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