humor comments edit

Comedian Lewis Black has a good bit he does about how certain phrases people say in their conversation stick out, sort of like someone saying your name really loud in a crowded room, so that your mind grabs hold of them and ponders them out of context.

I think the phrase Black overhears (while sitting in the local IHOP) is “If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.”


Right. So I was thinking about some of the conversations I’ve had recently, and I realized that a lot of the stuff I (or, more directly, the people I’m talking to) say is extremely context-sensitive. My favorites as of late: “Holy shit, Suze! I was just on fire!” (Which was followed closely thereafter with “And then, after I put myself out…“)


I just got a call from the auto body shop. My car is fixed! That’s a really good thing, since that means I don’t have to drive The Babemobile all weekend.

humor, auto comments edit

I took my car in to the shop to get the key scratch fixed today. I’m not sure when it’ll be done. I hope it will be soon, because instead of my car (which I love), I’m driving The Babemobile.

The Babemobile earned its name because that is precisely what it is not. It’s a 1988(?) Plymouth Voyager. There are several issues with it:

  • It’s a 4 cylinder engine. In a minivan. Floor it, and it might go 50mph. Downhill, with a tailwind.
  • The hood is rusting through, which gives the paint a nice, abused patina.
  • It shoots black smoke out of the tailpipe. I tried to convince myself that it was just a camouflaging device, similar to the ink that squids shoot at predators. But then when Scotty called up from the engine room “She can’t take much more of this!” I knew it was all just a lie.
  • It turns like a wounded tugboat. I’ve taken to calling out directions in terms of “port” and “starboard.”
  • Everything on it is loose. As you drive, the whole van chatters and squeaks like a small herd of lab rats.

That’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but you get the idea.

Anyway, all that totals up to is that I really just want my car back so we can donate this thing to the Humane Society or something. Maybe that $500 can feed some kitties or something.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. If the van didn’t exist, I’d be renting a car right now, which costs money. Free is [negligibly] better than not free.

music comments edit

A quick anecdote to start us off: I’ve been drinking a lot of water today, but the last time I went to the soda fountain here at work to get some water, I decided to get a little Coke instead, just for a change. Without even thinking about it, I looked at the machine and said, out loud, “Gimme some sugar, baby.” I didn’t realize what I had even said until a few seconds after I had gotten my beverage. It’s sad to think that some movies can have such an influence on your daily life.

Speaking of movies, every time my friend Aarron listens to the album The White Room by The KLF, he always mentions that it says on the back something about this being the soundtrack to the KLF movie of the same name. Then Aarron says that he’d love to see that movie.

Up until the other day, I always thought that was just a marketing gimmick. Apparently, though, it really was a movie. From skimming stuff like the KLF FAQ, it looks like they started making the movie, but it ended up never coming out. Sounds like if you pursue it enough and find the right folks out there, some of them have portions of the movie in fourth- or fifth-generation quality that you can see. I didn’t go that far. But it sounds interesting.

humor comments edit

Let me get this out in the open right now: People, in general, are damn idiots.

This will probably end up being a recurring theme throughout this blog.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily imply that I’m any “better” than anyone else per se; I just see that the population en masse has exceptionally poor problem solving skills. In that respect, yeah, maybe I’m better than some folks.

The conflict here arises in the fact that I’m faced with a certain amount of desktop computer and telephone support in my daily workload. Especially since about half of the CIT department got downsized here at work a few months ago. Since I’ve taken on additional user support, I am continually astonished at the levels people sink to on the problem-solving and information-retention scales.

First of all, my motto for technical support: “God helps those who help themselves.” Which is to say, if you have a problem, try reading the fucking manual before you just throw your arms up in a panic and taking up someone else’s time to ask them a stupid question. (Yes, there are such things as stupid questions.) If you’ve legitimately tried to solve your problem and have reached a stumbling point, then, and only then, you may ask for help.

My favorite request in recent days: A user can’t figure out why his phone won’t ring. “It worked last week,” says the user. Did you do anything to it? “No.” Of course not. Let me look into it.

So I look through the phone system configuration. Everything looks fine. I start tracing the line back from the user’s desk to the telephone closet to make sure all the lines are connected and all is working in that respect. Yeah, the phone’s got power. Yeah, the phone’s plugged into the proper outlet in the wall. Everything seems to be in order. Quick check and… oh, geez…

Look. If you turn the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on, you’re not going to get any calls. That’s what ‘Do Not Disturb’ means. You won’t be disturbed. “I didn’t turn that on.” Are you sure? “Yeah. I don’t even know how to turn that on.” That’s interesting, because it had to be turned on from your phone, so unless someone ran in here to play a prank on you (not likely), you turned it on.

People. I just don’t understand them.

I think Dumbentia has the best solution to the problem.

In the meantime, I’ll drink out of my “Fuck Off” mug (that my friend bought for me, just for situations like this) and pretend to listen. Unbelieveable.

auto, hockey comments edit

Having season hockey tickets for the Winter Hawks, I parked my car at the local MAX stop to ride in to the Rose Garden Arena for the Friday night game. This is not an unusual procedure.

This time it was different, though.

I got back to my car after the game and drove it home. No problem, right? Well, when I went to drive out to a friend’s place the next morning, I noticed that some punk bitch decided to key my car.

There is now a big line from the upper passenger-side of the hood diagonal down to the headlight on the driver’s side. It’s a two-part line; you can see where the asshole’s arm wasn’t long enough to do it in one swipe, so he/she adjusted position and continued keying. It’s probably a good three feet long.

I feel sort of like John Travolta (“Vincent”) in Pulp Fiction, where he’s talking to Eric Stoltz (“Lance”) while buying heroin. He has his car in storage for three years, then it’s out five days and someone keys it.

VINCENT: I just wish I caught ‘em doin’ it, ya know? Oh man, I’d give anything to catch ‘em doin’ it. It’a been worth his doin’ it, if I coulda just caught ‘em, you know what I mean?

LANCE: It’s chicken shit. You don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.

Even more than having the asshole key my car, what bothered me was that I was going to have to go through the insurance company hassle. I’ve been through this before, where you have to schedule time to take the car to a claims office, have them take pictures, fill out the paperwork, etc., then do the same stupid thing at the auto body shop, then wait for the check to arrive, etc. What a pain.

But it wasn’t like that this time. Since the last time I had a claim, I’ve switched car insurance from Nationwide to Progressive. It was so much easier to deal with things through them! I filed the claim at noon on Sunday. 45 minutes later, I was talking to a claims adjuster. 60 minutes after that, there was a guy at my house taking the pictures, doing the estimate, etc. Had I not just renewed my policy (every six months, right?), he’d have cut me a check on the spot. Too bad for me; I will get a check in the mail in a couple of days. Shucks. And I was looking forward to the annoying hassle of insurance companies. Not. I totally recommend these Progressive folks. Check ‘em out. Not only did they save me money, the customer service, so far as I can tell, is the bomb.

So, anyway, that should [hopefully] be fixed by the end of the week. Pending on how soon the check gets here, that is. I’ll call the auto body shop and find out when they’ve got an opening.