Not in a good mood…

I have no idea how long this post will be today.  It all started (the day, that is) at the horrible hour of 0600.  The wife could only get an appointment to see her Doc. at 0710 so we had to get up and ready for that.  At this time of the morning, I am bleary-eyed and definitely not bushy-tailed.  We joined the throng headed for Wright-Patt AFB and headed for the hospital.  They tell you to arrive 15 minutes early, but what they don’t tell you is that the clinic opens at 0700, so being there at 0655 is counterproductive.  We stood until five after for it to open.

Then the receptionist opened the door, wafting out a cloud of toxic stuff she had dipped herself in.  This immediately slapped my sinus openings closed.  In seconds, the noxious cloud had spread to the entire waiting room.  Fortunately, we weren’t there very long before we had to leave for the lab, then her PT session for her shoulder.

For those who don’t remember, she had shoulder surgery to re-attach a tendon she tore while out in Colorado trying to corral a feisty grandkid.  She is wearing what I can only describe a sling on steroids.  It consists of many straps, clips, Velcro fastenings, and a huge foam pad under her entire forearm.  I don’t know how comfortable it is, but I do know I wouldn’t like to wear it.

. . .

My truck (1996 Nissan Frontier) is rapidly converting available iron/steel into rust.  The latest thing is for the tires to very slowly lose air.  I might not notice it until I have to fight the steering wheel as I drift towards the right side of the road on a semi-flat tire.  My only means of pumping it back up (save changing a $10 bill into quarters to feed the greedy “free air” machines at filling stations) is to try and use my old 12v pump.  I’ve had it for a while and, at first, it used to work rather well.  Over the years, however, it has slowed down considerably.  Now, I can attach the clip, start the compressor, and go read “War and Peace” while the pathetic thing puts a few pounds per hour into the tire.  My regular service guy(s) tell(s) me that older wheels will develop what they call ‘rusty rims’ and start gradually losing air through them.  This is what is happening.  So, the next time I have to buy tires, I’m going to have to spring for a wheel cleaning and refit.  Bleh!

. . .

It is apparent now that I bought some really cruddy suet blocks for my feathered friends.  I found some at a place called “Ollie’s” that were marked down to $0.75 each.  I don’t know what they were made of, but none of my usual birds or squirrels will touch them.  The same suet block has been out there, hanging on the tree, for a week now and had just a few peck holes in it.  I tossed it on the ground and it’s still there a day later.  Even the squirrels won’t eat it – and it’s supposed to be a tough winter this year.  That’s the main reason I don’t have any animal antics pictures lately.

. . .

I have also been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what is wrong with one of my computers.  At first, I just thought is was some playfulness of Vista, but that was not the trouble.  What happens is that it will suddenly, for no reason at all, freeze.  The mouse stops moving, the keyboard stops responding, and it just sits there looking stupid.  I have to power down to recover.  Then, during power-up and re-boot, it may or may not stop responding yet again.  At first I thought it might be memory but overnight tests say no.  Then I tried power supplywent from a 250W to a 475W unit.  Still does it.  Then I bought a new video card for the PCI-X slot – no change.  Then I tried a new 500G hard drive – no change.  Finally I threw caution to the winds and yanked all the connections and pulled the motherboard.  I examined every square inch of it by magnifying glass.  Couldn’t find a thing except one of the hundreds of pins on a RAM-stick slot was bent.  As a test, I pulled the stick out and firet the computer up.  It ran for two days and I thought I’d ficed it.  BOOM!  Still halts again.

Now enter the big guns.  I fired a salvo of Ubuntu LINUX at it.  This ran nicely for three days, then started halting again.  So, unless I can come up with the cosmic force that has inhabited my computer and making it fail, this one is headed for the old graveyard in the closet along with my 8″ floppy drive and my tape backup units.



End of the month blahs

Well, shoot.  Here it is the last day of September.  The wife has had her birthday (27th), and I’m basically down to staggering around the house in a cold-induced coma.  Two weeks ago, I started with a sore throat.  This progressed (as it usually does) downwards into my chest and upwards into my brain.  No matter what I take, or what I do to stop this process, I still end up coughing myself silly.  It is especially bad at night when I lie on my back.  Within minutes, every sinus cavity in my head (you’ve seen those commercials with the pulsing yellow blotches all over a stylized head) draining down into my throat.

At the moment, I am taking Robitussin.  It seems to help, but makes me sweat.  I really meant sweat as opposed to perspire.  Perspire is something you do quietly and with as little fuss as you can; what I do is industrial sweating.

In the middle of all this, my computer started playing silly buggers and kept freezing on me.  I spent two complete days trying to find out what was causing it problem.  I tested RAM; I tested CPU; I tested video; I tested the power supply; heck, I tested the motherboard by pushing on it with a pencil eraser.  BINGO!  That’s where I found the fault.  Apparently, when my daughter was here and we were checking out some of her spare RAM modules, one of them got inserted screwy and slightly bent one of the hundreds of tiny little fingers that grab the RAM stick.  The only way you can see it is to look at it through my Official Sherlock Holmes Magnifying Glass – and then only under the brightest of light.  Why the RAM managed to test good is beyond me, because every time I just pressed the module a tiny bit – boom – Vista would crash to its knees; and that isn’t a pretty sight.

So, now I have a problem: my RAM consists of two modules: a 1GB module and a 2GB module.  If I try to have both of them operating, I get halts, bluescreens, and general tomfoolery.  Now I am down to the 2GB module in the undamaged slot.  According to my motherboard manufacturer (a gnome living in a swamp in Kuala Lumpur) it will support a 4GB module.  Now, if I can locate a 4GB module of PC2/6400 DIMM I’m in business again.  The computer runs on 2GB, but is fairly slow because sometimes it has to disk-swap.

Fall has descended on us with heavy feet; clumping down around town, smashing flowers and bashing trees so hard they turn red and yellow.  This I wouldn’t mind, except it also brought along cold days with a grey sky and drizzle.  I hate drizzle.  My truck does not have wipers that pause.  They are either ON or OFF.  That means, that unless I want to leave them on and drive myself nuts with the constant squeek squeek squeek of rubber on dry windows I have to leave them off and manually flip them on from time to time.  I judge that time as being when my nose gets pressed against the horn button and it bleats.

I had an occasion to try and utilize a voice-activated menuing system.  Most of the ones I have encountered will respond well to a carefully modulated voice that neither inflects any particular syllable or rises and falls in tone.  Sort of like the robotic voice that answers the phone when you call.  I have often wondered what would happen if two such systems were hooked together somehow.  Wouldn’t that be a hoot?  Each one telling the other “Did you mean…” and “I think you wanted…” Ad Infinitum.

Final thought:  How does one tell for sure when sour cream has gone, er, sour?

Mergers & Acquisitions

With all the turmoil in the market today and the collapse of Lehman Bros and Acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America this might be some good advice.  For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.

Watch for these consolidations in later this year:

1) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. will merge and become:

Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2) Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become:

Poly, Warner Cracker.

3) 3M will merge with Goodyear and become:


4) Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become:

ZipAudiDoDa .

5) FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become:


6) Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become:

Fairwell Honeychild.

7) Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become:


8.) Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become:

Knott NOW!

9) Victoria ‘s Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name:

TittyTitty Bang Bang

= = = = = = = = = = =

Universal Laws:

1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act

4. Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi – If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire..

6. Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters -The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11.. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance.. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

16. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

17. Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. But don’t  don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick.

Close Call

Over the last three days, my eldest daughter has been driving up from Texas to Ohio.  The entire trip has been fraught with delays, traffic snarls, and accidents all the way northwards.  Early this morning (0430 or so) we found out she’d been in an accident not 20 miles from our house.  The wife headed down to the local Dayton hospital to be there while she got checked out.  She is fine.  No broken bones or anything like that, but she is bruised on the left side of her ribs and she took a hard knock on the head from the driver’s door frame.

Seems some jerk in a red, dual-wheeled pickup was either drunk or sleepy and, just after she passed him and made for the exit from I-70 to I-675 he sped up to a high rate of speed and attempted to pass her on the exit ramp.  She dodged him successfully but a wheel dropped off the concrete and she started to fishtail.  She’s a good driver, having herded 18-wheeler’s around for a bit, so I rather imagine that the early morning dew had a lot to do with why she spun sideways into a drainage ditch.

The whole left side of the mom-mobile took the brunt of the blow.  Both left front and rear wheels are buckled under the frame.  The left rear wheel detached and is only held on by brake cables.  The air dam was shoved upwards and cracked in three places.  The driver’s door and the left-side sliding door are both jammed hopelessly.  The responding rescue units had to evac her through the rear lid.  The officer investigating told her she was extremely lucky no bones were broken given the shape the vehicle is in.

Both she and I are wondering why the air bags didn’t deploy though.  They should have, given the drop into the drainage ditch, but they didn’t.  The jerk who caused the accident is long gone – he left the scene at a high rate of speed.  If that person happens to be reading this, just remember:  Karma is a bitch!

She is now sleeping on our couch after taking a couple of pain pills.  There is no doubt in my mind that the van is a total write-off.  Thank goodness AAA has that ‘trip interruption’ coverage so she can get a replacement vehicle for the trip back south.

A local TV station has this video of the accident:

Coupla Funnies

After 20 years of marriage, a couple was lying in bed one evening when the wife felt her husband begin to fondle her in ways he hadn’t in quite some time.

It almost tickled as his fingers started at her neck and then began moving down past the small of her back.

He then caressed her shoulders and neck, slowly worked his hand down over her breasts, stopping just over her lower abdomen.

Then he placed his hand on her left inner arm, moved past the side of her breast again, worked down her side, passed gently over her buttock and down her leg to her calf.  Then he proceeded up her inner thigh, stopping just at the uppermost portion of her leg.  He continued in the same manner on her right side, then suddenly stopped, rolled over and started to watch television.

As she had become quite arounsed by this caressing, she asked in a loving voice: “That was wonderful.  Why did you stop?”

“I found the remote.”

+ + +

A teacher is explaining biology to her 4th grade students that “human beings are the only animals that stutter”.

A little girl raised her hand.  “I had a kitty-cat who stuttered.”  She said.

The teacher, knowing how precious some of these stories could become, asked the girl to describe the incident.

“Well,” She began, “I was in the back yard with my kitty and the Rottweiler that lives next door got a running start and before we knew it, he jumped over the fence into our yard!”

“That must have been scary.”  Said the teacher.

“It sure was,” said the little girl.

“My kitty raised her back, went ‘Ssssst, Sssssst, Sssssst!’ but before she could say ‘Stay!’, the Rottweiler ate her”

Word of the day

I received a funny email today and thought I’d share it with you as well as add some thoughts concerning it.  The original email:

Word of the day – Electile Dysfunction

Definition: :  The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2012 election year.

This, by itself, is pretty funny and gave me a good chuckle.  But then I started to think of the one thing that would go with this type of definition.  I mean, if this condition were permanent, would you have to start taking Votagra?  If you did, then what about the side effects?  The most common would be a bluish cast to everything you see.  Not a good thing for those of you in red states, eh?

A sudden decrease or loss of vision can accompany any use of Votagra.  This has happened in the past and is still occurring within the country as a result of the last election.

Two other side effects are ‘facial flushing’ and ‘upset stomach’ or was that ‘facial upset’ and ‘stomach flushing’?  I couldn’t get it straight – no, wait, that was the original problem.

A sudden decrease or even a loss of hearing can also result from taking Votagra.  This mostly manifests itself by an inability to listed to endless commercials endorsed by either candidate.

You shouldn’t take Votagra while using nitrates.  The answer to this is to make sure you do your cold calls during the daytime and early evening.

So be sure to talk to your spin doctor about the full usage of Votagra.