Category Archives: Rants and Ramblings

Home Alone: Post-Mortem

My head hurts and I don’t feel much like elaborating on the events of this past weekend, so I’ll do a quick summary:

  • Laura returned late last night to a still-standing house and a still-living, (relatively) mentally-intact husband. Rosie and Gil are still very much alive, and none of their little bones have been harvested as components for an ill-conceived pulsed plasma thruster.
  • I had planned to clean Laura’s car inside and out while she was gone, but settled for washing just the outside. Thus, the corpse of the moth remains visible through the rear window.
  • Also not accomplished: replacing the dryer exhaust hose.
  • I should also point out that the correct spelling is “Shaun,” not “Shawn.” So, Shaun of the Dead. Enjoyable flick.
  • I watched the season premiere of Deadwood on HBO last night. Ah, Al Swearengen. Good to see you again.
  • I was dismayed to learn that there are only three episodes of Carnivàle remaining in the current season. So much has happened in just the past two episodes it feels like Daniel Knauf is building to something huge. On a side note: I used to think of tarring and feathering as being humiliating without physically endangering the (for want of a better word) recipient. After watching Jonesy get tarred and feathered last night (and assuming the process was accurately portrayed), my viewpoint has changed considerably.

Home Alone: Day Five-point-five(?) – Oh, what fools these mortals be.

When the coffee maker is filled to the 4.5 cup line on the whaddayacallit, the … let me go look … (heh, those cats get all excited if you even move toward the stairs) the decanter is what it’s called. I thought it was something different, but it’s written right there on the lid. Decanter.

Anyway, 4.5 cups as marked on the decanter fills my Las Vegas mug (the one with my name on it) to the brim twice. I don’t understand that. I guess the point is that I either drank 4.5 “cups” of coffee or two mugs of coffee. Whatever the case, it’s 4:30 and I’ve got some serious jitters. I’m wired.

This is the stupid-thirty I was talking about earlier. Four-thirty, five-thirty, what-have-you. If it’s dark outside and I haven’t been to bed and the little hand is more than halfway from the 12 to the 6 and the big hand is pointing straight down, it’s stupid-thirty. Like right now.

Cabin Fever is on HBO. It’s a movie about some people getting a flesh-eating virus while staying at a cabin. I only watch a couple of minutes. Some kid named Dennis bit one of the guys who had the virus, and now his dad is pissed that the guy “gave” his son the virus. And then there were some boobies, I think, back at the cabin. On G-String Divas one of the strippers was getting all pissy about other strippers “stealing” the songs she dances to. Yeah, there were some boobies on that show, too. I turned the TV off, though. Maybe I need output more than input right now, so I can’t just sit and watch TV.

I guess it’s day six. If I’m awake before noon, it won’t be by choice. I hope I’m asleep before six. Wasting half a day off because you decided to make coffee at midnight just reinforces the assertion that you require constant adult supervision.

I think I’ll probably play five hundred games of Spider Solitaire now.

Edit: Carafe! On our old coffee maker, the pot was called the carafe. “Do not use if carafe is cracked or chipped.” That’s what it said on the old pot. The old carafe. Why did we get rid of that coffee maker? It had a timer on it. The new one doesn’t. I don’t remember why we got rid of it. “Decanter,” my ass.

Home Alone: Day Five – Productivity’s Last Gasp

I carved another notch in my Xbox controller last night after Miscellaneous G™ and I completed Dungeons & Dragons Heroes. This is the third game that we’ve battled our way through, the others being Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance and Hunter the Reckoning.

As anticipated, we also played Pimp the Backhanding last night. My record is 1-2 so far mano a mano. Miscellaneous G™ and I both agreed that the dynamic of the game would likely change with additional players. Nonetheless, it’s a fun (if politically incorrect) game with a fairly straightforward mechanic.

Thanks to some scheduled time off, Thursday is the new Friday. At least for this week. That means staying up until stupid-thirty tonight playing video games and/or watching movies and crawling out of bed at the crack of noon tomorrow (see previously revised scheduleThat’s right, no colorful table today.).

Yes, I remembered to take my lunch again today. Each turkey-bologna sandwich not left in the fridge is a gold medal in an Olympic event for me, and I’m gonna jump and holler, ’cause I’ve saved up my last two dollars. ((Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow. I was a coach for the Special Olympics held at Central Michigan University back in the early 90’s. I forget which year it was, exactly. I’d been a counselor at a week-long camp for special kids a few times, and one of the administrators asked me to be a coach that year. The Oak Ridge Boys played at the closing ceremonies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier group of people than those kids when ORB played “Elvira.”))

Note to Self: In the future, please check the blade depth before trimming your beard. Seriously. Take a picture of yourself and tape it to the bathroom mirror if you need a reminder of why this is important. Ass.

Home Alone: Day Four – Threat Level Beige

This week is turning into a real nail-biter, isn’t it? Well, to answer the question that is undoubtedly weighing on everyone’s minds, I remembered to take my lunch today. I expect that your collective sigh of relief will eventually alter weather patterns in the Andes mountains, which could ruin some folks’ skiing vacation. Them’s the breaks.

The Old Man dumped a fair bit of snow on us yesterday, and continues to do so even as I type this. Last night the entire driveway was a giant drift, and I had some difficulty finding the front walk. Instead of doing the sensible thing (shoveling and snowblowing), I shut myself in for the evening. I did shovel the front walk this morning, but I’m sure that effort was in vain.

As if to reward my sloth, the Sunbird decided that the heater/vent/defroster fan didn’t really need to blow this morning. It was a cold drive to work.

As yesterday’s schedule change implies, I have opted not to work on Friday. This will leave me with entirely too many consecutive unsupervised hours.

Tonight’s City of Heroes playing will not take place as scheduled, so that we may bring you the following special activity…

  Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
Wed 02 Mar Work Game Night Includes Pimp the Backhanding and one or more of the following Xbox games: HALO, Hunter The Reckoning: Redeemer, Dungeons & Dragons Heroes, Red Dead Revolver.

Also, I stopped by Blockbuster last night and rented Shawn of the Dead which will require watching at some point in the next couple of days.
(FEAT. Miscellaneous G™)


Home Alone: Schedule Update

In order to allow for the aforementioned spiral into chaos, I have decided that a schedule change is necessary. Please make the appropriate updates to your calendar.

Original Schedule:

Date Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
Thurs 03 Mar Work Play City of Heroes Sleep
Fri 04 Mar Work Play City of Heroes

Revised Schedule:

Date Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
Thurs 03 Mar Work To Be Announced ((Actual activities may vary, depending upon level of madness reached. Possible activities include playing City of Heroes, mopping the dining room floor, conversing with cats, conversing with microwave, and curling up in the fetal position on the bed.))
Fri 04 Mar To Be Announced ((Actual activites may vary, depending upon level of madness reached. Possible activities include playing City of Heroes, mopping blood off the dining room floor, building a rocket with microwave parts, building a rocket with cat parts, and setting fire to the bed.))

Home Alone: Day Two – Tracking

Today’s schedule:

  Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
Mon 28 Feb Work Play City of Heroes Sleep

So far, so good. I’m definitely at work. I do have something of a dilemma, though, and it pertains to lunch.

[Proceed only if you’re seriously bored. What follows certainly won’t excite, but perhaps its sheer, plodding mundanity will prompt you to get off your ass and do something – anything – else for a while.]

Continue reading Home Alone: Day Two – Tracking

Home Alone: Day One – Shot to Hell!

My schedule for today was supposed to look like this:

Date Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
Sun 27 Feb Sleep Host D&D Sleep

Instead, I got up at 6:00a.m., packed Laura’s stuff in the MVoD, told her to drive carefully, and went back to bed started doing housework.

I know, I know. Not on the schedule. Way not on the schedule! Instead of my head hitting the pillow like Balboa’s fist against a side of beef, I vacuumed! I changed the sheets and made the bed! I cleaned up the dining room table! I filled the ice trays, straightened up the entertainment closet, brought dirty clothes down to the laundry room, fed the cats, took a shower, shaved, and emptied the trash cans!

What the hell is wrong with me?

It’s twenty after one. I should be rolling out of a puddle of my own drool right now, not running downstairs to empty the dishwasher!

Y’know what makes it worse? Laura didn’t leave me a “Honey Do” List. That’s right, I have absolutely no obligations outside of keeping myself and the cats alive until Sunday afternoon. Not a damn one.

I vacuumed this morning!

I make myself sick.

As they apparently say in the future: Frak.

As in, “Oh, frak!”

Or maybe, “You have got to be frakking kidding me!”

Or perhaps simply, “Frak!”

The MVoD is trying very hard to earn its title today. The doom in question applies to my wallet. As Laura is taking the family-friendly minivan to Florida this Sunday (and leaving me with her Sunbird), I thought it best to make sure the vehicle was in tip-top shape for the trip. So we brought it to the dealer for its 45,000 mile schedule maintenance and asked that they also address two other areas of concern:

  1. The ABS indicator occasionally comes on after I back up and won’t go off unless the vehicle is rebooted restarted. This has happened perhaps three times in the last month.
  2. The left rear turn signal assembly filled with water back in December. The water froze, some of the bulbs burned out and at least one of the sockets corroded.

Oh, and the brakes hadn’t been checked since we got the van.

The guy gave me a quote which was mildly painful but not unexpectedly exorbitant. Laura drove me to work, we had a nice breakfast in the cafeteria and took care of some charitable donation matching business. She left to babysit, I went to my 9:00 meeting.

The guy left me voicemail while I was in my 10:00 meeting.

I called the guy back. He gave me the laundry list:

  1. The ABS light is coming on because the speed sensor has been compromised. Replacing the speed sensor involves replacing the wheel bearing. Cha-ching!
  2. The front rotors and pads need to be replaced. Not unexpected, but still… cha-ching!
  3. The left rear taillight assembly circuit board must be replaced and both taillight assemblies sealed to prevent further leakage. Cha-ching!
  4. There’s coolant on the engine and the transmission. The intake manifold gasket is leaking and must be replaced. Oh, that one came outta left field! Cha-ching!

Er = Eo * 5.62

Where Eo is the original estimate and Er is the revised estimate and 5.62 is a hell of a lot to multiply the original estimate by.


Kidney-punch to the wallet!

Now, I’ve got to step up and take some responsibility for this mess. See, I’ve been letting the regularly scheduled maintenance slip and just going for oil changes at Lube Stop. No rotation of tires. No checking of brakes. No nothing. I’ve got to believe that the cost of these repairs could – at the very least – have been spread out over the last couple of years, if not largely avoided with some preventative maintenance.

Frak me. Right in the face.