Good Times Bad Times

I went from having the best shift in the world to the worst shift in the world, previously, evenings 3-midnight with Saturdays and Sundays off; now, overnights, 9:30 to 6 in the morning with Fridays and Saturdays off. Any other time of year it would be slight gradients more palatable, but in the summer, when it’s hot as balls out and the sun stares right at you right when you’re fixing to go to bed, and when there’s nothing on television worth a darn, well, I’ve spent this summer feeling mighty upside-down most of the time. It’s the kind of thing you can try to correct for and keep trying to correct for but that you can’t get straight. If I draw this shift next quarter, I can tell you I will have questions.

It is though a great opportunity to binge-watch television programs. I have watched Parenthood. I have watched Brothers and Sisters. I have watched Ally McBeal. I am now on season 3 of Better Call Saul. And I want to mention something about the third one there.

Anne Heche has died. She is in seven episodes of Ally McBeal. She plays Melanie West, a tourette’s-having cutie who for a moment is a romantic interest for the silly little man known as John Cage. She is delightful in it. I would enjoy watching outtakes of her working in rehearsal with Peter MacNicol. I know she did much more other work. It’s just I recently watched her in this. And this was an actor who lit up the screen. It is sad the context of her end, the firey car crash, the anoxic brain injury. She was my age almost exactly and born in a place I know too well, Aurora, Ohio, though she did not grow up there.

I will say this too about the show Ally McBeal: I found it more compelling now than I did then, mainly because I know more music. What TV show these days would suddenly break into a cover of “To Sir With Love?” Who does that? I don’t know what neighborhood in Boston Ally McBeal’s world is in, but I’d like to check it out sometime.

And Olivia Newton-John as well. It’s odd, if there is ever an earworm from this person for me, it’s “Hopelessly Devoted” from Grease. Then maybe the weird ’80s mainstay “Physical.” Then maybe “Magic” from Xanadu. It’s weird how a musical artist like that can seem so innocuous but can be so vital. If Linda Ronstadt ever goes, you’re gonna have to give me a day or two to process it.

Binging Better Call Saul is a great experience though. I was watching it when it first came out, but I think I lost interest trying to figure out what Mike Ehrmantraut was doing with that stupid battery and the tracker. I had to look it up on the internet this time, and I’m here to tell you, it’s pretty smart. Quite a crafty way for ol’ Mike to meet up with Gustavo Fring. That’s the beautiful thing about Vince Gilligan. He trusts you. In the Mike storylines, there is barely any dialogue. They want you to watch, to bear with a slowly-unfolding story, to cheerfully receive a story not told but shown. So much so that I had to go look up the thing with the tracker and why Mike was hooking up a AA battery to a radio. Okay, here’s what he was doing, ready?

Mike drives away from the location where he tried to kill Hector[b] and unsuccessfully checks his car for a tracking device. Certain he was followed, he completely dismantles the station wagon he was driving at a local junkyard but finds nothing. While looking at a sales display of gas caps, he has an epiphany and takes apart the one from the station wagon, where he finds a battery-operated tracker.

After finding the tracking device, Mike obtains an identical one from Dr. Caldera, studies its function, and discovers it remotely warns the operator when the battery runs low. He replaces the tracker in the gas cap of his sedan with the new one, drains the battery of the one he took from his sedan, and stays awake all night to watch the sedan. In the early morning, someone arrives to change the tracker on his sedan for one with a fresh battery. Because the man who replaced the tracker is actually carrying the one Mike placed on his car, Mike is able to follow him.

Do not mess with Mike. I’m just saying.

Meanwhile today is the day that Salman Rushdie got stabbed in the throat at Chappaqua of all places and the day that we all found out that Former Loser Preznit Carnage the Magnificent likely actually absconded with nucular documents. Can we impeach him yet? I mean, again?

Here’s a picture of my cat.

Nice

Well, I just bought me some new underpants.

Update: I posted this to Facebook, and I think it may be one of my more commented on entries there. Some of the glorious feedback received…

  • it’s good to celebrate wins.
  • Thanks for sharing…No pics??
  • Living the dream
  • Low-rise Mesh?
  • Underoos, they have them for adults !!
  • Mr. Moneybags over here with no holes in his britches
  • But . . . what about the socks???!!? Socks are vitally important don’t ya know. They can even substitute for underpants if you are so inclined.
  • ’bout time

Wings Give You Wings

I went out to lunch today with Dear Old Dad. I ordered wings, parm and garlic. It may be the fourth time I’ve eaten wings recently.

I never ate wings before I moved to the backyard of the dish’s birthplace. I thought they were kind of gross. But since I moved to the ROC, I’ve become a big fan, thanks mostly to the now defunct J.B. Quimby’s, which made the yummiest “jerk” wings I’ve ever had (it wasn’t really jerk rub, but it was salty and full of rosemary, and it was delicious). That helped turn me into a rabid wing eater.

And, the thing is, that is one of the things I missed most about being locked up thanks to Preznit Carnage’s horrible awful no-good COVID disease. I missed ponying up to a bar and enjoying a pile of piping hot, crunchy, greasy, well-seasoned chicken wings. So that was mighty enjoyable.

So I’m on a wing rampage. Gosh they’re delicious.

So then we bought some groceries for the old people. Then I came home and worked on a project: The kitchen speakers are now upgraded.

Next, a bit of cable management for the unavoidable cable runover across the floor, and I get the friggin’ pilot chair fixed.

Then I’ll really have something.

My Back Hurts

Sometimes there’s a special place where my back hurts. It’s on the left side just below the shoulder blade in there somewhere. And it hurts like a hard pinch. And so as I write this, I’m leaning on a cold compress and that’s nice and all. But I don’t know if it’s how I’m sleeping or if it’s how I’m sitting when I work (I alternate between a sitting and standing desk here in the home office) or if it’s just a tumor. But leaning up on a cold compress sure is nice. Also Tylenol helps. So does booze.

I am currently listening to the album When God Was Great by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Imagine, if you will, an album made by these longtime music professionals in the ska/ska-core genre making an album now. It is sublime, and I highly recommend it. Ska is alive and well, kids, and TMMBT is still working. It’s not about fried mozzarella. It’s about heart, music, and love. Ska has my adoration forever.


Prince could unwind Bryant Gumbel into a quivering, giggling, incoherent puddle. Imagine if you’d gotten to meet him.



Some of this appearance is the typical nonsense you might expect from fellow Kent State alum Arsenio Hall. It is worth viewing, however, if for nothing else than the magical performance by Liv Warfield.

PTO Project: Upgrade Sound System

I think I was 16 when my Dad and I drove to the local Circuit City and picked up a spiffy new Kenwood tuner for me. I think it was a birthday present. The beauty of this tuner was the remote control, you could mute the thing from across the room via remote, and the remote actually moves the volume rocker, so it maintains an analog aesthetic. And the thing has been the main audio engine of my entertainment center ever since.

This isn’t to say that the thing hasn’t seen some wear and tear. The remote had stopped working, especially on the volume. Seeing as how I have a few days PTO where I don’t have to telecommute, I thought I might see if a light internal dusting would fix these issues.

So I took the components off the system table and gave it a through dusting with some Murphy’s Wood Soap and microfiber cloth. I unscrewed the tiny screws in the tuner and tossed them into a clean coffee mug, and nervously removed the top (my brother is the one with training in this kind of thing, not me). I used my trusty power duster to blast out the ancient dust therein, then plugged it in to test. The volume rocker still would not budge for my remote.

I did find two further issues, the first a simple fix: There was a sticky goo on the remote sensor on the tuner’s front. Once I cleaned this up, guess what happened? The remote worked a bit better. Duh.

I also noticed that the volume knob is loose. There appears to be a tiny post next to it that it’s supposed to be glued to, but it has since come loose. If I push the volume unit forward so it is flush with the front panel, the remote works perfectly. But I am a bit too nervous to go injecting any sort of glue into the thing, so I’ve elected to leave this as is for now. I do feel like the dusting did some good, however.

The rest of my setup will also get an upgrade; I mean, why bother removing all the components if I’m not going to put it back together with a bit more care? New 16-gauge speaker wire. Flex-pin connectors are on order so cutting, stripping, and crimping will be a one-time chore. I may not even get all the work done before I’m back to the job on Thursday. Probably won’t, actually. But this time, the thing’s gonna get put together with some care. It’s gonna sound great.

Woot.


Guilty on all counts. Enjoy spending the rest of your life in solitary, you murdering cop.

Administrative Note

I know you all were clamoring to read you some 8WK news at about 1 a.m.

Too bad if you were. I couldn’t even reach my sites, not one of them. Darned frustrating, too, as I had just spent the previous hour setting up an Amazon tap to the new network, then setting up a TP-Link smart plug as well. Then I got online and found that I could not even reach my regular home page, nor my Wiki, nor this very useful website.

Dreamhost is pretty good at letting you know when something’s up. The status from around that time: “Our Operations teams are currently investigating connectivity issues which indicate an issue related to our name servers. We will provide updated information as it becomes available.”

Here I was fixing to blame the local ISP. It turns out my Web host had a DNS connectivity issue.

Well, it’s fixed now. Thanks, Dreamhost.

Macy’s

A few years ago, there was a Macy’s in the mall near where I lived, and it was closing. I was trying to outfit my apartment, so I figured there would be bargains to be had, so I walked in. And it was one of the most depressing scenes I have ever witnessed. They were mainly selling rugs, some arcane furniture nobody would buy, and the store fixtures themselves, the counters, the display cases, anything anything, you could probably make an offer on somebody’s toupee and they would have sold it. And as I walked through this disaster knowing I would not be buying anything, I walked by one former jewelry counter, and there was a black woman saying “stop it, no, we can’t go back home, you play with that phone and sit there” or something like that. This woman took this job, probably as a temp? or she worked for them before and was trying to earn a few bucks before everything got closed? I don’t know which. But she had a 4 or 6 year old kid sitting on the floor in her counter in the midst of a situation where she would only in a few minutes or a day or a week or a month where she would be losing her “job.” And despite that desperate, hopeless choice for a “job” that was destined to end, that promised no future, no sustainable living, despite that, she had to make her child play on her phone on the dirty carpet in a department store just to keep paying the rent. Every time I think about public policy these days, I think about that woman. The only thing that government should be doing is taking care of her. And it does nothing but. Shame on this country. Shame on your stupid, short-sighted ass.


“The litmus test for America is how we are treating black women.” (Kamala Harris)
I told somebody to go shit in a lake. Then I told the person how. “Squatting off the end of the dock with your pants down is not the best way. You should probably just jump into the lake and then do your business in the lake. The water might be really cold at that time so your bowels might tighten up. But you are a guy in control, so you can probably handle it. Maybe bend your body back and forth a couple of times to make your bowels ease up. I would recommend wearing a lifejacket.”
The President of the United States should not be advocating a boycott of an American business for any reason. Republicans have often been critical of Democratic politicians for “picking winners and losers.” But Democrats have never done anything as flagrant as to name a specific, American based company and saying “this company sucks” for political reasons. This is unpresidential, this is bad for our country, this is an abuse of the bully pulpit, this is horrible. This alone should invite Congressional hearings, but it won’t because here are 1300 more of these a day with this idiot. Vote Biden, FFS, vote Biden, do not shove your own vote up your nose. This impeached president is so bad for your country and for you.

A Really Really Important Message

Many years ago, I stole a Dave Barry joke and left it as my outgoing message on my answering machine. The joke was:

“Hi. You have reached [phone number]. If you’d like to press “1,” press “1.” If you’d like to press “2,” press “2.”

And so on.

This really annoyed one caller of mine. I edited this a little at the time for effect. But this was the crux of the biscuit:

I am still sad that I will never know what the important message was.

Administrative Note

On or around March 18, 2001, I started blogging.

Records show I first registered the domain “adventuresintothewellknown.com” on September 10, 2003, although the Wayback Machine has entries with the Adventures design as far back as July 2002. I was 35 years old.

Blogging was a brand new thing, and I started it mainly as a way to force myself into the social stratosphere of Washington, D.C. Bloggers got together. We’d shoot pool. We’d do happy hours. Then, you’d go home and chronicle your, um, adventures. You’d try to make your blog as good as Lex’s or Scully’s or Eve’s. Or, I would, anyway. I rarely succeeded–these were some brilliant human beings.

But blogging was also was an area for professional growth. My interest in blogging led me to learn how domains work, how to register them and how to direct them; how to manage a content management system such as WordPress or GreyMatter before it (remember GreyMatter?); how to design a Web page; how to code; how to troubleshoot. It was largely an interest in blogging that allowed me to move from journalism to Web-monkeying to doing the tech logistics work I’m doing now.

Often, when a blogger starts a post like this, it leads to a retirement announcement. That is not the case here. I have breached my 50th year on Earth, but I believe I will be keeping a blog until the day I stop refusing to die and am placed face-down in the ground (you know why face-down, ya’ll).

But I am moving.

Mainly, I’m moving because my current host costs money, and Blogspot is free. I find that more sustainable as I no longer need a Web host to make me seem like I know what I’m doing. I no longer create Web spaces for a living, and nor do I any longer even consider doing it for fun. Kids these days laugh at my ancient methods anyways. Tables? You still use tables? 2000 called! It wants its BLINK tag back!

So, I am working to archive this project to Blogspot. It is a project I may never finish because as far as I can tell, copy/pasta is the only way to do that work. But, the work is kind of nice; it allows me to review a lot of blog entries. I’ll like the Blogger backups better anyway as they are straight-forward RSS rather than WordPress’ more proprietary approach. Not to mention, Blogspot provides a community aspect you don’t get with a standalone site on a shared server.

If you have a site with me, I’ll be talkin’ to ya, and we’ll get things moved around. I mean, I have a year at least. But my intention is to not pay this hosting fee again next year. So the official site is now at aitwk.blog, which will forward to the Blogspot. Entries will be archived there and removed from here as we go.

See yinz over there.