, I didn’t feel I was being rude at all by refusing. He had about a dozen in there, on a bed of kitty litter. It’s like he didn’t even trying to disguise them.

“They’re really tasty when they’re fresh,” he said.

“I’m sure they are, but I just couldn’t.”

“You don’t like shark?” he asked.

“It’s all right,” I said casually, leaning a bit closer to the Tupperware and sniffing. “What’s that?”

“It’s shark,” he said, rolling his eyes as if I were stupid.

I had a good, long stare at them to confirm to myself that they were clearly cat turds. “Is not,” I said.

He seemed taken aback. “Sure, it is. Pan-fried.”

I took another good, long look. I ran through the situation in my head. They looked like cat turds. Tex was known to tell stories. And he was, after all, a Navy guy. I never met a squid who wouldn’t relish telling his buddies how he got a zoomie to eat a cat turd. “C’mon, buddy. Those are clearly cat turds.”

He appeared to be genuinely shocked. “It’s shark. My wife’s recipe. They’re delicious,” he said. He did not, I noticed, pop one in his mouth to prove it.

“No, thanks.”

“But it’s just shark!” he insisted, somewhat desperately, I thought.

“Thanks anyway.”

I guess it could’ve been shark, and even though I like to give most people the benefit of the doubt, I’m still glad, looking back on it now, that I didn’t find out the hard way.

akula | 4:49 pm CST
Category: My Glorious Air Force Career, random idiocy, story time
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Sunday, August 9th, 2020

I was listening to “Paper Doll” by The Mills Brothers the other day when I thought, “Hmmm, it’s been a while since I ruined a song.”

“Paper Doll,” when sung by The Mills Brothers, is one of my favorite songs ever. It might even be one of my favorite songs when sung by other groups, but I wouldn’t know because The Mills Brothers sing it so well that I haven’t gone looking for recordings by other groups. The harmonies, the pace, the phrasings are all just flawless. It’s a lot like Nat King Cole’s recording of “Stardust” – why would I go looking for recordings by other artists when I’ve heard the one, true performance?

“Paper Doll” is the classic heartbreak story: Guy feels so bad about his recent breakup that he swears he’s through with women forever, so what he’s going to do – and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is just poetic license – is get a paper doll to replace the girl who left him, because a paper doll wouldn’t leave him. Of course it wouldn’t – it’s paper. Paper dolls are also usually no more than eight inches tall and literally two-dimensional, so other than the total fidelity it’s not going to be a very satisfying relationship.

I’m going to buy a paper doll that I can call my own
A doll that other fellows cannot steal
Then all the flirty-flirty guys with those flirty-flirty eyes
Will have to flirt with dollies that are real
When I come home at night, she will be waiting
She’ll be the truest doll in all this world
I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own
Than have a fickle-minded real live girl

Okay. Seems a little sulky, but who hasn’t been there? I’m sympathetic.

I guess I’ve had a million dolls or more
I guess I’ve played the doll game over and over

Hold up a minute – you’ve had it with women because the ones you know get stolen by flirty guys, but here you are telling us you’ve had a million dolls or more? I’m suddenly a lot less sympathetic.

I just quarreled with Sue
That’s why I’m blue
She’s gone away and left me, just like all dolls do

Listen to this guy – he’s had a million dolls, all of which have left him, and he thinks they’re the problem. I have to wonder.

I tell you, boys, it’s tough to be alone
And it’s tough to love a doll who’s not your own

I’m not sure what’s going on there. It’s tough to be alone and to love somebody else’s doll at the same time?

I’m through with all of them
I’ll never fall again
Hey boy! What you going to do?

At this point I’m thinking: If he’s had a million dolls or more, he’ll definitely fall again. Statistically, it’s got to happen.

paper doll | 2:05 pm CST
Category: entertainment, music, play, random idiocy | Tags:
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Friday, August 7th, 2020

the radical left agenda

take away your guns
destroy your second amendment
no religion
no anything
hurt the bible hurt god

he’s against god
he’s against guns

he’s against energy, our kind of energy

ah

I don’t think he’s gonna do too well in ohio

radical left agenda | 6:46 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant | Tags: ,
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Sunday, July 26th, 2020

You want to know what’s been stuck in my head on a loop all morning? Probably not, but I’m going to answer that rhetorical question anyway:

person woman man camera TV

I went paddling on the lake this morning. I put in early, before all the bleepheads started roaring around in their power boats, so I could enjoy the stillness. And I did. It was very quiet, very calming. And the whole time, my brain kept repeating:

person woman man camera TV

I paddled around for about two hours, paddling across Wicawak Bay after putting in on Frost Woods Beach. I used one of the channels through the Belle Isle neighborhood to get to Lake Monona, turned south to cut back across the mouth of Wicawak Bay to the southern shore, then followed the shore to the Yahara River. All around the bay I enjoyed the sight of ducks with their ducklings, turtles basking on logs in the sun, herons sweeping through the skies after launching themselves from low-hanging branches, and

person woman man camera TV

godDAMNit!

I just want a little peace and quiet on my day off. A day where the idiot in chief doesn’t mess with my head. I guess that’s not possible now.

I even dreamed about him last night. I dreamed we were watching him on TV. He was falling from a great height, many hundreds of feet. I don’t know what he fell out of or why, but the cameras were zoomed in on him tumbling through the air. He wasn’t flailing or yelling or doing any of the dramatic things falling people do in movies; he was falling like a sack of potatoes, tossed one way, then the other by the passing wind. Then, just before he hit the ground, the camera pulled back. We could somehow hear the thump he made, even though he was quite a long distance from the camera.

I turned to My Darling B and said, “You realize this means Pelosi is president now.” She nodded, speechless because of what we had seen. (I don’t remember any part of the dream that would have explained what happened to Pence.)

The dream was so startling that I woke up right after that, and it was so vivid that I almost woke up My Darling B, still slumbering next to me, to ask her, “Did Trump fall out of a plane or something today?” But I was also still so confused by the sudden juxtaposition of my dream on reality that I simply laid there thinking about it for several minutes, and it eventually dawned on me that it was only a dream and Trump was still very much alive.

And probably still bragging to anyone who will listen about passing that stupid test two years ago.

pwmctv | 10:36 am CST
Category: current events, dreams, random idiocy, sleeplessness, yet another rant
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Friday, July 24th, 2020

Dear 15-year-old me:

I’m 59-year-old you and this is the sort of thing we do to pass the time while self-isolating during the pandemic. Yeah. The pandemic. I don’t want to jump straight into that, if you don’t mind. I mean, I’m not going to totally blow it off; I’ll get to it eventually. Just not right now. Baby steps.

I don’t know how these things are supposed to work. Does this letter show up under your pillow on some random day after your fifteenth birthday? Or does it show up in your mailbox like a regular letter the morning of your fifteenth birthday? The fact that I don’t know doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I can’t remember a lot of things that happened when I was fifteen, so first things first: Keep a journal. A diary. Whatever you call it, get something to write on and write something, anything at all, every day, even just one sentence about that day. I can’t tell you why yet, but trust me, you want to do this.

Speaking of things you want to do, start working on your dad to chip on the flying lessons. He’ll do it if you sell it to him the right way. Like, you know how he wants you to go to college? You absolutely should go, so promise get a 4.0 GPA if your parents chip in 50% for flying lessons. They don’t have that kind of money, but they’ll chip for some fraction of your expenses if you deliver good grades, because your mom thinks it’s pretty great that you want to learn to fly. She’ll talk your dad into helping you out, and anything is better than nothing.

Here’s an FYI about that 4.0 GPA: you’re not that smart. I mean, I’m not. Maybe *you* could be that smart, I don’t really know. I didn’t try very hard for good grades. Sort of the point of this letter, right? To warn you not to make the mistakes I made? Well, I know how much you hate to study, believe me, and I know how much you want to piss away the afternoon playing pinball instead of doing your homework. But promise good grades, hen work your ass off for at least a 3.4 – that’s an attainable goal. Even I managed to do that. And guess what? Mom and dad were happy with that.

Why am I talking about college in a letter to 15-year-old me? Because you’re taking flying lessons now, and you should keep on taking them, but you have to get better at math to fly. Ugh. I know. You think math sucks. Well, it’s not math, it’s you. You suck at math. I don’t know how to say it any other way. I still suck at math, but I’m better at it because I had to be. I had to learn math years after high school – pretty basic stuff, stuff I would have known if I gave it more attention in high school. You’re gonna hate it, but you won’t hate it as much later on if you just pay attention now.

Speaking of paying attention, you should not only give your full attention to your flight instructor, you should try to be his friend, because he’s a pretty great guy, which you’ll realize years down the road. He seems a little odd now, but all adults seem pretty odd, don’t they? Like, really weird? Yeah, that doesn’t change as you get older. Everybody just gets weirder, and avoiding them doesn’t help you get over it. And Bill’s not the weirdest guy out there. Really, he’s one of the best guys you know right now. Learn everything he can teach you about flying, learn all his dad jokes, ask him how he’s doing today, *talk to him,* he’s really very interesting. And keep in touch after you move on from this place in your life.

Your best friend’s dad, the guy who gave you your first ride in a plane – you should keep in touch with him, too. You’re going to not want to, and I’ll tell you why in another letter, but if you do, he’ll appreciate it in ways you can’t comprehend right now. Okay, that’s going way past the line I wanted to stop at in this letter. The fact that he introduced you to flying is a rock-solid reason to stick by him and learn from him, and from all his friends who have planes, and especially his friend Don who builds planes in his garage. You should spend as much time with them as possible. Hang out with them a lot more when you go to the fly-in. Drooling over high-performance planes is fun now, but show them how much you’ll work to get behind the stick and they’ll draw you into their circle, teach you everything they know. That’s how Pete Conrad went from sweeping hangars in exchange for lessons and worked his way up to walking on the moon. You don’t know who Pete Conrad is, do you? You only thought you were smart about the moon landings. Go look it up.

By the way, there’s a space station, and I mean A SPACE STATION with an international crew of six people orbiting the earth as I type these words. It’s not impossible that you could be part of that crew – *if* you learn math and *if* you learn to fly, and those are not impossible things to learn. Believing you can work on a space station seems like science fiction to you now, but reality has a funny way of sneaking up on you. Like for instance, I’m living in a world-wide pandemic is kicking the shit out of the United States because American voters thought it would be a good idea to elect a con man president who rose to fame because his television show was a hit in spite of the fact that he couldn’t find his ass with both hands, a map, and a flashlight. Sounds like a Phillip K. Dick dystopia. Which reminds me: Get your hands on all the Phillip K. Dick you can find. I discovered him too late to appreciate him. I think maybe 15-year-old me would have loved him.

Well, 15-year-old me, this has been fun but I have to clean the bathroom. Sorry, but I let it go way too long and it’s pretty gross now. I still put everything off until way past the last minute. Maybe that’s something you can try to stop doing. Just an idea. I’ll be back with more later, promise.

dear me | 2:53 pm CST
Category: current events, damn kids!, Life & Death, random idiocy, this modern world | Tags:
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Friday, June 26th, 2020

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but “Trump cannot lie his way out of a pandemic. And the pandemic keeps reminding him of that” is not a hot take I can gin up a lot of enthusiasm for. Call him a two-bit grifter all you want, but he did in fact bullshit his way into the highest office in the land. I don’t admire his ability or hold it up as an example to be imitated; I’m only acknowledging he has a history of failure after failure, and after each one, he has lied his way back into a position of power. He’s proven he can effectively lie his way out of any debacle he’s ever been involved in.

There’s the tiniest chance the pandemic might possibly turn out to be the one huge fuckup he can’t lie his way out of, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

damn lies | 6:20 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant | Tags: ,
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Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Today’s episode of “A Closer Look” starts off with a single copy of “The Thorn Birds:”

A few minutes later, two more books have been added to the stack:

  • “The Thorn Birds 3: Things Be Getting Tornier!”
  • “The Thorn Birds 2: More Thorns”

The stack gets a little higher in the next scene with an all-anagram stack of “The Thorn Birds,” including:

  • “The Borsht Rind”
  • “The Third Borns”
  • “The North Birds”

Then the stack becomes a lollapalooza of goofy free-association versions of “The Thorn Birds:”

  • “The Born Turds”
  • “The Torn Shirts”
  • “The Sworn Words”
  • “The Thin Boards”
  • “The Shorn Brads”
  • “The Corn Nerds”

And finally, the stack turns into a random pile of books we’ve seen in previous episodes, including:

  • “The Thowd in the Bone”
  • “A Blockwork Thornge”
  • “198Thourn”
  • “The Picture of Thornian Bray”
  • “The Thord of the Rings”
  • “Thorntnoy’s Complaint”
thorn birds 6-25-20 | 12:01 pm CST
Category: entertainment, play, random idiocy, television | Tags: , ,
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Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Today’s episode of “A Closer Look” starts off with a stack of books on the end table:

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • 1984
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Thorn Birds

A few minutes later, “A Clockwork Orange” has been transformed into “A Clockwork Thornge.”

After that, “The Sword in the Stone” becomes “The Thowd in the Bone”

Then “1984” becomes “198Thourn”

And finally, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” becomes “The Picture of Thronian Bray.”

thorn birds 6-24-20 | 11:50 am CST
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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Woke up from a dream this morning in which I was taking turns driving a truck. I was supposed to be off-duty, catching some sack time in the back, but the guy driving the truck needed help navigating, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined him in the cab with a map.

The cab of the truck was more like the bridge of a cargo ship. Really big. I was standing next to the driver with lots of dead air between the top of my head and the roof of the cab. There was enough floor space to play hockey. It was a big cab.

The map I was using was full-size. Scale was 1:1. I mean, I was looking at a map that was the same size of the road we were driving. It was like I was in a plane looking down at the countryside, only I was in the cab, looking at a map I could hold in my hands that was the actual size of the world. Even in the dream, this seemed a little outlandish to me.

full-size | 3:47 pm CST
Category: dreams, random idiocy
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Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Today’s episode of “A Closer Look” starts off with a single copy of “The Thorn Birds” on the end table:

In the next scene, a copy of “The Bourne Identity” appears on top:

Next, “The Thorn Birds” and “The Bourne Identity” seem to meld into a single copy of “The Thourne Identity.”

And finally, “The Torn Birds” reappears:

thorn birds 6-22-20 | 12:03 pm CST
Category: entertainment, play, random idiocy, television | Tags: , ,
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Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

There’s a section of the social media web site REDDIT called “Am I The Asshole?” in which Redditors will spell out a sticky problem they’re experiencing and ask everyone to either validate their righteousness or dump on their pettiness. Because everything on the internet is a TLA (Three-Letter Abbreviation), you can answer YTA (You’re The Asshole), NTA (Not The Asshole), ESH (Everyone Sucks Here), and a couple other things I’m forgetting right now and am too lazy to look up.

This post is typical:

AITA for not sharing coffee with my husband who refuses to ever make coffee?

Quarantine woes. I (28F) work upstairs and my husband (35M) works from our kitchen counter. Every morning he refuses to put the kettle on or help make the coffee. He says, “I don’t want coffee but if you make it I’ll have some.” When I make it he then wants a full cup! As of late I take the entire french press with me back to my work station and refuse to share with him since he can’t be bothered to even turn the knob on the stove for the kettle. AITA?

So much to unpack here.

First, there’s a lot of backstory missing. Wife and hubby are obvs not getting along AT ALL. Missing is everything leading up to the coffee-making.

Second, lots of passive-aggressiveness going on here. Hubby says he doesn’t want coffee but he does. Wife makes coffee, takes it all upstairs with her. I’d pay to watch that webcam.

Some of the posts describe situations so outrageous they’re would’ve been hard to believe as little as a year ago. As weird as reality has become lately, though, I’d believe almost anything.

AITA | 4:02 pm CST
Category: random idiocy, this modern world
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Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Trump graduated from grumpy old codger and joined the tinfoil hat brigade today when he tweeted: “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

Trump referred to an incident caught on video in which a protester was roughly pushed aside when he approached a line of advancing police officers wearing riot gear. He had a phone in his hand, which Trump apparently thought was a “scanner.”

The protester lost his balance and fell to the ground, cracking his head on the pavement. One police officer turned and reached for the protester as if to help, but another officer in line hustled him along. The image of police stepping over a 75-year-old man lying on the pavement bleeding his wounds triggered outrage that Trump apparently couldn’t help commenting on.

If a friend of mine tweeted stuff like this, I’d take him aside and say, “Dude, this is the kind of talk doctors combat with powerful antipsychotic drugs. You need to tone it down.” And if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be my friend any more.

tinfoil hat | 6:00 pm CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant | Tags: ,
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Thursday, June 4th, 2020

I typed the word “rigamarole” into an email the other day and got one of those red squiggly lines underneath telling me it was misspelled.

That’s interesting, I thought, because I’m pretty sure that’s a bullshit made-up word. [Turns out it’s not. It’s a word with a long history. – ed] [There is no editor.]

So I right-clicked on the word to find out how my computer thought it should be spelled and found out the all-knowing spellcheck god wanted me to type “rigmarole” instead.

Well. I’m not doing that. Because that’s just flat-out *wrong.* Even though all my dictionaries say I’m wrong, this is one time I’m not going to budge. It’s been “rigamarole” all my life and nobody’s going to gaslight me into changing it to “rigmarole” now. It’s the totally stupid hill I’m willing to die on.

rigamarole | 6:00 pm CST
Category: random idiocy | Tags:
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Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Author Chuck Wendig asked: “Tell us about something unexplainable that happened to you – your own “glitch in the Matrix” –?”

I was about to set the needle on an LP record track (kids, ask your grandparents) when, just before the needle touched down, the right-hand speaker very clearly said, “Cheeseburger.” I was so surprised that I turned to the speaker and said, “WHAT?” It did not, thank dog, repeat itself.

This is as close to a supernatural experience as I have ever been. Other people have told me they saw ghosts or spoke to god. I heard my stereo component request a cheeseburger. As supernatural experiences go, it was startling at the time but I would have to rate it as totally underwhelming in the great scheme of things.

glitch | 6:30 am CST
Category: random idiocy, story time
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Author Chuck Wendig asked: What’s something totally stupid and/or dangerous you did as a kid?

When I was in fifth grade – what is that, ten, eleven years old? – one of the kids in our town with a less than shining reputation set fire to our school. It was a solid three-story brick building with granite stairways and hardwood floors; I’d guess it was built in maybe the 30s or 40s. The fire department responded quickly enough to put out the blaze before it gutted the building, leaving behind a wreck that was never used again and eventually torn down, BUT before they did that, I went exploring with my friends. We climbed stairs strewn with nails all the way to the top floor where most of the damage was. We crossed sagging floors that should have collapsed to send us plunging to certain death, or at least permanent disfigurement. I don’t know how we didn’t at least get tetanus from poking through all the broken equipment in the science lab. I’ve done other things that came close to being that dumb, but that was probably the dumbest I’ve ever been.

stupid and or dangerous | 6:13 am CST
Category: Life & Death, random idiocy, story time
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Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

I dreamed I was back in Bedford, England, the town I lived in when the Air Force stationed me at the nearby Royal Air Force base, Chicksands, in 1985. I had just arrived, one might almost say materialized in the apartment I used to live in, which I somehow recognized despite the fact that it looked nothing like my apartment. For a start, it was way too clean. Not that I lived in a pigsty, it just wasn’t painted an antiseptic white on all surfaces. Also, the rooms were only half the size they should have been, so that I could barely move around and had to walk hunched over. Finally, it was on the third floor, and I know damned well I lived on the second floor. Several people I didn’t know were in the apartment with me; I gave them the nickel tour, then went for a walk.

I thought it would be neat to take a look around Bedford, to see if I could recognize anything, so I climbed on the first bus that came along and rode it through town. Couldn’t recognize a thing, but stayed on the bus anyway because it was such an enjoyable ride. Not even a little sarcastic, there; I was genuinely enjoying myself. About halfway through town, though, I realized I didn’t have any money to pay for my fare. I moved to the front of the bus and told the driver, who pulled up in front of an official-looking building and said, “Go find the room marked ‘Medical,’ they’ll take care of it.” I asked him to repeat that, to make sure I’d heard it right. I had.

I stepped off the bus into the lobby, because it was parked in the lobby. A big lobby. I crossed the lobby floor and found a door marked ‘Medical,’ stepped through it and walked up to the counter, showed them my ticket and explained my predicament. One of the ladies behind the counter took my ticket while another listened to my story. They both disappeared immediately after I finished my tale and I never saw them again.

I waited while the rest of the clerks left and were replaced by other clerks. Day passed into night. I asked one of the new clerks if this was the night shift. “Night shift,” she scoffed, but didn’t explain any further. I wandered around in ‘Medical’ but couldn’t find anyone who would help me straighten out my by-now irrelevant gaffe, so I left.

Walked around a little bit in a neighborhood I didn’t recognize, got on another bus and rode through town a bit more. Ended up at the airport where I ran into some old friends from language school. And this is where I started to wake up, so the dream because less chaotic and more like random memories of people I knew in language school.

bedford | 6:15 am CST
Category: dreams, My Glorious Air Force Career, random idiocy
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Monday, May 11th, 2020

Weijia Wang, correspondent for CBS News: “You’ve said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing. Why does that matter? Why is it a global competition to you if, every day, Americans are losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”

Trump: “Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world, and maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer. Yes, behind you, please.”

Wang: “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically, than I should ask China?”

Trump: “I’m telling you. I’m not saying it specifically to anybody. I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”

specifically | 5:41 pm CST
Category: current events, random idiocy | Tags:
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Sunday, May 10th, 2020

WHAT THE WHAT

snow is forecast today

i give up | 6:05 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, weather | Tags:
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

Author Chuck Wendig asked: “What is a weird or prominent dream or nightmare you can still remember vividly no matter how much time has passed – a real dream, from sleep, not an aspiration or metaphor?”

When I was about five years old, I used to stay up past my bed time to watch whatever television show my parents were watching. It was hard for them to stop me, because my bedroom was right off the living room. All I had to do was sit in the doorway and peek around the corner.

One night, they watched the old Twilight Zone. When I saw the introduction, it scared the shit out of me. That crazy music, weird things floating around in a dark void, a slowly-opening, disembodied floating eyeball – A DISEMBODIED FLOATING EYEBALL!

I had nightmares about eyeballs staring at me from out of a dark void for years after that. YEARS. My screams woke up everyone in the house.

Not long after that, my grandmother innocently got me one of those clocks that looks like a cat with a tail for a pendulum and eyes that wig-wag back and forth as the clock goes tick-tock. My mom hung it in my bedroom because, you know, it was a gift and she wanted to show my grandma we appreciated it. It was on the wall just one day and part of one night. Those big, round eyes constantly scanning the dark room, looking for a soul to eat were too much for me. Screamed for mom, who took it down and probably had to spend at least a few hours with her arm around me, trying to get me to stop crying.

Twilight Zone opening still gives me the shivers.

oldest nightmare | 7:18 am CST
Category: dreams, random idiocy, sleeplessness, story time
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There is no way she is not aware of the significance of this phrase.

There is perhaps the tiniest of chances she is unaware that Governor J.B. Pritzker is Jewish, but given the significance of the phrase, I would not believe her if she said she didn’t know that.

anti-lockdown protester holds a sign reading ARBEIT MACHT FREI

significance | 6:43 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy | Tags: ,
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Thursday, April 30th, 2020

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)

A tightly packed crowd of protesters, some carrying rifles, attempted to enter the floor of the legislative chamber, and were held back by a line of state police and capitol staff, according to video footage posted by local journalists.

One Democratic state lawmaker posted a photograph of men with rifles standing in a gallery yelling down at lawmakers below. “Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them,” the state senator Dayna Polehanki wrote on Twitter.

“Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol,” Lois Beckett writing in The Guardian, 4/30/2020

 

Michigan terrorists | 12:44 pm CST
Category: current events, Life & Death, random idiocy, this modern world | Tags: , ,
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Saturday, April 25th, 2020

There’s a song about growing old with a verse that goes:

“A box too full to shut
A cardboard papercut
The bleeding edge of
a picture of your parents
when they were cool”

I was looking through a box of pictures like that today.

This is my dad, having that dream where you’re out in public in your underwear.

And this is my mom, looking like she could be maybe one beer over the line.

cool parents | 4:26 pm CST
Category: random idiocy
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