Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's of No Benefits To All

I changed employers recently. It was a pretty good move... all of the sudden I'm an actually wanted employee, with actual Benefits And Stuff. No more Obamacare!

Yesterday was time to fill in all the electronic paperwork relating to Benefits And Stuff. I enjoy electronic paperwork, largely because if there's paper paperwork, it will force me to write stuff. Since I've been using computers for umpteen years, I haven't been writing much. My handwriting, never really legible for the most part, has gone completely to hell. Moreso. So online works better for me. That is, until I try it.

It was a dark and stormy day. It's usually a dark and stormy day, and you can take it for granted that any day I post a blog entry, it's a dark and stormy day. In fact, when you think of Philthydelphia, your first thought should be 'dark and stormy day.'  This more than adequately sets the tone for any story.

There is nothing quite like the joy that is logging into some random site to purchase something or worse, to perform some job function. The level of stress and agitation approaches knife fighting. My wife and I have had three-day arguments that were much more calm than logging into certain sites. Usually the first issue is that I'm using linux. I am not sure why this is an issue because a browser is a browser, regardless of operating system. Some sites require Internet Explorer, which is heinous in the first place. Even Windows users shouldn't be messing with Internet Explorer. In the early days, Clever Folks found a clever way to run Internet Explorer under linux, but not lately. Speculation runs to these Clever Folks killing themselves in the most frightening and painful ways possible.

Fortunately, Internet Exploder is not a requirement for this site. How do I know this?  Because I could not log into the site, regardless of browser or operating system. When I called the site's 800 number, I was told that I had locked myself out, a handy security feature to keep everyone, including me, out of my account. Mind you, I had locked myself out by trying to log in with the credentials they provided. This is what the very nice customer service lady told me. I asked her if it wouldn't have been nice to indicate that I was locked out, but she said no, it was a safety feature. Well, it certainly kept my account safe from me accessing it. She told me that Internet Explorer didn't behave correctly in certain spots so they recommended something else, like Firefox. Firefox is my favorite browser, so this was good. In fact, Firefox works on most operating systems, including Windows, linux, and android. Not sure about iDevices.

Once logged in, I proceeded to the benefits section. Or rather I tried to proceed to the benefits section. The site told me there was an authentication error. Since I keep Firefox pretty locked down, I tried a different browser. Still the error. At this point, in spite of the dark and stormy day, the neighbor across the street decided to do some minor construction. This inevitably involves cutting things with a Very Loud Electric Saw.  In fact, I don't believe they construct anything; they just like sawing things outside.

I tried four more browsers, including one so wide open it's probably a red flag that says HACK ME. Nothing. No authentication. Cursing the existence of Windows, I fired it up in a virtual machine.

The dog, realizing this is a Very Important Activity, tests us by interrupting in his own delightful way... he walks up to me, puts his snout on my knee, and whines pitifully. If I stop petting him, he turns around, comes back again, and continues the whining. This will go on until I get up. (Foolishly) assuming he needs to go outside, I proceed to the door. Almost as if he's laughing at me, he positions himself next to his food bowl. He's having fun, trying to interrupt and annoy me, seeing if I'll get up and feed him. This normally starts an hour or so after he gets fed.

Using the evil Internet Explorer, I log into the site, only to discover that the same error occurs here.

This seemed as good a time as any for my wife to suspect that the noise she hears is mice. She stands absolutely still, waiting for the noise to occur again. Leaning against something turns out to be not as good an idea as first thought - while quietly waiting, she falls over on top of a pile of something or other. My wife is gifted with the grace of a pregnant hippopotamus (that's ok, she has her charms. I'll let you know what they are when I discover them). This fact is documented in her medical charts and is referred to as Positive Tilt. One day at the doctor, he wanted to test her balance and told her to close her eyes and put her arms out. This happened very quickly so I didn't have the chance to tell him this wasn't a very good idea. I made it out of my seat just in time to catch her as she went over. This seems like a very dangerous test and should only be performed in a hospital setting, where she can stand on a hospital bed so she'll be in great shape when she falls down.

Continuing with mice, this activity is not passive. It requires constant vigilance, in case there is more Mouse Noise. HINT: this will become a recurring theme.

Screaming, clenching my fists, and throttling my accelerating urge to throttle someone or something, I know it's time to call the nice people in Support. Again. This nice lady (they all seem uncommonly nice for some reason), without much interaction from me, proceeds to ask me if I'm getting precisely the same error I'm getting. AHA - a known error!  The nice lady tells me yes, this is known to happen sometimes. So why, I wonder out loud, don't they make some sort of notation that this happens? She does not know, but guides me to an alternate way to get where I want to be. This is also not noted, making the site what web designers call user friendly but I call User Hostile.

So I go forth, again, to sign up for benefits. First up is health insurance. This is very important to me, as it's generally expensive and generally required. We're essentially betting a huge corporation that we won't get sick.  I am presented with a choice of ten insurance options, all of which start with Aetna. I've heard horror stories about Aetna, but I've had good luck in the past. Fortunately in the User Hostile mess is an option to compare plans. This is even more fortunate, given the plans all have coded names, completely impossible to understand by normal humans, no less insurance industry types. AETNA QPS1000 was one, followed by AETNA HMO25.7 - are you seeing where this is heading yet?

I pull up a comparison of four insurances, selected because I like some of the numbers in the title, and start trying to figure out the benefits. I was assisted in this by a screen that told them what was important to me. I unchecked random selections like hysterectomy, birth control pills, and mammogram (because I have external plumbing, as you guessed). Trying to figure out the chart was an interesting exercise, even when I put it on a 26" monitor so we could both see. I went to ask Wife a question when I discovered she wasn't there. She was, however, on Mouse Patrol again. This forced me to ask questions loudly, hoping she'd recognize it was a question, as opposed to me just randomly screaming at something. Mostly she failed. After asking a time or four, I got her attention and her answer was "I don't know." I got through most of the comparison on my own because Mouse Patrol seemed to include stopping at random places and cleaning. Cleaning is wonderful, but not when I need somebody sitting next to me, providing a second brain.

The tv was on, which was a shame as nobody was watching it. As I got to a particularly frustrating question on the form, her phone rang. That was about IT for me and I let loose with a tirade that still scares the dog and the neighbors, after many years in the same house. The ringtone, which is the intro from Aerosmith's Back in the Saddle, thunders out of the phone at a volume that scares the shit out of me and causes the phone to walk itself right off the table. The phone is never with my wife when it goes off; it's always near me, as if to provide comic relief to the universe. She looks at me angrily and demands to know why I'm shouting. Well, it's not like I don't complain about the phone every time it shakes the house. Plus I have attention deficit disorder, which makes too much input VERY frustrating (tv, mouse hunting, power saw, phone ringing, and the internal children watching the tv with their mouth instead of their eyes).

The dog, through repeated experiments, has learned that the "Get Daddy off the couch to feed him more" routine only works two or three times.

Four hours later, with the occasional help of my wife, I have selected health insurance. I expected to feel elated with the accomplishment, but I just felt sad and relieved it was over. And then I saw the NEXT button.

NEXT dealt with life insurance. This is where you bet a huge corporation that you won't die. The joke's on them, as you always die. The joke is also on you, as you always die AND if you do so at an inopportune time, your beneficiary won't get paid. I do not know what happens if your beneficiary kills you, thus it's always better to follow the Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Get Caught.

As I'm no longer twenty (physically anyway), life insurance is important. Not for me, but for my wife. Structuring it smartly, I will never be worth more dead than alive. Life insurance comes in many types, with many options and many prices. Never having had life insurance before, every single one of them was foreign to me. There's term life, whole life, half life, and variable universal studios life. Some have premiums that go up. Some can be borrowed against. Some can't be paid out at all. And some allow you to visit Universal Studios at a small discount, in the middle of winter, in years that end with three. I asked my local expert, who, at that moment walked out the door for a smoke break. Unsure how that was going to help, I perused some web links, looking for prices. When there were prices at all, they were for several more types of insurance that I could not understand if I spent my entire life in life insurance. And they were all rated for thirty-year-old non-smoking women, of which I am only non-smoking. The other option was to ask for a quote online, which would no doubt result in constant calls from life insurance salesmen, which is only slightly less annoying than having to use Internet Explorer.

Where was my Subject Matter Expert? Simultaneously cleaning and on Mouse Patrol. I considered myself lucky that she was at least on the same floor as me. If I needed her on an emergent basis, I could always stand near her, gesticulating wildly and screaming at the top of my lungs, in hopes she'd notice me.

As it turns out, you can make your dog sole beneficiary.
If you have any questions, please ask. When she reads this, and she will, I'll be spending a lot of time on the couch, so I will be able to answer inquiries at all hours.

If you get nothing else from this entry, I hope you get a giggle and my single piece of wisdom around insurance: When the going gets tough, quit. It's better for your blood pressure and well-being in general. I did, and survived to write this blog entry. This will no doubt be a problem when I have to log back in (if I can) and re-fill out the same information all over again. I now need to sit with people much smarter than me (football players with traumatic brain injuries and rappers) to figure out which options I need.

Next week I'll tell you about my 401k. I anticipate the experience like I anticipate a dental visit - with me running as fast as I can in the opposite direction. And when I can't come up with any other new material, I'll tell you about the dream I just had. It was kind of like The Bachelor, but with eager women in skimpy black lingerie. Perhaps it was just like The Bachelor.


Remember when signing up for benefits involved someone from Human Resources handing you a pamphlet and forms to sign? I do not want to be accused of being a Luddite, but the electronic way just doesn't work.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shhhhhh... Amazon is Listening

So how about that Amazon Echo? The little log-like device that sits on your table. You talk to it and it can order stuff, turn on lights, change the temperature and put one of your kids up for adoption (that's entirely fabricated). This is an absolute privacy nightmare, which means it's becoming a very popular item. Remember: anything that 'listens', like Echo, Siri, and Google Voice, sends everything you say to central servers. This apparently does nothing to deter people from using or purchasing these devices - my prediction is that it will get an awful lot worse (because people are stupid).

As one should expect, the police are already interested in data from one of these devices, which was in the the house where a crime was committed. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, Echo only listens for its name, so it's not likely anything was even recorded, but Amazon, to its credit, refuses to turn the information over. It's not paranoia if it's really happening. And this technology is going to be in other products soon, like your fridge. Hey, Fridge... order us some hookers.

This technology is right out of a pair of futuristic science fiction novels.... one where you walk into your house and control everything by talking to your Little Black Box. And another where the authorities can hear everything you do and the television watches you, like 1984 but worse. How about a happy medium? Or better yet, a safe one?

  • Yahoo hasn't had a major email breach announced in a week or two, so they're overdue. Right on schedule, this August 2013 breach, affecting 500 million accounts, is one of the biggest on record. These guys step right up to the plate, every time, and beat themselves (and their users) over the head with their own bat (forgive the sports metaphor). When did Yahoo turn up this breach? They didn't; it came from law enforcement last November.
  • In unrelated news, related to my previous recommendation: Shut. Down. Your. Yahoo. Email. Period.

Hey, straight white guys, here's the latest info: you're generally trash! At least you are according to Teen Vogue 'journalist' Lauren Duca. Dear Ms. Duca had someone banned from Twitter, then made the above wise statement. If your teen daughter reads Teen Vogue, this is what she's getting.

  • Here are ten ways to harden your Android phone's security. Simple and common sense.

My coworker is helping to Make America Great Again:
HIM: I have to update the database and move it to the portal.
ME: I thought you already moved it to the portal
HIM: Which database are you using?
ME: I'm using the portal
HIM: I do not see the database on the portal
ME: here's the URL....
HIM: that's the OLD database, not the new one I'm forwarding.
ME: We have a new one?

This goes on daily.

  • Word has reached this blog that Madonna has always felt systematically repressed by the omnipresent Patriarchy. I'd like to add that we have always felt systematically oppressed by her 'music'.

Long before I had started my IT Career, such as it is, I was into electronics. Right next to the shop was an elderly lady who the owner befriended. She was hearing beeps and they sent me over to check it out. I had a feeling I knew what it was and I was right - it was the smoke detector, beeping its little heart out at one minute intervals to let the owner knew the battery was running down. I was a hero for the day and she got a new battery.

I mention this stupid story as an intro to Current Day, when I started to hear beeping from across the room.  As there are no smoke detectors in that vicinity, it was a bit confusing. In fact, more than confusing. Actually, it drove two of us up a ($&#ing tree, to be polite. The tree was full of little sticky bits, like thorns on a rose, and we were full of blood. We were also screaming so much, the dog got frightened and ran. It chirped at roughly one minute intervals. I walked to the general area of the noise to locate it. At the general area, the chirping seemed to come from a different general area. I looked like a blind person trying to locate a noise, only blind people can locate noise - I couldn't. Next up came The Wife, who, similarly, could not locate the sound. Wife seemed to hear it coming from the other direction. This caused additional frustration because of the unspoken thought that either the other was deaf or stupid or disagreeing on general principles.

Wife went into Hunt Mode. When this failed, Wife went into Throwing Mode. As it turned out, Throwing Mode was quite successful, in that it stopped the chirping. We still had no idea what caused it, but the blessed relief of no bleeping more than made up for it.

This morning it started up again. No amount of hunting, screaming, or throwing would make the noise cease or reveal its location. Our only salvation was that the noise was weaker, so in theory, the battery was draining and the noise would cease some time after our brains exploded or we had killed each other and only the dog survived. We have taken a ten square foot section of the room down to bare floor with what is referred to in corporate circles as Negative Progress. I think it's one of a small quantity (100 or so) of handheld games my wife doesn't remember she owns.

I was reminded of my otherworldly skill in making things Happen when I turned this way and that, trying to localize the infernal noise. First a series of large trash trucks went down the street. Next a huge plane flew overhead. I am not making this up.

Stay tuned for important updates.

  • Love him or hate him, Trumpie is always interesting. Days before officially taking office, CNN and Buzzfeed ran a story, now referred to as Pissgate. The story, as it turns out, was a joke, made up last year by the folks over at 4Chan. In other words, Fake News.  Donald had a press conference and CNN stood up with a question. The president-elect pointed at Mr. CNN and said FAKE NEWS.  The internet was abuzz, some taking him to task over Pissgate (even after it was proven false); some lauding him for telling it like it is; some screaming Freedom of the Press!
  • Let's consider that everything we hear from Mainstream Media is determined by six corporate entities - radio, print, and television. Let us also consider that the press overwhelming supported Hillary Clinton for president (proven). Let's consider that Trump is largely bypassing MSM for electronic communications (Twitter, etc). I think the man has a point.
  • I didn't vote for him but his achievements thus far have been interesting. This does not mean things can't go downhill, but I'm hoping things turn out well for the country. We need to come together, lest the plan of Divide and Conquer be effective - and it has been incredibly effective to date.
  • BRIEF ADDITION: Rudy '911' Giuliani has been named Cyber-Czar. I had no idea Rudy had any security experience at all, but he has an information security consulting firm. The website is run by software that's years out of date and quite hackable. Let's be fair: Rudy didn't put the site up himself, but...

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is here. This is a Really Big Deal, as manufacturers flout their wares, showing off their New Stuff. Industry people, news, and Just Plain People get to see what's coming.  This brief overview, by Twitter use Internetofshit, has some spectacular examples. My favorites are the solar charging hat and the bone conduction speaker/personal neurofeedback device. This should explain all those people who hear voices.

  • Apparently there is a gender gap in information security. I will pause for a moment, while you figure out which gender is underrepresented... People are working to bridge this gap, including a non-profit called CREST. Because we really don't care about security - we just need more internal plumbing.
  • When we are done fixing this problem, perhaps we can convene a worldwide special interest group, that will work to tackle this issue as it pertains to guitar players. The working motto is "We need more vaginas, not more boobs."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You Got Yer Snow Salt in My Peanut Butter

So my friend had an interesting New Year's Day... he is awakened by some commotion or other going on outside. Struggling to get out of bed, he somehow manages to pry himself loose and gaze out the window. Not being hung over (too much), he sees what all children want to see on Christmas, a fire truck! Right outside the house!

He manages to get to the front door to see what's the matter, when in walks the roommate. When asked why the shiny new fire truck is parked at the curb, Roommate says, "Oh, there's a gas leak. They're shutting off the gas."


Roommate, who is still visibly plowed from New Year's Celebrating, even after sleeping, is about to go off to Other Endeavors, when my friend points at his forehead. He stands there, waiting for more input. Again, the forehead is pointed at. Again, he stands there, confused.  Eventually he meanders over to a convenient mirror, where he discovers the word PENIS, written in his forehead in large, crisp black letters, visible from low-flying aircraft.

Not impressed or amused, Roommate immediately sets out, at high speed, after Friend, who is laughing and running. So you have two idiots chasing each other on the lawn, in front of a fire truck which is waiting for the gas company to shut off the gas to the house because there is a leak. And the entire crew of Ladder Unfortunate imparted this information to a still-drunk guy with PENIS written on his forehead. Fun times back at the firehouse.

Not content to let this be, in the spirit of drunken New Year's Revelry, Roommate has located a 2x4 and has renewed the chase. In front of the fire truck, on New Years Day, by the House of Horrors.

My friend, somewhat of an organizational sort, decides that this might not look entirely kosher to the fire department and 'gently suggests' that the two lunatics chasing each other on the front lawn, perhaps come in the house, perhaps leaving behind the 2x4. The neighbors are already aware of the House of Horrors so this would be nothing new. Once inside, my friend starts trying to pry more information from Friend of Drunk about the gas situation, as Roommate's blood level is still interfering with his alcohol level. Seconds later, the interrogation stops, as Roommate took the opportunity to kick his friend square in the nuts.

How was your New Years?


There is now a declassified government combined report on alleged Russian involvement in the US election. How does one even begin to try to figure this out? The politicians lie. Other countries lie. Intelligence agencies lie and obfuscate. You can't trust republicans or democrats, so in point of fact, this document could be used as toilet paper, only you'd have to print it out first. 

  • Nearly 400,000 users of adult site Xhamster have had their private details leaked. Usernames, email addresses and passwords have been on the dark web for several months. Interestingly enough, 400,000 is approximately 3.2% of the site's membership (yay porn!). I'm not entirely certain why one needs a login to a porn site but regardless, even a ridiculously complex password would not have helped because they used encryption that was easy to crack. View your porn wisely and keep it sacred.
  • Speaking of porn, the hack on Hello Kitty's 3.3 million fan database last year has leaked online. Goodbye Kitty.

I went out for a bit and came back to find that Marshall had formed a non-profit called Cockers for Cold Cuts. This is on top of last week's religious group, Cockers for Cheeses. These things have come on the heels of all this medicine he needs lately. He will not take the pills so we have to get creative - lately with cold cuts.

  • I swear it was just that one time: I was young, needed the money, and no harm came to the octopus

Online stuff: apparently you can become a millionaire on YouTube. You do this by getting a HUGE amount of views and get paid for it. Can you just imagine the ThermionicEmissions YouTube channel? And all ten subscribers? Furthermore, you can't post porn, which would kill my ratings further.

In addition to this humongous bit of knowledge, allow me to hit you with another: there are things called Social Media Influencers. They have so many followers that they whore themselves out to manufacturers to hawk their goods. Accordingly, I am now a Social Media Non-Influencer. Manufacturers can hire me to drive sales away. Or rather, manufacturers can hire me to drive sales away from other manufacturers. To get by these days, you gotta be crafty. Or greedy, whatever.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Off We Go Into the Wild 2017

So how does some of our internet traffic get overseas? Via undersea cables, silly. Here is a brief article on the risks of using them.

  • Twitter had a bit of fun the other night, as a fake BBC account broadcast that the Queen was dead.  People went insane, blowing up Twitter and generally going out of their minds. The most upset was probably Queen Elizabeth herself, who was most assuredly not exactly dead at that very moment. The Queen did miss her Christmas service for the first time in thirty years. Buckingham Palace said she was recovering from a heavy cold.  I sincerely hope that 'heavy cold' is not code for anything else.
  • Poor Buckingham Palace... it's like the White House, always saying this and reporting that but with no real voice of its own. Ever think of what the White House would say if it could actually talk? "STOP BLAMING ME FOR SHIT," probably.

If you're going to steal money from an ATM, this is one of the most original ways to accomplish it. I say let them keep it.

  • Sex and gender are interesting topics. Just in case you thought you had a clue, along comes androgen insensitivity syndrome to throw a small explosive into the mix... she looks like a goddess but she's genetically male...

As if anything here really surprised you, I wanted to bring the Real Shocker. The thing that's gonna f- up your new year. It's going to make you question your life up til now. Rearrange your priorities. Change your universe. You've been pooping wrong.

  • the Big Story<tm> of 2017 is Russian Hacking. Don't spread this too widely, but I'm investigating a potential breach in my house. I think they hacked my bathroom. It started with the sink and I believe it has spread to the bathtub. No digital space is safe!

Some crank(s) in the UK are saying that "Office Cake Culture", where people bring in sugary treats after holidays and as a celebration, should be traded for hugs because the effects of all this sugar are toxic. You go, boys... drop them all off at my desk.

  • I don't want to say I'm right all the time, but capsaicin, the substance that makes peppers hot, have been shown to kill cancer cells, so in effect, I'm right all the time. Next up: vegetables cause cancer.

Over in North Ireland, their First Minister got caught in a financial scandal. Calls were made for her to step down, which she dismissed as 'misogynistic'. Uh-oh, she played the Vagina Card.

  • So, those electrical Smart Meters that I've been going on about for years... they're quite vulnerable to hackers, among other things. Who would've thought? Hackers can cut power to a home and cause the meter to explode. In 2009 there was a mass hacking in Puerto Rico. It's funny... these devices can benefit many interests, except ours...

Live in Utah? Wanna make a few bucks? Legislation has been introduced that will allow you to sue XXX sites if you watch too much porn.  Personal responsibility has packed up and run off with the high speed internet.  I'm wondering if I lived in Utah, could I sue Fender because I play too much guitar? Not mentioned in the article is the fact that Utah is the largest porn watcher in the US, per recent study.

  • I signed up for a technical presentation at work. It suggested that perhaps I'd like to network with like-minded attendees, such as some dude named leftystrat. These guys are sharp as a bowling ball, they are.

it's like they KNOW...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Many Happys 2016-2017

Happy New Year to my treasured readers.
You will be required to have a very happy, safe, and healthy new year.


Speaking of New Years, I occasionally performed on New Years Eve, both with my band and my musical comedy act.

I remember one year we played deep in the bowels of Philadelphia. It was so deep I could never find it again, nor would I have any reason to. Mrs lefty was there, long before she took the dive. I remember her particularly hot leather skirt. It was accompanied by a particular cold. The cold came with the Cough of Death. The poor girl sounded like she was coughing up a lung, at one minute intervals. As she was a nurse, she didn't have the good sense to stay home when she was quite ill and quite contagious. Plus she wanted to be with her sweetheart, for which I can forgive her. 

I remember doing reasonably well and jiggering the set around to ring in the Happy New Year at midnight. Cough couch. And at four in the morning, Mrs lefty called a doc she knew, who met her at the office and prescribed Strong Antibiotics for her constant hacking. I think she got half the neighborhood and their pets sick.

I'm certain we did a few more celebrations over the years but we are talking quite a time ago so I can't be relied upon to remember stuff. Especially if it happened yesterday. We played in a place called King of Prussia, which is apparently hysterical if you're from anywhere that isn't Philly. There was a small chain of motor lodges off the Turnpike, and when I say motor lodge, I mean really run down motel with a weird layout, featuring some extremely low-rent restaurant-type place, perhaps for truckers (but definitely not regular people).

We were opening for a national act, whose name I could make up but let's agree that I don't remember. We were pretty excited, as we should have been. Nice money, nice exposure, nice equipment. Or so we thought.

The room had all the acoustical properties of a concrete gymnasium, largely because it was constructed exactly like a concrete gymnasium, out of cinderblocks. We hit the stage running, full of energy, and the crowd immediately took a dislike to us. We weren't always strangers to this phenomenon, but realized it wasn't our fault this time.  When you point large speaker stacks at a concrete wall, the sound shoots out, hits the wall, and rubber bands right back at you. So you sing a note and it comes back to you, almost a second later, completely confusing you as to what you're doing. It's like a bad cell phone call, where you can hear what you already said in the background. 

Somehow this got cleared up, although I don't know how, but it didn't involve tearing down the cinderblock walls or throwing paying guests against them. We did really well... so well that the national headliner couldn't follow us. This is the reason a lot of comics don't want to follow musical comedy acts.

We weren't too far from home but we got rooms so we decided to stay. This was before Mrs lefty (no, really), so the adventurous lady and I decided to head to the room. Picture many rows of rooms, with about ten per row, all laid out at strange angles to each other. The door key was one degree off skeleton key, and I got a really weird feeling as we opened the door. It was right out of a horror movie, when the innocent couple inherits a large, dark castle and goes to see it for the first time. I expected cobwebs, everything covered in sheets, dust, and perhaps a dead body. Fortunately we escaped those tragedies, although we both avoided checking the bathroom just in case.

After the Mad Celebratory Sex (that I don't remember), we drifted off. Or tried to drift off. This was made somewhat difficult by the creaking dripping sound emanating from the bathroom. The one we were terrified to check for bodies. Being by far the braver of us two, She got up to check on things. The area was completely free of (human) bodies but the plumbing was similar to the plumbing in the large, dark castle; held together with string and spit. Several minutes later, we were safely in the car, on our way home. We decided it wasn't all that interesting to stay in a different bed for the night. 

I would like to repeat some of my successes but don't have a band currently. I thought the Mad Celebratory Sex thing would be fine but she's in the bedroom, having a call and response snoring chat with the dog. Just to clarify, we're talking about Mrs lefty, not any of the previous ones, girlfriends, or blow up dolls.

Please be safe. If you're going to drink, stay where you are, take a cab, or use a Designated Driver. It's not worth the other lives you may ruin.  Also - this time of year is particularly bad for sufferers of depression. If you need help, please talk to someone.

Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Knock Someone Out for Boxing Day

A nice and considerate new reader pointed out that this blog hurt her eyes (which was only fifty percent of my intention when 'designing' it). That the image of ThermionicEmissions remained emblazoned on her retina, making it difficult to see the next site she went to. This is great news... everyone who leaves this blog will see it in front of them for a short (or long) period of time! If a reader trips and goes down on his eyes, heaven forbid, the image of ThermionicEmissions may be the last thing he sees. Or it might be the only thing he sees for the rest of his life.  Do I need to rethink this?

  • One way to introduce invasive new technology is to put it in sports stadiums; where fans have already proved they will swallow humongous ticket prices, fifty dollar parking, regular player strikes, and state money paying for the stadiums. Fingerprint and iris scanners are in place in several stadiums, as a kind of line-bypass, like our friends at the TSA offer pre-screened fliers (and now some stadiums) - because metal detectors and bag checks weren't enough. In addition to identification, this allows tracking of fan behavior and purchasing habits, raking in even more money for the stadiums. To add insult to injury, you will pay $179 for this privilege. Yo, sports fans... bend over... again. It's for the children.

A New York to France flight had to be diverted because the toilets on the 767 were all broken. With all of the in-flight backups airplanes have (all systems in triplicate), in the end it was toilets that grounded the plane. It's shit like this that makes passengers mad.

  • Last night was the Kennedy Honors. Among others, the Eagles were celebrated. At one point, Steve Vai joined others for a note-for-note rendition of Hotel California. As much fun as this was, the real attraction was watching the stone-faced Eagles and the outgoing president at times.

This past year has had no shortage of hilarity emanating from California. Guess what... the year isn't over yet! The San Francisco police union is suing the city for the right to choke citizens and kill fleeing drivers, citing the recent overseas attacks where vehicles were used. Because the "new policy will hinder officers' ability protect themselves and the public from killers behind the wheel."

They coulda just said It's for the children. Knowing California, it's a small miracle that they didn't outlaw trucks and cars.

The next piece of legislation will require police to identify lawbreakers and give them a ride home or to a Safe Space of their choosing because we wouldn't want to hurt their feelings or make assumptions as to their race, color, what species they identify as, or sexual orientation.

  • As if enough people had not left the planet in 2016 thus far, someone took advantage to hack Britney Spears' Twitter account to post a poorly-worded tweet, allegedly from Sony, that she expired. To back this up, they hacked Bob Dylan's Twitter account to send condolences. And just a few days left in 2016...
  • Speaking of death, there is a Kickstarter to raise money for a person to guard Betty White. He will guard her in any way necessary. If Mrs White decides this service is not necessary, all the money donated will go to a designated theater charity. Noting Betty's ability to stay alive thus far, I don't think she'll need any help.

A Tacoma, WA. Cheesecake Factory refused to serve some armed police officers recently. One of the officers posted this to Cheesecake's Faceyspaces page, prompting a statement from Corporate, apologizing for the mixup and blaming it on the restaurant manager's misunderstanding of the policy, which stated that uniformed and armed officers were allowed to possess arms. I guess the manager mixed up allowed to posess arms with not allowed to possess arms. Heh heh, simple mixup anyone could make. It's like celebrity death: Britney Spears is dead. Oh wait, we got that statement mixed up with Britney Spears is not dead. A simple mixup.

  • There is a place in Asia called Johor Baru. This is less important that the fact that a man there is seeking a refund for an exorcism, because the exorcist failed to drive off the spirits afflicting his father. Hey, do you suppose we can get refunds for wives and other relatives?

One cannot, and I can't emphasize this strongly enough, eat a steak sandwich with a straw. Along these same lines; no, I don't want to go to the doctor tomorrow to see your ear wax. These were two things that happened today and I am not going to say anything more.

First selfie with found object - 1940