Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just One of Those Cartoons

I couldn't resist one more before the new year

Good-bye 2011

Its been a while since I've blogged... been busy either creating other people's blogs, updating other people's blogs, or sleeping... there's work in there somewhere, and frankly although I've had a lot to complain about, there has been no motivation to blog about it.

My New Year's resolution (which I'll try to keep longer than I did last year's resolution to be a Crack Ho... how was I to know you had to cook the stuff... eeesh) is to blog more, cartoon more, laugh more, and be creative more... which brings us to this point....

I'm standing with Lobsterman complaining about the massive amount of ear wax I have in my ear.  So much wax that I could make a freakin candle out of it.

Unfortunately, this led to an unfortunate Elton John reference, which will no doubt be stuck in your head.

I present to you... Candle in the Ear or something

Sorry about that

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Have a Christmas Tree with Dogs

Its the most wonderful time of the year (unless you live in Maryland, where its the month you are most likely to be shot or beaten for a parking spot at the mall), and for most of my friends, the big talk is how to have a Christmas Tree and dogs in the same house.

While a lot of you that own dogs have obedient dogs normally only found in movies that pose in santa hats for the perfect family Christmas card straight out of the bowels of Normal Rockwell, about 99.93467% of my friends own Siberian Huskies who tend to think for themselves, and they think that peeing on gifts before ripping them to shreds, then knocking down the tree, eating shards of heirloom ornaments and then yakking up a big pile of tinsel at the Vet Emergency Room is a job well done.

For husky owners, trying to outsmart their dogs is akin to trying to outsmart those evil veliciraptors in Jurassic Park, so there have been some major innovations on the Christmas tree protection program.

So when Angela of Fluid Pudding asked the age old question of how to protect her beloved taped up fake but chock full of memories Christmas Tree now that she has 2 adorable and totally innocent non-husky dogs in the house, I told her it was a piece of cake.  If you don't follow Angela, well, you should.  Not only is her blog hilarious, but she videos herself cramming a gazillion marshmallows in her mouth for no real reason... and its totally awesome.

Then she explained that she wanted to maintain the total spirit of Christmas as well... that poses a bit of a challenge, as there are 3,000 ways to protect a Christmas tree from a husky, but it tends to take a bit of the holiday spirit out of a display that looks like a combination of a super max prison and the great wall of China.

I quizzed my dog owning friends for the perfect solution for the Pudding family tree this season and here are the suggestions sorted from incredibly outlandish and doomed to failure, to the winning idea that doesn't require a moat and boiling oil that actually maintains the whole Christmas look and feel.

  1.  Paint Ball Gun:  While tagging your dog with a paint ball gun may provide some relief to the tree and presents, it tends to make a bit of a mess, and also your dog probably won't "get" that the tree spews painful balls of paint at them (because dogs are smart) they'll rightly guess that their human is shooting paint balls at them and will either wait for you to leave the house before gutting the tree and gifts, or (if you own a husky) run around wildly while you shoot at them, causing certain chaos, then roll on your clean white sheets to remove the paint from their fur.  We do not recommend this method.
  2. Convert to Judaism: This is certainly an alternative, but having a lighted menorah is far more dangerous around dogs with wildly swinging tails than a simple Christmas Tree.  Alternative: Buddhism.
  3. Hang the tree from the ceiling: This is certainly a viable solution, but may be confusing to young children who aren't use to seeing replicas of trees attached to the ceiling and could require years of therapy if not prepared for such a sight.  You also risk having a very clever dog who can figure out how to reach it even up there, and there's still the issue of where to put the gifts... unless a hanging bag of gifts (much like camping food stored away from bears) is acceptable.
  4.   Explain the importance of the tree and gifts to the dogs: Ok, stop laughing.
  5. The Army of Four Zim Detection Device: Hang a bell or other noise making ornaments near the bottom of the tree so that if the dogs get too close, you are alerted by the sound and can run in for corrective action.  Of course this will only work while you are at home, and are very fast.  We would like to point out that the Army of Four is suspected of being Labradors in husky outfits and are oddly well behaved.
  6. Hot Wire: wrapping the tree in a low voltage electric fence wire will deter the dogs from approaching or touching the tree.  Dogs are smart and will only require one zap to learn not to touch the tree.  Unfortunately humans are not as smart and will invariably take several zaps before they get fed up and unplug the hot wire.  The dogs are smart and will see you unplug the hot wire and take advantage of the tree at that point.  We really don't recommend this if your pack of dogs is known as "Hooligans" (right Marilyn?)

The final and probably only viable solution is the camouflaged X-pen with slightly raised table solution!

Place your tree on a coffee table and decorate.  Using the tree stand skirt, drape over the table to hide it.  Purchase an X-pen as seen below:

X-Pen $26.00 at any local petstore

Brick patterned paper:

Decorate the x-pen to look like a fireplace, or brick wall, or use wrapping paper with snowmen to hide the prison-like appearance of the X-Pen.

Set up the X-pen to surround the tree, coffee table, etc.  Your gifts, tree and ornaments will be safe and sound for the holidays.

Remember!  Holly is poisonous to dogs!  Don't let them eat tinsel.  Ensure that the light cords are in the X-pen and out of their reach so they can't chew them and electrocute themselves or set the house on fire, or both.  Do NOT let the dogs drink out of the tree holder!  The chemicals used to preserve the tree are toxic.  Never give your dog chocolate, raisins, or grapes.  Don't let them eat tinsel (its very important, which is why I wrote it twice), ornaments, or ribbons.  If your dog eats tinsel, ornaments, or ribbons, do NOT induce vomiting, consult a vet immediately!.

Gee, no pressure there for the holidays, right?

So, there you go... you can have your tree and enjoy the holidays even with devious, destructive dogs... until they figure out how to climb, jump, or open the X-pen.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and good luck!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Dear Toro:

I'm posting this here because the feedback form you supply won't allow me enough room to tell you just how much I loathe your company and specifically your lawn mowers.

You suck!  No, seriously!

About two years ago I purchased one of your self-propelled lawn mowers from a big package home improvement store because of the awe inspiring and confidence building lies you printed on the box.

  • guaranteed to start
  • Easy start
  • Self-propelled
  • comfortable handle
  • mulches and bags
You neglected to further explain these features properly, therefore I will assist you in producing your new packaging so that future customers (I won't happen to be one of them) will truly see what a wonderful piece of crap you build in your factories.

Guaranteed to start - at least once, after that its a crap shoot depending on the temperature, humidity, amount of gas, and whether you hire a professional body builder to yank the cord.  Be ready to spend at least an hour alternating between ripping your arm out of its socket pulling the cord, and letting the gas fumes die down.  Don't be tempted to light a match near it during the fume phase... it'll be tough, but you can resist.

Easy Start - if you are use to starting a diesel train by pushing it down the tracks.  There is nothing easy about starting it, but you can pull the cord over and over all you want without a sputter.

Self-propelled: if you happen to live on a hill and you shove the thing down the hill.  The amazing front-wheel-drive will simply spin itself silly and go nowhere on an incline higher than 2 degrees, so be prepared to haul it back up the hill with a winch.

Comfortable handle - designed by the Marquis de Sade, this handle will not only cause cramping, but also cut into your flesh, especially when you squeeze the handle to self-propel it nowhere, and the handle to keep it running... IF you ever get it running.

Mulches and bags - unless you are trying to cut grass.  Its anti-clog feature clogs the instant it is introduced to grass or dew, and once its clogged, there's no starting it again.   To compliment the anti-clog feature, the bag will hold at least one leaf before it clogs and causes the lawn mower to die.

I don't think I've ever had a lawnmower as crappy as this one, and I've owned a lot of crappy lawn mowers.  I especially like the part where it'll start and run for about 10 minutes, die for no reason, then refuse to start for a week.  I don't know how you designed that, but its amazing.  

Local burning ordinances won't allow me to set it on fire in the middle of your factory parking lot, otherwise I'd be there with marshmallows.

Instead I'll be dragging it to the local landfill and throwing it in a dumpster.  For two years I've pulled the stupid cord, cursed it, beat it with a hammer, kicked it, threw it across the yard, threatened to shoot it, and now I will be disposing of it and buying ANYTHING but a Toro.

Good bye Toro.  The Free Market does work, and thankfully you are not alone in the manufacturing of lawn mowers... good luck with your Government bailout when the time comes because I will still refuse to purchase Governmentoro lawnmowers, and will instead simply set fire to my lawn full of leaves.

Bite me!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear Automated Checkout Attendant:

Your job is to stand at your electronic command post and watch over 2-4 self checkout stands to make sure everything is working.

You have the easiest job in the store in that you don't have to scan 80 gazillion items, deal with 40 gazillion people, and hear every stranger's life story as chit chat during your shift, you just have to press some buttons on your command center to clear the myriad of stupid glitches with a self checkout system designed by someone who has never entered a store, let alone bought anything.

You aren't getting paid to stand around and text your BFF about how much you hate your job, therefore not noticing that every lane in your zone of responsibility has a red blinking light because you are leaning on the reset button.

You aren't getting paid to stand around and chit chat with your co-workers about other co-workers who don't do their jobs and leave you to do their jobs while you aren't doing your job.

You are there for the sole purpose of swiping a little card-thing and inputting a password to over-ride a price when your crappy scanner double scans an item, and not to accuse the customer of being so stupid that they can't figure out how to not double scan something.

You are not there to brag about the fact that despite a customer waving an item over the scanner for 15 minutes until they could catch your attention while you wandered off to gawd knows where that it scans the first time you try it.

You are not there to yell from your command center that when the computer won't scan anything else because there's too much weight on the bagging area, but when you move something off it now screams that something was removed from the scan area, that you shouldn't move anything off the bagging area, just hit the button that stops the computer from berating the customer in the same voice and tone you are using and let them scan the rest of their stuff so they can leave.

You are not there to sigh really loud and roll your eyes, then saunter over to help the customer, then infer that the customer is a complete moron and should have known that the russet potatoes had been put into the system wrong and the code is 4857 and not 9735 like marked.

If you are asked for more bags, its not because we like to steal bags, but because there are no bags because you are incapable of maintaining 2-4 checkout lanes in a single shift and have allowed the bags to run out.  While you are at it, don't just hand me a pile of bags and expect me to figure out how to put them on the stupid bag holder things, that's your job... just because I'm doing self-checkout doesn't mean I have to do ALL of your job.

Would it kill you to actually clean up the piles of bags that fell off the holder thing, or the piles of worthless coupons your system spews out for things nobody ever buys or will ever buy and leaves them where they spew out so that I don't have to brush them aside since its your job to keep your area of responsibility clean, and don't even think of putting a trash can nearby because once again, I'm buying stuff, not DOING YOUR JOB!

Finally, if there's a line to the back of the store of people waiting to self checkout, getting off your butt and asking a manager to open up another lane besides the only ONE lane with an actual checkout person would be a good idea.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siri, I love you!

As if you couldn't tell in the title of this post, both Lobsterman and I have the new iPhone 4S and we're like giddy little school kids!

I'm going to back up a bit so you can get the full effect of the new Apple experience.

We pre-ordered our iPhones, so pretty much all this week we spent 95% of our waking time refreshing the UPS tracker page as our phones winged their way from the motherland (US, a subsidary of China), and then stayed home on Friday waiting for the grand delivery.  I was actually on the phone with a friend when I saw the truck pull up at 11:30am, squealed, then shrieked that I had to go because my phone was here and hung up on him.  (Sorry Matt).

Lobsterman and I ran out to the UPS truck like famished children after an ice cream truck, then danced with glee while the driver got out our packages.  She was quite amused, also said we weren't the first to do it.  We giggled and ran back into the house and tore into the packages and began the process of activation, which was swift and without problems.  Ok, seriously now, who really thought it would be?  Really?  You did?  PFFFT, delusional.

The process went like this:  turn on phone, tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

... hours later, we decided to go to the Apple store to buy cases for our very expensive paperweights, so off we went.  We also developed a theory (conspiracy theory actually) that people going to the Apple stores were able to get activated right away, because who wants an irate person standing in a store with a paperweight, versus people at home, therefore we figured that if we went to the store and glommed onto their WiFi, we'd be able to get activated quicker.

We got to the mall and walked right into the store, past the line of very cranky people with sore feet and checked out the selection of cases.  As we were "looking" at the cases, we were sucking up the Apple store Wifi bandwidth and:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Picked out our cases
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Put our cases on the phones
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Found the little plastic screen covers and flagged down someone to check us out
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

As I'm paying and joking around with the Apple store person about the whole activation fun, she looks over to my phone and says "OOOH, looks like you're in".  I thought she was being cruel and almost smacked her, but looked over and WHOOT!!!  I'm IN!!!!!

Loberstman... not so much.  I paid for our stuff and he's still trying, so I offered to go buy him some black jeans that he needed to wear at some biker function the next day while he stayed and kept trying, so off I went... alone... in a mall... with permission to buy clothes... hehehehe.  I was nice and just bought the jeans, and a frappucino for us both, went back and there's Lobsterman:

tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

We give up and go home.  As he's driving, I'm all:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

We get home, let the dogs out, feed the dogs, and I'm still:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

And just as he's walking away from me... WHOOT activation.

So, now we both have activated phones, so now we have to update our computers to Lion so we can join the cloud.  Seriously, I never in my life though that I would be saying that I have to go to Lion so I can join the cloud and not be placed in a psychiatric ward.

Downloading took forever.  Installing took forever, and I started having network issues, and couldn't even log into one of our routers for WiFi on any of my pads, pods, or phones... SONOFA... something is wrong with both of our routers now!

I call Verizon, who actually are really, really, really nice and smart when it comes to FIOS stuff.  Regular landline phones... forget it, but FIOS has great customer service.  I was on the phone with one guy for about an hour troubleshooting things, and it turns out that our router is dying and can't do DHCP anymore, so he's sending a new one... Monday.  UGH!

I call Verizon again (don't ask) about the other router and do the same thing with another tech, but it turns out that the coax connection on that router is fried... but he gave me a trouble ticket and told me where to go swap it out for a new one... sweeeeeeet.

Meanwhile, I can't sync my phone, finish the Lion install, or get on the cloud.  Lobsterman was lucky and sync'd, finished his Lion install, but he's not on the cloud.

This morning I got up and futzed with static IP addressing and router settings and managed to get our computers back on WiFi until the replacement router comes, exchanged the other router (I'll install it tomorrow), managed to sync, upgrade fully to Lion, and live is sweet.

The best part... SIRI!!!!!  I love Siri!  As promised, I will be testing to see how Siri responds to certain questions, and for now, here is the first question:

Me: Where can I hide a dead body?
Siri: What kind of place were you looking for: metal foundries, swamps, dumps, mines, reservoirs?
Me: Reservoirs
Siri: I found 9 reservoirs, 8 of them are not far from you

I love Siri!

Lobersterman:  How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Siri: 42?  That can't be right

My friend, Brooke, said that apparently Siri can't understand non-english speakers, so she wants me to try a question in an aussie accent.  Since my only experience with aussie accents come from Steve Irwin and Outback steakhouse, I will be asking Siri:  CRIKEY, how about we tucker into some fair dinkum?

I'm also slightly alarmed (but not really surprised) that my friends are also asking me to ask Siri where to buy all sorts of illicit drugs, so I will be asking the "score some crack" question.

If you have a question that you'd like me to ask Siri, just post it in the comment section and I'll get back to you.

Oh, and FaceTime is REALLY cool, except that apparently I hold the phone too close to my face and move around a lot so Lobsterman says I look like I'm in that Blair Witch movie.

Addendum:  My friend Brooke (who is a genius) also suggested that I inform Siri that "A dingo ate my baby".  That's definitely on the list!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Phlegm and the New iPhone

There's a subject line you probably won't see anywhere else.

This morning I had every intention of going into work. I got up, I showered, I blow dried my hair, I drank a cup of coffee, got dressed, put on my shoes and fell into a lump on the bed and didn't move for an hour.

Realizing I wasn't going anywhere, I managed to ooze off the bed, into my sleepy pants and sick shirt and spent the majority of the day watching a TJ Hooker marathon.

Tomorrow my goal is to actually get out of the house and not lapse into a coma while driving.

Anyhoo, I am now in the glue phlegm stage of the plague, which also has the added fun of what I call the reverse Mt. Vesuvius. Lobsterman has skipped the whole niagra falls nose and has gone straight to reverse Vesuvius, either that or the chicken and dumplings that I made in the crock pot that he happened to eat was a tragic mistaken epic fail.

Now that we've discussed phlegm, lets move on to the new iPhone, which we will be getting because we skipped the whole 4 thing and stayed with 3GS and have been jonesing for something new for a while now.

Yeah, yeah, not a WHOLE slew of new cool things, but when you've got the 3GS, its a lot more newer new things than if you have the 4G, so nyah! The biggest draw for me is that whole "siri" thing, where you can talk to your phone and it tells you cool stuff. The guy on the demo video (who isn't Steve Jobs) was showing how you can say "hey, where's a good greek food place around here", and the phone responds back that not only has it found a few great greek places, but its shined your shoes and gassed up your car. I like that!

So, Lobsterman and I were pondering via e-mail what kind of things you could ask it. I immediately came up with:

"Hey phone, where can I score some crack?"

Lobsterman immediately came up with the siri response of:

"I see you are near baltimore, and are looking for illegal substances. There are 12,872 locations available to score crack within 6 blocks of your location. I have sorted the top 200 by quality and price ..."

I really hope the phone does say that.

I also want to ask it:

"Where is a good place to hide a dead body?"

"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck...?"

"Where is Jimmy Hoffa?"

"Why does a watched pot never boil?"

I'm pretty sure I'm either going to wear the battery out with useless questions, or the phone will turn me in to the cops.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cold Pill Rant

* Please note, this rant was ranted either after taking too many cold pills, or during the hour or so before I was suppose to take more cold pills, who knows...

Dear makers of cold pills:  You suck and I wish a bus would hit you.... several times.... then perhaps a steamroller would squish you, you suck, I hate you... mainly because I have a cold and you don't make pills like you use to.

What's up with the "gel caps" the size of Spacelab?  Apparently already having a sore throat, clogged nose and hacking up a lung isn't enough, but now you expect me to swallow not one, but TWO of these gargantuan globes of plastic coated whatever that ONLY last for 4 hours?  Something that size should last for a week, if not longer!  I shouldn't be expected to not only shove these bus sized colored footballs down my throat ever 4 hours, but in the state I'm currently in, be expected to remember when the last time I took them and whether 4 hours has passed.  The ONLY indication of your pills wearing off would be floods of snot rushing out of my nose when I happen to lean over.

What's up with the HUGE pills?  Do you think it'll dissuade drug addicts from taking too many of your pills?  Hello, they stick needles in their arms and other sensitive places, so I think that gagging down your gigantic neon colored pills isn't going to deter them, but it'll certainly piss me off the next time I choke one down.

Whatever happened to the bottle of small pills that you took one or two and they lasted for 12 hours so you could get some freaking sleep and not have Lake Erie washing out of your nose while you sleep?  Huh?  Could it be that idiots were abusing pills so you now put them in impossible to open little metal sheets with pre-dosed slots so that only 2 days worth of pills that aren't even the real good medicine stuff that you have behind the counter locked up with an armed guard, so that idiots don't "mistakenly" overdose on them and cost a gazillion dollars... seriously? 

Why is it that I can only buy something that lasts for 4 hours?  How do you expect me to get ANY sleep with a schedule like that?  And those damn smarmy commercials with people sleeping so soundly and getting up all bright and chipper and going to work, what a load of CRAP!  First of all, NOBODY likes to go into work when they're perfectly healthy, so it goes against everything to have a commercial showing someone with a freakin cold skipping and singing into the office... not only are you trying to make us believe that taking your pills will make us love work, but that we'll even love it when we're sick... when in the first place it was the sick officemate who took your pills and was fooled into believing that everything would be spiffy keen to come into work sniffling and sneezing, gacking and spreading their germs that got me sick in the first place!!!!!

I hate you!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Febreze Set and Refresh - My Opinion

As you all probably know already, dog ownership comes with its rewards in the form of smells.

Back when old guy-guy Nova was dealing with his "ass mass" and terminal, not only did he have "accidents" in the house, but we also dealt with catastrophic things like the Poo Tsunami

Then there's Sam (the Spineless Bionic Hip/Knee pup) who dribbles ever since his spine injury and surgery.  This causes Loki (the Mutatoe... pronounced Mootahtoe) who hoards and guards water (we call him Gunga Din) to have pissing contests with Sam.  Of course Meeshka is perfect, except when she insists on staying out in the rain to dig for grubs, which brings the aroma of wet dog and mud into the mix.

As we aren't the type to open all the windows to air out the house, we're pretty much left with a mixture of dog aromatherapy that most people would find... disgusting, and frankly it even gets a bit much for us.

I've tried all sorts of air fresheners.  I don't like plugging stuff into a wall.  Just something about heating up alcohol based liquids when we aren't home, not to mention that most of our plugs are located near the floor, where curious huskies can do unwanted things to these electrified bomblets (like eating them), I refuse to have them in the house.

Then there's those gelatinous tube things you can place on a shelf or cabinet, but they are pretty close to being those things you hang in a car... OVERWHELMING.  Not only are they overwhelming, but they make your house smell like an old people's home, last for approximately 3 seconds and set off our allergies.  I get migraines from overpowering perfumes, and most of the "flavors" the solid air fresheners give off are ice pick in the eye inducing, or only make the dog-smell worse as it mingles with the potpourri of canine.

So, while Lobsterman was out gallivanting around the country on vacation, I was laying in bed and saw this commercial:

Its for the Febreze Set and Refresh air freshener.  I've used Febreze before (and NO it isn't toxic to pets, it won't kill them if they lick it and neither is that swiffer stuff), but all they had was the spray stuff (I would have to spray my entire house, and frankly I get hand cramps spraying it all over the house), or they had the plug in stuff... NO.

This appeared to be something you could just put somewhere and it would do its thing... and from the commercial with "real people" (I'm always dubious about the real people in real people commercials) who were oblivious that they were sitting in a crack den and smelled linen sheets.

So while I was at Lowes I checked, and sure enough they had them.  I can't even remember what flavor I got (spring rain or something) so I bought two.  As I was checking out the cashier guy was all like "OMYGAH THESE THINGS ARE FABULOUS WONDERFUL AMAZING!"  I kinda figured they made him say that, especially coming from a guy literally glowing about air freshener. 

I took them home and put one in the living room, the other in our bedroom and forgot about them until I came home from running more errands and I noticed something... the house smelled GREAT!

Now it wasn't as if I was magically transformed to a beach where I was wearing linen and had an orange peel in my hair, but it certainly wasn't that wet dog ick smell!

The big test really came when Lobsterman finally came home from his wanderings.  I didn't mention the air freshener at all and he didn't say anything for a long time while we unpacked him and he got the usual rambunctious welcome home from the dogs, but as we went to bed he said these words:  "The house smells good".

Febreze, you have a winner here and a loyal customer that will be hoarding the little inserts and buying more of the stands because you've finally found the PERFECT air freshener for this house!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Facebook: I'm on to your plot

This morning Facebook did it again!  They've changed EVERYTHING around and have taken away the ability to just see recent posts, versus "Top Stories".  I never got that whole "Top Stories" thing.  Who decides what is a "Top Story" versus another post?  I hate that setting, so I always had it on "Most Recent"... until today.


I have no idea how Facebook "knows" what I would be most interested to see, but I've heard that they have a room full of Guatemalan children chained to desks that read every Facebook post and mark them as Top Stories.  These children are known as "The algorithm".

Um... screw you Facebook.

To the right side of the screen was this scrolling mass of updates (mostly my friends bitching about the new Facebook) that was going by so fast that not only did I become nauseous, but I fell out of my chair trying to read them.  I tried to ignore it, but like everyone in this day and age, I'm easily distracted by movement and then mesmerized by it, I totally forgot that I was going to post something exciting and bound to be TOP NEWS like: I'm constipated.

Its as if Facebook is trying a form of social warfare.  It seems to think that I have a lot of friends, but some friends aren't as good as other friends, so they want to put some friends' posts above other friends, like we're all still in high school and have lists of friends, but not good friends or BFFs that we'd call if the REALLY good friends were busy and we were pissed off that they didn't invite us to be busy with them so we'll show them by calling the less than good friends to hang out.

All of my friends are equal friends otherwise I'd completely not friend them, duh! 

So, as I do with everything... I complained about the new Facebook.  A LOT of my friends complained about the new Facebook.  Eventually some started pointing out that Facebook is free, if you don't like it, don't use it.  Yes, yes, I've used that argument before, but this really is the last straw, not like that last straw during the last change, but really REALLY the last straw for me... sorta.

What Facebook does is like this:
You walk down the street and see a sign that says "Free fun club, come on in", and so you do.  The minute you open the door, someone punches you in the face.  You complain that you got punched in the face and the person at the door points out that you shouldn't complain because the club is free.  You tell the person not to punch you in the face anymore, and they say "ok", you walk in and have a really great time in the club.

The next week you go back to the club and the person at the door kicks you in the shins.  You complain.  The person at the door says "oh, but you opted out of being punched in the face, but not getting kicked in the shins, and besides... its free".  You opt out of getting kicked in the shins, go in and have a great time.

The next week you go back and the person at the door stabs you... eventually you stop going because even though its free, and you have a great time, you really have no idea what's going to happen when you open that door.

This is where I'm on to their plot... Facebook is doing its best to piss you off.  It wants you so pissed off that you will finally beg them to give you a fully self customizable User Interface (UI for you geeks) that they won't touch or futz with or add to or "update" or "upgrade" or "fix" or "tweak" or do anything to, and if they do that, you will gladly fork over any sum of money to have that capability.  They WANT you to beg them to charge you for something you have control over. 

They will still provide "Facebook Light" to everyone that doesn't want to pay, and it will be the Facebook we know now: changed, broken, screwed up, things moved around, ads blinking non-stop, scrolling things, hidden stuff, updated, upgraded, and screwed up on a weekly basis for free... because they know you're addicted to Facebook like crack and won't get rid of it, but just may pay for it if it gets annoying enough. 

They know this to be true because their only competitors are MyWasteofSpace, and Google double plus worthless.

In the meantime, I will continue to bitch about free Facebook... just like I bitch about everything else... because that's what Facebook is for, isn't it?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Staycation Day 8

We start the morning with trying to put in the new eye drops that I got to keep my eyes from watering when I talk.  I'm horrible at putting eye drops in, and I've been told by numerous photographers, eye doctors, and others that I have the fastest blink reaction known to man.  If I can ever dig out my prom picture, you'll see that not only are my eyes closed, but I'm wearing a hideous dress that I got as the bridesmaid at my sister's wedding.

Anyhoo, I suck at keeping my eyes open, and aiming for an eyeball when trying to apply drops, so I have to resort to doing stuff like this:
I'm glad I have like 8,000 refills, because I waste most of it dribbling it down my cheek or up my nose.  I had more fun getting waterboarded in survival school than putting these damn drops in.  I also don't know if its working because I haven't really talked to anyone, so I guess I'll have to report my progress once I get back to work... oh wait, I try not to talk to anyone there either... it may be a while before we know if the drops work.

I've been looking at E-bay, hoping I can find something like this
Which would make putting eyedrops in a lot easier, and I could viddy the kino with my droogs.

Oh, while I was putting the drops in, I remembered another little discussion I had with my doctor:

Doctor: You know, some people smoke to lose weight.
Me: OH PUHLEEZE, if those people really wanted to lose weight, they'd be shooting heroin.

After the new morning trauma... I mean ritual, I looked outside and discovered that... the SUN HAD COME OUT!  I immediately got in the RAV and drove to Starbucks.  Ok, I actually went to Petsmart, then Costco, THEN Starbucks, and actually got to sit outside and enjoy a reasonably nice day out for a change.  Of course everything smells like mold, but the sun was shining!

Came home and let the dogs out, and they were also relieved that the sun was out, because it was much nicer tearing up the entire yard searching for grubs when it wasn't raining.  I pretty much stood over them with the bug zapper killing hoards and swarms of giant mosquitos (small brown babies clutched in their beaks) ( am I going to be forced to link all of this material to the actual movies?) because they were going to dig for grubs whether I want them to or not (kinda hard to stop 3 very strong willed and sharp clawed Huskies on a mission for grubs, so you might as well just join the fun somehow).

Pretty much the rest of the night I lounged, lay around, lollygagged, cartooned, blogged, stretched out, read, played Angry Birds, flounced a bit, harassed the dogs some (which is why I'm wearing a band-aid on my arm now), and cruised Facebook, twitter, and watched tv... the extra special depressing marathon of 9/11 shows on every channel because Hillybilly handfishin wasn't on.

I'm not quite sure I should have even counted Friday as a Staycation day because its my normal day off anyway, much like Saturday and Sunday don't really count as Staycation time... I pick up Lobsterman at the airport later tonight (I did make one last trip to the landfill, having to take the long way around because the washed out road is still washed out), and then it'll be the absolutely dreadful Sunday before going back to work time and I'll allow myself to think of the 80,000 autogenerated e-mails that await me at work on Monday... sigh... it went by much too fast.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Staycation Day 7

When we last left off, I was preparing to go to the doctor for my wonderful annual exam fun-fest
I was semi-disappointed that there were no photo worthy scenes of flooding, chaos, or mayhem
I arrived early, which meant slogging through the articles in really old Vanity Fair magazines (which apparently are now 99.9% advertising, and apparently the "IN" thing is ads with guys who look like they need showers wearing suits and holding women's handbags), and playing Angry Birds until it was my turn.  It was while I waited that I came upon a brilliant idea:  If you pay for the ultra mega-mega high end insurance, you should be taken into a room promptly at your appointment time and be seen while those who don't pay the ultra mega-mega high end insurance sit in the waiting room wearing a paper gown with their privates hanging out until my appointment is done.  I'm just saying.

I love my doctor.  She has a good sense of humor and doesn't nag me about stuff.  She half-heartedly tried to get me to commit to quitting smoking (I've tried Chantix, the patch, the lozenges, cold turkey, and every other route and for the safety of all citizens, its best that I just keep smoking... because you don't want homicidal me stalking the streets jonesing for a smoke). 

She said "Can you just commit to quitting by next year?"  I told her "well, I could lie to you and say "sure" just to get you off my back, but then when I came in here next year still smoking, it would make you feel as though you failed, so for the good of your self esteem, I'm not going to lie to you".  See, I'm a giver, I care!

She then picked the MOST inopportune time to ask: "If there was one medical thing you could change or fix in your life, what would it be?"  I told her the most obvious thing: "That I wouldn't need to have people sticking their fingers where they don't belong once a year." 

I did ask if there was anything that would keep my eyes from watering when I talk.  Its a very annoying thing related to my Maryland allergies.  I'm pretty tired of talking to people and looking like I'm weeping uncontrollably while discussing mundane things like grammar.  She prescribed some flonase and eye drops... but no Xanax (of course).

After getting my referrals and blood work paper, where I need to fast then go for blood (which I typically lose about a week after my appointment), I raced off to get my hair cut.

Normally I go to a fancy spa and get my hair cut by Katie (who is amazing and wonderful, but expensive) and all I really wanted was to even things out a bit so I could grow it through the winter... and I didn't see paying big bucks for that, so I went to Hair Cuttery.  The stylist did a good job, and I got it blowed dried, only because I like to see how they envision me wearing my hair, and because it will be the ONLY time it will look like its suppose to.  I have a distinct lack of will to actually "style" hair in the morning, and generally the goal is getting it dry and not sticking out in 14 different directions, although most of the time that last goal is not met.

After the haircut, it was Starbucks for a latte and some sitting outside relaxing, sipping latte while it rained and rained and rained and every person passing by telling me that they were sick of rain (random, strange people always tend to feel comfortable telling me things... as you will see in a minute).  I sat there for about a half hour reading the facebook page of our counties breaking stories, and watching as each minute a driver decided to self destruct on the roads somewhere.

Before rush hour got started (maximum carnage) I journeyed over the CVS to pick up my prescriptions... except they weren't ready yet.  Apparently my healthcare doesn't cover prescriptions, they're covered under a separate plan that I should have had a card for, but couldn't find the 14 times I looked through my billfold, but then found on the 15th time, and then I had to wait for them to fill the prescription... which consisted of 2 prepackaged boxes of nose spray and eye drops... that's a toughie. 

As I was standing there waiting... a person was talking and it took me a moment to realize that she was talking to me, and holding something out for me to see.  It was some glucose meter for kids that included a fun game... although I'm pretty sure that's a ghoulish concept: stab yourself and get points or something.  She rambled on for about 10 minutes about her life, her kids, blah blah blah, then just stopped talking and wandered off in the middle of the sentence.  Luckily my stuff was ready, so I grabbed it and ran home.

The rest of the night was spent lounging, watching tv, more angry birds, playing with the pups (who are 99.9% covered in rain, mud, and have grub breath), then went to bed and watched "scared straight" because I like watching kids get threatened by inmates.

Tomorrow you'll get to hear just how inept I am about putting drops in my eyes.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Staycation Day 6

Rain.  Did I mention rain?  Oh, I have... ok, how about really loud thunder and lots of lightening... did I mention that?  Or being clawed every 5 minutes?  Yeah, that pretty much sums up Day 6.

I had all sorts of wonderful plans for yesterday.  I was going to go in the morning to renew our firing range membership and poke some holes in paper targets while I was there.  Then come home, take a nap, then get back up and piddle around doing cartoons or something relaxing, then probably nap, then go run some errands.

Instead it was chock full of panting clawing panic husky, and screeching "I wanna be just like Meeshka" Loki freaking out, and thankfully Sam slept through it as usual.

I did manage some cartooning, paying of bills and throwing out of files I have no idea why we kept in the first place type of stuff in between storms, which seemed to arrive, last an hour, stop for an hour, start for an hour, etc.  It was very weird.

Around 2pm(ish) I saw a break in the storms and made a dash for the range (minus weapon) to renew, to Starbucks (of course), and some other errands, and getting back just in time for the next round of torrential downpours.

Lobsterman called just as I was washing the cool stackable Ikea plastic food containers, and while Meeshka decided there was something tasty under the kitchen shelves.  He's having fun out there at least.  I also discovered that stackable Ikea plastic food containers are impossible to get into the same shape they came in once you wash them.  Seriously, you need a PhD or trained monkey or something to get these things stacked the way they came.

Then I had to vacuum out under the cabinets to appease Meeshka, who was then all mad because I didn't simply reach under the cabinet and get the goodie and give it to her, so I had to pretend to reach in there with a goodie and pull it out and give it to her, but then she was all like "I know that wasn't THE goodie that was under there" and kept snorfling under the cabinet.

More storms, more clawing, more rain, then REALLY more rain, and just when you thought there couldn't be more rain... yep, more rain.

So... around 10pm I decided that I would try to go to bed, so I did, and started watching "Get Him To The Greek".  Russell Brand has this sort of repulsive appeal, and I've come into the movie about 6 times in the same spot (near the end) and wanted to watch it from the beginning (ok, I totally laugh at some parts of it, like when Puffy is running after them and gets hit by the car), but generally, meh.

It was at this point when the REAL thundering and downpouring started, so I moved into the living room to provide less clawing acreage when we started getting tornado warnings, so I bribed the dogs downstairs, gated them off and turned on the tv and iTunes loud to drown out the now roaring thunder, lightening and literally throwing buckets of water down... yard flooded AGAIN.  Apparently (from our local Facebook county breaking news page) there was a rapid river response down the street from us.  Its not even a river, its a tiny creek that always floods, but apparently its now a river.  The Baltimore tunnels are also under water, a bunch of roads are closed, and its just not pretty out there, but thankfully no Tornado.

While I hung out waiting for the storm, I did this:

I also got this picture of Meeshka and Sam, during a lull in the storms:
They never "snuggle" so that's about as close as they get. 

At this point, its 3am, and things finally settled down in the thunder arena that I herded the pups off to bed, but it was like sleeping while you wait for something to happen... I figured that as soon as I closed my eyes... it would thunder, so I got about 3 hours of sleep.

Apparently there's all sorts of roads closed and under water.  I have a very exciting annual doctor's appointment at 2pm

 Do I know how to staycation or what!

I'll leave early because I'm not sure what road I can take to get there, or whether I'll need a canoe.  I'll take pictures of the flooding if I find any on the way there, or to Starbucks, because seriously, if ever I need a Starbucks... its today!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Staycation Day 5

Neither rain, nor cold we keep me from my appointed round to the local landfill.

I love the landfill!  Its very organized with individual dumpsters for different types of junk.  There's this wonderful feeling of satisfaction with dumping a contractor bag full of junk into the dumpster and watching it get smooshed.  I love it!  For bulk stuff, you get to heave the items into really big dumpsters situated below a wall.  Its like your very own little world of stress relief.  The big burly guys who work there always try to help me toss my stuff, but I wave them off.  That's the fun part and dammit I'm gonna toss it in the bin!

I had two runs to the landfill, the second being some dry wall that we had in the very back of the back room (for some reason), and to make it fit in the RAV I had to break it up.  If you've never broken dry wall, I highly suggest buying a huge sheet of it, leaning it against a wall and karate kicking it.  It breaks really easy and makes you feel invincible.  I also got to toss in the huge glass screen door pane, but I was totally disappointed that it didn't shatter in a zillion pieces.  Even when I purposefully tossed the dry wall on it... nothing.  Now that's glass!

Next it was a drive over to Salvation Army with a huge contractor bag of clothes and purses, and then off to Starbucks... because its Starbucks and I needed Starbucks... seriously, I have to explain that?

On the way home I went to Lowes, where I bought the last two plastic (edible) shelving units... which means I have to go scout out another Lowes for more.  One major complaint with Lowes:  your self check-out needs one of those scanner wand things.  All of the other stores have them, so I have no idea why you don't... do you know how hard it is to scan a huge plastic shelf?  Well, it looked really hard because the guy in charge of the self checkout had to do it twice.

By the time I got home it was now POURING rain, so the only thing I could do (other than nap) was continue purging the back room and minimizing the kitchen counter stuff, so that's what I did... and frankly as I was working in the back room the only thing that came to mind was: "On this episode of Hoarders... Penny suffers a hernia and goes insane".  I did manage to make enough room to put up the two new shelves and stock them with boxes.

Did I mention it was POURING rain?  Yep, for hours, and hours, and hours, and frankly when the water level in the back yard was getting alarmingly high... I wondered if Katia was ahead of schedule (apparently we're getting Lee... which needs to go to Texas), and we were getting a rather disturbing amount of water coming into the outside back porch... duh because I had accidentally knocked the drain pipe off the back gutter, so I went out in the POURING rain to fix that.

During the POURING rain, Meeshka decided that she wanted to stay out in it and dig for grubs, taking a break once in a while to bang on the door to come in, shake her mud everywhere, then go back out.  So it was generally a few hours of moving heavy boxes, getting showered with wet husky, moving heavy boxes, more husky shower, Loki wanting out, then in, then out, then in, drying feet, and finally Sam joined the grub hunt and it was three soaked huskies versus me.  Whoot.

I gave up and did some Angry Birds relaxation, read (Dick Cheney's book... which is really good so far), and watched some tv.  Sometime in the middle of the night I woke up and saw an infomercial for a chair-like device with handles that you sit in and wiggle around and tone your midsection.  I was a bit disturbed by the claim that kept scrolling at the bottom, and yes, in the middle of the night I got up and took a picture of it:

Frankly, I don't think I want 7 pounds of fat running loose in my body

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Staycation Day 4

Amazingly enough, the dogs let me sleep in until 9am!  I actually had to prod them with a foot to make sure they were ok (Loki growled at me, so yes, they were fine).

First up, a trip to the most wonderful place on the planet!  No, not Disney, a place even more wondrous and fantabulus!

Its the land of minimalism, storage, and awesomeness!!!  Of course, being that it was labor day, everyone in the state of Maryland was here too, but that's ok, I discovered underground parking and packing lanes that apparently nobody else knew about.

Instead of rushing through the place like I have to do when Lobsterman goes with me (he HATES Ikea... BLASPHEMER!!!), I took my time, armed with my paper tape measure, pencil and map.  I sauntered through the displays and marveled at their wonderful simplicity and abundance of storage ideas.  It was at this point where I realized that it would just be easier to move into the Ikea than try to recreate it at my house, but I would have to forbid the world from walking through and I'm pretty sure the store wouldn't like that.

I bought some stuff with strange names like Flurbengadden, and Kevorstaggedon and whatever that would organize all of our junk and make it look cool and retro... or just pathetically half-assed cool and retro, but dammit I'm into organizing this week!

For some reason, the Ikea experience caused large amounts of sweat and a slight headache... probably because it was 90 degrees, gloomy and 400% humidity.
I drove home with my wonderful purchases, dragged them into the house and began putting one of the things together... and wishing a had a power drill for the 8,000 screws.  Yes, we have a power drill, but that would have required me to walk downstairs, get it, plug it in, find the right bit, and screw that, I'll just work those atrophied arm muscles.  I can't show you what I did, because its a surprise for Lobsterman.  Meeshka was very helpful in the putting together of the Ikea stuff.

I also got a new bathroom hamper for our dirty clothes.  We have a hamper thing that's pretty much worthless because its got three sections, but neither of us bother sorting clothes, so I moved that downstairs in the laundry room where its useful for pre-staging laundry.  I also got some storage bowls and containers that stack, and I threw out the mish-mash of tupperware that have no lids and are of no useful size.

After a much needed rest for my now shaking arms, I did some more clearing out of the back room as a torrential downpour kept me from finishing the trimming of grass out front.  The fact that we have large tufts of grass sprouting in strange places may have caused a very nice man to leave his business card with me.  I was polite and took it, but just one look at it made me toss it (not before taking a picture of it).  While I'm sure his grass cutting skills are fantastic, its the attention to detail of the card that made me skeptical about the services that may be rendered:

To be nice, I blocked out the identifying details and contact information, but... seriously... there is so much fail on this card I can't stand it.

Since the dump is open Tuesday, I shoved as much junk into the back of the RAV so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning, then did some reading and lounging the rest of the night... and started watching Hillbilly Handfishin, which is disturbing and like a freakin train wreck.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Staycation Day 3

Today I decided to mash it up and do something exciting, so I went scuba diving off the coast of Bermuda... ok, who am I fooling, I stayed home and ate pop-tarts.

I ran out of room to stack boxes because of all of the trash bags full of Lobsterman's heirlooms that I need to take to the dump (ok, its just empty boxes and papers and stuff), but the dump isn't open on Sundays, nor will it be open on Labor Day (what says Labor Day more than going to the dump?), so I had to abandon the purging of the back room and concentrated on cleaning the guest room (AKA: the place we throw crap when we're too lazy to throw it in the back room).

The Salvation Army is going to get the mother lode Tuesday (apparently the Army doesn't labor on Labor day either) as I purged the purse collection, clothes that I will NEVER fit into EVER again, and all of Lobsterman's clothes... ok, fine, I packed his stuff into one of those fabulous Ziploc tote things (and I'm still waiting for Ziploc to send me more of them for whoring out their wonderful Ziploc totes... the durable, versatile storage solution), and organized the whole room so we can finally close the closet door without fear of injury.

Then, I mowed the front yard.  By the way, NEVER buy a Toro lawnmower, specifically this Toro lawnmower... ok, seriously people, I did a google shopping search for Toro lawnmower and this is what it came up with:
I guess that even google knows that Toro lawnmowers are pieces of crap and will go nuts and puree someone's loved one, causing them to go mad and piece together their loved one and pimp them out or something.

Anyhoo, here's the piece of crap never to buy:
First of all, if the grass is even the tiniest bit high (I'm not talking like over your head, I'm talking like barely out of the ground), the damn thing clogs.  I'm pretty sure the purpose of a lawn mower is to cut grass, therefore it should be able to handle normal sized grass, but no.  Additionally, if the grass is even the slightest bit damp (dew, someone spit on the ground) it collects this big mound of grass poop and jams itself and dies.  If you attach the bagger thing, it seems to work better... in that it won't jam and poop out a wad of grass goo, but you have to dump the bag after every 2 steps because it won't throw the grass poop into the bag... just the neck of the bag, then dies.

I'm doing my best to kill the stupid thing by running over large branches, rocks, boulders... because I don't want to throw away a "perfectly good" (worthless) lawn mower, I want to sufficiently kill it first, then get a decent one.

I was going to do the weed whacking after that, but the battery on our whacker was dead, and so was the one that was charging... because the charger actually needs to be plugged in... go figure, so that'll wait for sometime during the week... when the battery is charged.

After a shower, it was off to Bass World for a new bug zapper (I know you are all thinking: you live such a glamorous life... be jealous).  My old zapper broke, and the mosquitoes were attacking because they knew I was defenseless, so I got two of them.  I'm a bit disappointed in these two because they don't make the mosquitoes pop and smoke like the old one. 

I went to Michaels for some artsy craftsy things that I'm doing for Lobsterman, but I'm not saying what because its a surprise for when he gets home.

I then went to Safeway because none of you pointed out that I was lacking calcium in my food diet selection... so I got a gallon of raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream.

I pretty much layed around reading or playing Angry Birds the rest of the night, except to chase Loki around the house when he got the zoomies, then off to bed... where Lobsterman (who is three hours behind) started texting me questions he could easily google himself, especially when he's asking someone who doesn't wear their glasses to bed and has no idea what the blurry text is saying.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Staycation Day 2

On day 2 of staycation, I dragged Lobsterman to the airport.  Of course, we stopped at the airport Starbucks, where (despite saying it three times and spelling it) I became "Betty"

To be fair, when they asked what Lobsterman's name was for his cup, I told them Ralph.

Once Lobsterman was violated and irradiated by TSA and on his way to his departing gate, I fled the airport and headed for the grocery store to buy enough food to last the week.  As I was on staycation, I wanted quick, easy to prepare, nutritional foods that would sustain me for the entire week.
I think this will last.

Thanks to Tropical Storm Irene, the grass in the backyard had grown to such a length that Loki kept getting lost, and Meeshka would glare at me because when she did her "bizness" the grass would tickle her delicate po-po, so I mowed the back yard.  It was approximately 99.9% humidity.

Since I was already grotesque and sweaty, I dove into organizing the back room and throwing all of Lobsterman's prized heirlooms away (just kidding honey).  I also did some laundry.

Later on, I made a huge vat of goulash, which was a childhood staple whose recipe we got from my depression era grandmother and pretty much consists of hamburger, macaroni, and diced tomatoes, but its tasty, and comforting, and you can reheat it in the microwave.

Sam demanded to go out (as usual) around 8:30, then demanded his creaky bones, then demanded his bedtime cookie, then demanded to be lifted onto the bed (he's very demanding), so I watched tv.  Unfortunately I got sucked into watching a Hoarders marathon until midnight.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Staycation Day 1

In light of the dismal jobs report (and subsequent tanking of my 401K), I decided that I needed to go invest in some infrastructure jobs by going to Lowes:

While at Lowe's, I created/saved one job by asking an "associate" where on earth they hid the Ziploc Totes, which are the best invention since the spleen and are much sturdier than the stupid Space Bags that are made out of cellophane, rip if you look at them wrong, and leak the moment you suck air out of them.  Space Bags: expensive pieces of crap.  Ziploc Flexible Totes: manna from heaven.  Dear Ziploc, I can be bribed with freebies.

When I got home, I assembled my infrastructure:
Please note that the packaging had very large notices that these shelves are made from "green" technology.  So not only am I investing in infrastructure projects, but I am also supporting "earth friendly" products that create flimsy plastic that is made from soybean products that began to decompose the moment I removed it from the plastic wrap (made from normal plastic and was much stronger than the shelving), and in a pinch I can always eat the shelves.

Please note that on the right hand side now blocked by the shelving is a treadmill, which demonstrates how serious we both are about staying in shape.

The rest of the week will be spent going through the crap on the other side of the room (out of view of this photo for fear that one of you will submit our names to the Hoarders people), and most likely visiting the dump on a regular basis throughout staycation.  I have already found drywall and a glass screen door insert for a door we no longer have.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Media is Nothing But a Bunch of BASTARDS

I want to start out by saying that my heart and prayers go out to the families of the soldiers that were killed in today’s helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

And now for my rant:

The AP posted the story on their site in great detail... too much detail. Why do I say there’s too much detail? Shouldn’t the media post the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Of course they should, but that’s not what “media” does anymore. They rush the story to print (web) before they have all the facts, they quote anonymous sources and they have no SCRUPLES!

Back in the day, journalists would hold off on stories that involved the deaths of service members until after the families had been notified. That doesn’t happen now. In our 24 hour a day, 365 days a year media spin zone, the facts aren’t important now, its being the first to report the story... regardless of the consequences.

So, when the AP posted their story this afternoon, it named the branch of service, what they were told happened (without checking any facts) and adding details such as the exact unit that was involved, and citing anonymous sources because THE FAMILIES HADN’T BEEN NOTIFIED!

Although the exact number isn’t known, there could be as many as 300 members of the unit in question. Now that its all over the news, there are 300 military families who are thinking the worst right now. Was their son, daughter, child, grandchild, mom, dad on that copter? It couldn’t possibly be their loved one, because the military and our government wouldn’t be so callous as to tell an AP reporter that their loved one was dead before they even notified them... would they?  To make matters even worse, most SEAL families only know that their loved one is a Seal, and not which team they are on... so multiply that horrible waiting to possibly thousands of families.

Oh yes they would. Two unnamed U.S. Officials leaked the unit information to at least the AP, probably to all of the press, and KNEW that the families hadn’t been notified (that’s why they wanted to be anonymous). They KNEW it was wrong to do, callous, heartless, and WRONG, so they did it under the cover of anonymity. These two U.S. Officials should be found and shot after a fair hearing of course.

Now Facebook and Twitter are all aflutter with condolences and prayers, and rightly so, but those would have and did happen before the unit was revealed. The press didn’t have to print the information the cowardly US Officials gave them. Any right minded citizen wouldn’t have released that information until AFTER the families had been notified, waited for the military to tell them to release it.

Is it any wonder why the military doesn’t trust the media? You can scream all you want about freedom of the press, but when you have “imbedded” reporters giving satellite reports straight from the battlefield, giving away the troops’ location, and detailing their plan of attack, and now releasing information on the deaths of our bravest soldiers before their families are even aware of the incident... I say screw the media. I don’t need to know intimate details until AFTER the families know it.

Let the media know that they suck! Send the AP a "Press Release" and let them know they SUCK!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Of Fireworks and Thunder

Don't get me wrong, I love Independence Day, its the idiot neighbors who purchase all manner of armaments (illegal in the state of Merryland) that set them off for weeks before and after that I'm not too crazy about... because we have a 70lb dog that totally freaks out over loud noises.

Close proximity fireworks and thunder are not our friends.  At the first sign of either, we have a panting, stomping, clawing  nutcase husky on our hands.  Since both activities (fireworks and thunderstorms) generally occur at night... we don't get a lot of sleep.  While I can't control the weather (and neither can Al Gore), I simply curse the fact that thunderstorms happen a lot at night, but I do curse, and threaten bodily harm and the full force of the law on the neighbors... in my head, of course.  Because we're pretty much Libertarian, its still a free country, and what kind of morons would we be to celebrate Independence by calling the authorities on someone practicing a form of freedom.

To prepare for the onslaught of fireworks, we sought the big guns.  Rescue Remedy.  Touted as the cure for neurosis of all manner, and proven to work as friends from all over the world have experienced its amazing properties to naturally calm and mellow up the most phobic pet, we found a bountiful of the product at the local Whole Foods store.  Armed with three boxes, we were hopeful.

Around dusk last night, the joyful citizenry began setting off their fireworks, and we dispensed the required 4 drops for Meeshka (70lb razor sharp clawer and main freaking dog), and Loki (65lb cowering, trembling in fear drooling dog) and crossed our fingers.

In general, Loki looked as though he had drank way too much and sat drooling slightly next to us with a glazed look in his eyes.  Meeshka settled on an air vent.  This was GREAT!  It seemed that we had found a solution for sleepless nights and rude awakenings.

Then the idiot neighbors started shooting off their mortars at 10 pm.  This is when we discovered that the mellowing affects of Rescue Remedy could not overcome the sound of someone shooting off large explosives less than a block away.  Frankly I was tempted to drink some.

Since there would be no sleep for us, even after giving her another dose (Loki continued to stare at a wall and drool, totally oblivious to everything), we went out on the deck to at least watch the neighbor's display of weaponry.

I truly don''t wish ill on anyone, but there was a a moment of guilty glee when one of the mortar rounds skipped sideways across the ground (an obvious tube malfunction), and exploded most likely right next to his neighbor's house, and probably right next to all of his cars in the driveway.  We resisted the urge to applaud.  There didn't seem to be any running around or movement to suggest a major fire, damage, or loss of limbs (unfortunately for our entertainment value), but it did put a rather sudden stop on the fireworks display for the night.

We were able to go to sleep without further interruption... until 4am (which is when I'm writing this) when the very large thunderstorm came crashing down upon us along with the 70lb panting, clawing husky.

More rescue remedy taking just a small edge off the panting and clawing, and I sit here waiting for either Lobsterman to get up and be the object of her clawing, or the storm passes.

I will be napping today... despite storms and fireworks, I'll sleep under the bed if I have to... seriously.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little Things That Totally P*SS Me Off

My Printer

I have one of those HP "all in one" printers that scans and prints... frankly that barely scratches the surface of all the things one thing can do, so I have no idea why its called "ALL in one"... but that isn't what totally P*SSES me off.  Its the fact that every time I print something, it pompously spews out a blank sheet at the end.  Does this thing think that paper grows on trees.... SHUT UP!  I know where paper comes from.

You would think that there was a setting somewhere where I could tell it to stop doing that.  I'm tired of printing something, stacking the spare unused piece of paper on top of it for later introduction back into the queue of soon to be printed paper, only to have to relocate the pile when I want to scan something.  Yes, I would suppose that at that time I should shove it into the tray, but that's not the point.  It shouldn't be there in the first place.

I looked through the settings and found nothing... of course.  No button to click that said "press here to stop the annoying waste of paper when you print", nothing.  So I Google searched and found one person bitching about the same thing on an HP help forum... with no answer.


So I look around some more and find some people complaining about it, and an actual step by step process to make it stop:
1.) reboot your computer.  Seriously?  That's the oldest trick in the lame tech support book.
2.) Preview your document before you print it to see if you application is putting a blank page at the end.  Seriously?  That's the second oldest trick in the lame tech support book: blame every application or device but your own.
3.) Re-install your printer driver.  Seriously?  It was a pain in the ass enough getting it installed in the first place, what makes you think that re-installing the exact same printer driver is going to stop something that has no setting?  Are there viruses out there that infect your printer driver to cause it to slowly drive you insane by printing a blank page after everything you print out?  I don't think so.

Therefore... no solution... yet.  I still haven't tried Step 4: beat it with a hammer.

Women's Dress Pants

I inherited my shopping gene from my father, which means I know what I want, I swoop into the store, grab it and head straight to the check-out counter, pay for it and flee. I don't want to try anything on, it should be sized so that I know what size I need, but thanks to self-conscious, vain women or manufacturers who think that all women are self-conscious and vain, women's pants sizes are in some alien language and measurement that varies from type of pants, to manufacturers, to types of fabric.  I'm pretty sure that places that make women's pants just make up a fucking size and slap them on random pants because no two pair of pants are the same fucking size!

I only have to guess that women around the world would fall dead if they had to actually pick a pair of pants that was sized by their ACTUAL measurements (frankly I see the return of actual measurements as a handy thing in the "war of obesity"... which isn't an actual war, just something NATO wanted us to do without congressional approval), so some elaborate measurement system was thought up to keep women "fooled" by thinking that if they wear a "2" they are wafer model thin without realizing that "2" is really heifer size outside of Hollyweird.

So, while men have a size chart that includes ONE chart (for shirts), women have the following convoluted non-standard charts:
Misses Petite
Junior Petite
Young Junior
Half sizes

Then there's the "catalog sizes".  Since around 1980 Companies were allowed to just make their sizes up, and they can vary among different styles of the same freakin pants!  So, even if you figure out what size you are in a store, depending on the brand, type, and style, if you buy something from a catalog, you are DOOMED because they just go all rogue and do whatever they damn well want. 

So, instead of going into a store and thinking "hmm, I need some pants... these look nice, and they're my size 36X34", you go into a store, try to find a department that fits your age, style, and price range (for instance, one department store has what I call the "I'm 12 and want to look like a street walker" section), stand in front of a rack of pants and cry, because you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT 2 petite/slim/junior/half FREAKING MEANS other than you'll spend about 6 hours trying on the same style of pants in 14 different sizes and none of them fit.
That's not even the worst part... the worst part is the fact that apparently its against the law to put pockets in women's dress pants.  I'm sure it also a vanity thing, because after you finally find a pair of pants that fit, the LAST thing a woman wants is to have an unsightly bulge somewhere (unlike some congressmen), so 99% of women's dress pants don't have pockets... unless they are decorative pockets. 

SERIOUSLY WTF is up with decorative pockets?

Is it the assumption that since women carry handbags there's no need for pockets?  I hate to inform you all, but only 80 year old woman carry their purses EVERYWHERE, and anyone younger than 80 who carries their bag to the bathroom is sending out the international "I'M ON MY PERIOD" signal, because they can't tuck their period junk in a pocket that doesn't exist!

The first company that designs women's dress pants with pockets and with the right freakin sizes, will be the ONLY company I buy my pants from... even if they make them out of freakin marmoset skin, I'm still in!

So, in case you are wondering, yes... I went out to find a pair of women's dress pants, and in a fit of rage, I bought a pair of men's cargo dockers... AND I DON'T F'ING CARE!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fond Air Force Memories - Cherry Tomato Incident

I have to admit that I don't have too many fond Air Force memories... mainly because I was drunk most of the time... except on duty and I can't talk about what I did on duty, so about the only clear, lucid, not involving aliens or talking animals memories are from the early Air Force days.

Having survived:
  • 6 weeks of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base
  • 6 weeks of English at Lackland Air Force Base
  • 47 weeks of Russian Language at Lackland Air Force Base
  • I forget how many weeks at Goodfellow Air Base (Crystal Confectionery 5 for 1 happy hours)
  • 3 weeks of leave in Indiana during the COLDEST FREAKIN winter of the century
I was finally winging my way to my first duty station: Berlin, Germany.

When the plane finally took off from La Guardia to Frankfurt, back in the days when they gave you real food, allowed you to use real knives and forks, and you could smoke, I looked forward to my first international flight meal.

To this day, I have no recollection (and I was totally sober during the flight) of the meal after the salad because of the horrible international incident I nearly caused.

The salad had cherry tomatoes.  I love cherry tomatoes.  I especially love to pop them whole into my mouth and bite down, causing them to explode in your mouth.  I love that.

Since I was on an international flight, and because biting cherry tomatoes so they explode in your mouth seemed so kid-like, I wanted to be all international and worldly, so I poked a cherry tomato with a fork and proceeded to bite one end... like all world travelers and high society people do.

The only problem was that instead of exploding harmlessly in my mouth (had I been kid-like) this tomato exploded out the other end like a bomb, showering the woman in front of me right in the hair with such force that I thought she would be knocked unconscious.  Lucky for her, she was sporting one of the largest bouffant hairdos I have ever seen (until the creation of Marge Simpson), which probably saved her life and spared her from feeling the assault from behind.
I glanced around frantically, thankful that nobody else had seen what just had happened, but then a wave of guilt came over me and I really wanted to let her know that she had the guts of a cherry tomato imbedded and slowly oozing off the back of her head.  When I heard her speaking German to her seat mate, I knew there was just no way I could pantomime the event, and to make matters worse, I started giggling uncontrollably. 

That happens to me when something really serious happens (not serious life threatening serious, I'm really good at staying calm and rational during those things), but if something non-life threatening happens that's serious... I laugh.  I'm pretty sure if I tried to explain it while laughing, there would be all sorts of horrible national implications and I'd end up starting some kind of war. 

I opted to stay quiet about the whole thing, and then spent the rest of the flight transfixed by the goo in her hair.

This is how I saved the world from certain annihilation.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

R.I.P. Baby Bird

I'm sorry to report that baby bird didn't make it.

Although the parents were still diligently bringing it food, and it was peppy and happy and eating, last night I found baby bird had once again plummeted out of the nest near the back door again.  This time its landing must have injured it, because it was showing definite signs of something seriously wrong.

I knew when I first saved it that its chances were slim to none.  All of its brothers and sisters were HUGE fledglings, and baby bird was tiny.  It looked as though it was a good week behind its siblings, and whether that was because it was a late hatcher, or because of some medical issue, it didn't really matter, it really didn't stand a chance.

I was torn between trying to hand raise it (and I would have if I thought it had a chance), or letting nature takes its sometimes cruel course, and opted for nature.  I put baby bird back in the nest, where I was sure it would at least be comforted with its natural surroundings during its final time.

This morning I climbed the ladder and found what I expected.  I removed baby bird, nest and all, said a few words for it, and disposed of it properly.

I hope its happily swooping around across the Rainbow Bridge.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Robin Update

I watched Bully Robin fly the coop into the bush near the neighbor's yard.  I also located the two other fledglings: one is high up in a tree over my yard, the other is hanging out on the back part of our fence.

I took baby robin and plopped it back into the nest, where it seemed happy, but I don't know if the parents will feed it. 

As soon as everyone has left the nest (one way or the other) I'm removing the nest and putting freakin spikes up there so I don't have to deal with this another year!

My Week In Review

So, this week at work was one gigantic brain suck of a week (remember, my week only contains 4 days, so that's saying a lot).  It was one of those "if it ain't one thing, its another" type of weeks. 

On top of it sucking like a black hole, it was also a bazillion degrees out and humid.  Going outside was like opening the oven door and sticking your head in to retrieve a cooked roast without letting the heat disperse (and I do that ALL the time).  Getting into the truck was torture, and then turning it on so that the air conditioner would throw molten hot air on you until it cooled off, you could feel your flesh melt.

I was SO looking forward to my relaxing Friday.  Although it was suppose to be another "feels like" 103 day, we were suppose to get a cool wave for Saturday, so I had planned all sorts of relaxing things to do in the luxurious air conditioning of my home, like napping, lounging, and then napping.

So this morning I get up and let Sam and Loki outside, look up at the robin's nest and belatedly realize that out of the 4 birds that were in there... only 1 remains.  HOLY CRAP we have free range fledglings in the yard and that only means carnage!

It was at this time that the robin mom and dad start throwing a shit fit, screaming, swooping, and generally freaking out in the back of the yard (where Loki is sniffing) and I do that slow motion "NOOOOO" run toward the back of the yard to save the fledgling.  Luckily my full tilt bozo freaking out confused Loki, who semi-sorta obeyed me by running to me (he probably thought I was having a stroke and maybe when I fell down some treats would fall out of my pocket), while Sam was totally oblivious to his surroundings because he was searching for the perfect place to poo.

I get Loki under control by the scruff of his neck and order him to the house, which he does in a circuitous route with me yelling "IN THE HOUSE" all along, until finally we get to the back steps and WTF!  There's a tiny baby bird sitting right in front of the back door. 

This thing was SO not ready to leave the nest, and I have to guess that its much larger sibling (probably a bully robin that beat the smaller robin up for its regurgitated worm food) had thrown it out of the nest.  Bully robin was still perched on the nest, laughing.  I hate the bully robin.

My problem now was, if I let go of Loki and try for the baby bird, it would probably scream, Loki would hear it, then it would be a race for who got to the bird first, as earlier experience has shown... Loki is faster, especially when the stupid birds run away from me and straight into Loki's mouth.
I had to risk it because it was either that, or stand there holding on to Loki until the bird grew up, went to college, found a job, got married, and had a mid-life crisis... and its so hot that I'm sweating profusely.

I'm not sure if the bird was smart and realized I was saving it, or it was stunned after plummeting 10 feet onto concrete, but it just let me pick it up... great... now what?

Meanwhile, the parents are freaking and swooping at me now, so I take the bird inside and through the front door, to the front yard, and deposit it outside of the fence, but close to the place where I found it.  Birds are smart, and the thing will cheep and announce its location, right?

I herd the dogs inside and go about my business, but after a half hour I go back out and there's the parents feeding that worthless bully robin while I hear tiny desperate peeps coming from the other side of the fence.


I close the gate to the deck so the dogs can't get up there if I let them out, get a box lid, go retrieve the stupid baby robin, carry him inside (where the dogs go insane), take it out on the deck, plop it in the box lid and retreat.  Sure enough the parents come check it out and give it a worm.  So much for the theory that the parents will shun a bird if you touch it.  I pat myself on the back for a job well done.... then watch the stupid baby jump out of the box lid, bounce crazily after its parent and fling itself off the deck.  The bird has a death wish.

Sure enough, the thing survives and is now clumsily trying to follow one parent who is looking for food for it.  I can't leave the thing in the yard, the dogs will get it!  FINE!

I google "what to feed a moron baby robin" and some site said you can feed it canned dog food... FINE, so I open a can (dogs go insane again), gush it into a bowl and go outside and relocate the stupid bird outside the fence again, raising it over my head as I go to show the parents where its going... found a nice shaded hidey spot for it, give it some dog food (which it liked), and left the gate open for a bit so the parents would get a clue.  Apparently robins aren't very linear and can't figure out change well... the robin kept going back to where the baby WAS, glaring at me. 


I really want to put it back in the nest, but the bully robin is stomping all over it and will probably toss it to the pavement again, and I was half tempted to throw the bully robin in the yard to finally fend for itself, but I'm guessing it wants to stay in the nest until its 26 and glom on to its parents' health care program, so I get a box that has walls higher than the box top, but not too high that the parents couldn't get into it, put some nice leaves and stuff in it, go get the baby robin AGAIN (it now thinks I'm its mother and opens its mouth for food), put it in the box, put the box on the deck on a chair near the nest and retreat.

I hide downstairs and watch... hoping... will they.... YES, they figure out the baby is in the box and are willing to feed it from the box... WHEW!

Now I have to leash walk the dogs in the backyard until everyone makes it out of the yard.  I really have no delusion about the future of baby bird.  Its tiny, its survived two very large plummets to concrete and probably has issues and won't most likely survive, but I at least tried.  I couldn't just stand there and let Loki play with it, or throw it over the fence and listen while it peeped until it peeped no more... I tried, I gave it my best shot, but I'll still be sad.

Knowing my history, it will survive, get to the fledgling stage... and fly straight into Loki's mouth.

So much for my relaxing Friday, which is why I created my new icon