Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hold Your Breath Until I Arrive

You might not know this, but the British have better bacon. I know - it comes as a surprise to me too.

  • Notable breast implant receiver and talk show host Chelsea Handler said she'd never interview implant receiver Melania Trump because she can barely speak English. As it turns out, Mrs. Trump speaks fluent English, Slovenian, French, German and Serbian. Go, Chelsea!
  • In my online interactions, I like to hear what other countries say about Americans, especially jokes. The first one that always pops up is "How can you tell the American in the room? He's the one who only knows one language." Not quite as funny as I had expected but it's a start. Anyone else?

For our 20th year in the house, we're celebrating by dusting. I think.
No really. I was so beside myself and bored the other day, I picked up the vacuum.  And after thirteen years, Marshall is still highly antagonized by the vacuum. But he got the last word: after I was done and put the device away, he shredded some tissues on the carpet, to mark his territory.
  • Tom Selleck is doing commercials. They seem to say "Trust me - I have a mustache."

Special greetings to the 2% of users who connected with unix, as well as the French, who are #1 this week, well ahead of the US. Guess I better lay off the French jokes for a while.


  • I just got done telling my family, in a superior tone, that we're eating pretty healthy these days. Moments later the wife requests Hamburger Helper for dinner. Subversive.

Keeper Security has released their 2016 report on the most common passwords. Shock and surprise - number one is "123456".  We do not read news unless it contains the word "Kardashian."

  • House democrat Ted Lieu, the only member of his party in the house with a computer science degree, is working with republican Joe Wilson on the Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY) Study Act of 2017. With all of the recent action in electronics, cars, and spying, these gentlemen have leaped to the fore and created legislation to conduct a new study into security standards for cars. Never let it be said that out government lags behind in anything. Meanwhile the FBI is wetting themselves while laughing and listening to you talk to your 'secretary' in the car.

Today's Word: frappophilia. It is the sexual arousal that results from the sudden and sharp contact of a 'hand on hand nature'. It is not, as previously reported, a love of certain Starbucks beverages. Just in case this is not sufficient entertainment for your day, Wales has banned crossing guards (called lollipop men and women) from high-fiving children. If I were in Wales, I'd demand they ban contact with anyone having lollipop in their name or description, but that's just me.



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So a pipe broke. A really large pipe came to have a really large hole. I have no idea how this happened. Fortunately, family (I knew speaking to them would eventually pay off) and Wife came together to fix the issue. The remaining water would evaporate with the aid of the omnipresent dehumidifier. Because it's a little humid here (like hell is a little hot), I always assumed a dehumidifier would sit there, then choke and die when we turned it on. Much to my surprise, the device worked really well in the dank basement. And when I say really well, I mean right up until the pipe broke, when it simply ceased to be, like a certain parrot. Wife said at this point, it's personal.  

It became even more personal when I had to go out to pick up another one. I'm not really agoraphobic - I just don't like going out a lot. Maybe once a week, to a fun destination of my choosing, which certainly would NOT be a local home improvement chain store. As it was after work, I was in even less a good mood to venture outside, removed from the comfort and warmth of my couch and my dog (and every now and then, my wife). Wife knows about things like dehumidifiers because she reads about them and does comparisons. Although I tried, I could not find a single piece of information on dehumidifiers on Pornhub.com, so I was lost. This made the entire experience very difficult because you should never send a man to do a woman's job. He will come back with a load of things that are entirely Wrong. Wrong size, wrong brand, wrong quantity, wrong price, wrong store.. shall I go on? Men reading this, please stand up, uncross your legs, and breathe deeply- it will all be ok.

Dehumidifiers, as I'm finding out, are kind of like vacuums, in that you have to buy one, the one you buy will be too expensive, and it will break shortly after purchase because it's designed that way. It matters not how much you pay for it or what name is on the box... it will break. If you buy a vacuum, it will pick up things no bigger than a micron across. If you try to pick up dust, or heaven forbid, hair - you're screwed.

Armed with this Important Information, I went forth and invaded the local home improvement store (because I refused to go to Walmart).  Wheeling down the aisle, I smell.... something. It smells good. Looking to my right, I start taking notice of the hardware: screws, nuts, and bolts. WHY AM I LOOKING AT HARDWARE with any amount of interest? As soon as the thought entered my mind, like most of them, it disappeared, to be replaced with noticing springs and door hardware.  My blood ran cold. What was happening to me?

Does anybody know Geraldo Rivera? I'm asking because I have the Scoop of the Century.. home improvement stores have discovered some sort of chemical or ancient genetic link to man's inner self; some sort of deep awakening of a vestigial urge and ability to construct things. Could it be triggered by the smell of fresh sawdust mixed with unfathomable amounts of chemicals spilled on the floor in a store the size of a city block? With actual birds flying around the ceiling because they felt it was a good idea to get out of the cold or just prefer being indoors? Is there some sort of Builder Gene that gets awakened from thousands of years of deep sleep to step up, purchase tools, and join the (unfinished) projects of his ancestors?

After somehow managing to get a dehumidifier into the cart, I had to get some bleach. Do you know how many brands and varieties of bleach there are? I sure didn't. This results in a condition known as Analysis Paralysis. You stand there, noticing the decision you must make and consider what will happen when you come home with the wrong item/size/version/scent, and just freeze. It really doesn't matter because whatever you bring home will the be the wrong thing. What do you mean you didn't know to buy the apple-scented bleach? It's what we always use! Apropos of nothing, bleach is located in aisle nine, precisely where Wife told me it would be. What does this tell you?

On the way over, I had to almost physically pry my own eyes away from the items on the shelves. Things I had heard of and most that I had never heard of, yet all were calling me. Did I need a new springy-retractor thingie for my screen door? No, but dammit, I was going to look at them. Even displays of batteries became must-see opportunities.

What the hell was going on?
When I was young, I amassed tools. I occasionally tried to build something but discovered it wasn't a good idea to try to cut a straight line when I couldn't draw a straight line (even with a ruler). I can safely operate a ratchet set and some screwdrivers, which was about enough for me. Once a year, when I get really randy, I get out the chainsaw (to determine it won't start again).  I long ago realized that construction was simply not my forte and was perfectly ok with that. So why do I have a tool-on when I cart down the aisles of Lowes Depot? What have they done to get me to feel that I can simply purchase some Stuff and go home to construct Something? In reality, I couldn't construct a box, even with pre-cut wood. If I glued and nailed it together, it would still fall apart the moment it was picked up. Or looked at. I can do electrical and electronics from vacuum tube to solid state, I can do computers from the box up, but I shouldn't be allowed near wood or whirling blades. Plus circular saws are right-handed. If you try to use it lefty, you'll get a mouthful of sawdust.

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Oh yeah - the refrigerator.... ours has taken to making this thumping noise. no matter how many times per day this happens, my wife freezes and goes into silent prayer, hoping that the fridge will last longer. There is also an ungodly amount of electrical noise that affects everything in the house. I suspect this is fridge-related too.

Since I was in the store and feeling rather manly, I figured I'd look at fridges.
STICKER SHOCK. Yeah, I'm old. Washers and driers used to cost a few hundred dollars. Fridges a few hundred more. The aisle I went down started at three thousand dollars. I figured they were all misprinted or maybe they came with a month's worth of food for ten. I almost went to find someone to ask but decided I didn't want to be their Best Story of the Month.

The next aisle was more reasonable, starting at two thousand. There were fridges with televisions, internet connections, multimedia systems, and probably interconnects so it can talk to the washer and dryer (to discuss their schedule for breaking down). If you buy the right one, it will stop working when it can't access the net or get its updates. I saw a seven hundred dollar fridge, but I could carry it under my arm and see through it.

Wife told me she wants a mid-range fridge. I've paid much less for guitars and cars.

Small wonder she freezes when ours makes noise. I plan to join her.

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I got out of the store while I still could. If I spent any longer, I would have come home with an absolutely humongous room-sized tool cart in which to put my four tools, various bits of metal, a telescoping mirror for all my telescoping mirror needs, and a four-dollar Mt. Dew from the small refrigerator case by the cashier.

When I got home, I grudgingly plugged the dehumidifier in, then went back to the safety of my computer, which merely makes me feel invincible (online).





This is the best thing you'll read all day.

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