Friday, August 31, 2007

Next Step - Eating Soap

When people ask where we got our garden seeds, I tell them a big crate of seeds washed up on the beach. Pass the vegetables, please.

Something Not to Do 11

Let's say, purely hypothetically, that you are standing in the kitchen reading the newspaper when your lovely wife comes wandering by in her bathing suit. She pauses at the back door on her way to the hot tub, turns to you and asks, "Are you coming?"

No matter what your instincts may tell you, the correct response to this question is not, "On who?"

That would be Something Not to Do.™

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sliding into Home

Did a little research on the web today. You have to fast and abstain from alcohol before the "fancy" cholesterol test - the one that gives you the count of all three kinds of cholesterol. Oddly, the web sites seem to agree that the proper alcohol abstention period is 24 hours, not 3 days.

Iceman and Seiborg were having a good time razzing me about Dr. Jellyfinger on the way to lunch today. Bozzetto, bless is soul, said, "What's Jellyfinger?"

Iceman had the best line: "You know there's trouble if he has both hands on your shoulders when he's doing it."

I'm not 40 yet, so there's only a 50/50 chance of the jellyfinger.

I wonder if most people who order bacon cheeseburgers don't actually like the combination of bacon and cheeseburger, but it sounds so good they order it anyways.

Do you actually like bacon on your cheeseburger?
Of course I do. It's nature's perfect food.
No, but it just sounds so good I keep ordering it hoping this one will be fantastic.
If you cared at all about the planet, you'd be a vegan like I am.
Hey, good luck with that cholesterol test.
Free polls from

Last night as I was lying in bed, I realized I was supposed to write a section for a conference paper submission that I had completely forgotten about. Luckily, my space allocation was 1000 characters. Not 1000 words. 1000 characters. Not including spaces, though. First thing this morning, I wrote up about half of what I had to say, and it came to 1800 characters. I then spent the next half-hour removing any sign of eloquence from the writing, and I got it down to 1420 characters. That's almost exactly the length of this entry. I sent it in to the consolidator anyways.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

An uneventful day 2

I secretly gave up coffee a few days ago. Oddly, the world has not stopped turning. Though I have been especially cranky at work.

Today, I heard from a fellow that used to work for The Company but left shortly after I transferred to Fort TomCollins. He said the following:
"PS In your blog, I think there is an inverse correlation between the length of the post and the level of humor it contains. But I will say that your writing style makes the longer posts a bit more bearable than I would've expected."
Perceptive little bugger, eh? It's touching that he reads the old blog given that we've actually only ever met once or twice, mostly over a particular bit of nastiness called "sleep transistors" that we're all trying to forget.

I need to issue a correction for yesterday's post. I said I needed to fast for 24 hours, but The Mrs. questioned that. So I dug out the letter and checked again - sure enough, only 10 hours of fasting.

I have nothing at all of any interest to say today. I suppose I should drone on and on about that, but without my muse, I can't even do that. Maybe I'll go put an extra-boring post on Weather or Not, since that's where I keep the stuff that isn't anywhere near interesting enough for Me, CherkyB.

Remember those words of wisdom: never blog sober.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So begins Day 1

It's not exactly The Passion of Christ, but this blog isn't exactly The Bible, either.

Thursday will be a momentous day for Me, CherkyB. A day that was 22 years in the coming. A day that's has been put off a long as it could be, and now will wait no longer.

That's right. Thursday I'm going in for a physical. An actual physical, not a "Hi Doc, I'm sick. Can you write me some scripts and send me on my way?" This is a day when a doctor who I have never met will poke and prod me in unimaginable ways looking for hidden deficiencies and then will use any findings as an excuse to preach to me about changing my ways and leading a more pure lifestyle.

It's like my honeymoon all over again.

Now, in what would be considered a classic "bait-n-switch" routine if I were buying a car and would have attorneys general salivating to shut down the scammers, the office let me make an appointment with very little fanfare. I just had to wait about 7 weeks. Then, the next day, the lady called back:
Dr.'s office lady: "Oh, we forgot to ask you for you home address. We need to send you a letter explaining what you should expect at your physical."
I expect to get poked and prodded in unimaginable ways, and then to get preached at. I need a letter for this?

A couple days later, I got the letter. It said little to nothing about what to expect at the physical. Instead, it was chock full of little gems of things I must do in order to be allowed to have the physical. Like bringing all my medications in with me in a single, quart-sized ziploc baggie (or some such). OK. Arrive a little early to fill out paperwork. OK.

"Fast for 24 hours prior to your physical."


"Water is OK. No foods or liquids other than water."

I used to be Catholic. I think this means I can still eat fish.

"No illegal drugs or alcohol for three days prior to your physical."

OK, now wait just a goddamned minute there. What exactly are you going to be doing to me that requires me to abstain from alcohol for three days prior? It's a physical. Hell, I've had surgeries with general anesthetic that don't have this many rules associated with them.

"If you find this inconvenient, we can arrange to have your blood work done at a different time."

Like there's ever a convenient time to fast for 24 hours and abstain from illegal drugs and alcohol for three whole days. Let me see. Hmmm. No. No. Oh, not that week. Oh, here it is. How about after I'm dead! Well, so anyways, my appointment is at 1:45 on Thursday. So that means I'm partway through my first day.

I came home from work today and, as if on cue, there was the newest edition of Modern Drunkard, hot off the presses, sitting on the kitchen counter. It's always a treat when it arrives, as they publish "about" six times a year, but it's an operation run by a bunch of drunkards, so their punctuality isn't always top notch.

I tore off the plastic wrap and began perusing the heady prose, quickly finding myself engrossed in the lifestyle. Then HannahC and The Mrs. started fighting in the kitchen cuz HannahC wanted to help with dinner, and The Mrs. wanted her to get the hell out of the kitchen. So I chipped in:
Me, CherkyB: "Why don't you get the drinks? Run to the garage and grab me a beer. One of the ones in the box on the top shelf that says 90 Shilling."

HannahC: "OK, Dah."

The Mrs.: "And get me a Diet Coke."

HannahC: "OK."
Situation defused. Back to my reading.

Sitting at the dinner table drinking the old beer, I am about to say to the lovely The Mrs., "It's 4 days before my physical, so today's my last chance to have a beers," when I suddenly stopped. Hmmmm. Damn. Lunch was my last chance to have a beers, and I spent it at Raising Caine's with Rico and Bozzetto eating chicken fingers.

Oh well. Close enough.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

CherkyB and The Mrs., Soul Mates

Me, CherkyB [pointing across street]: "His lawn tractor goes a lot faster than mine."

The Mrs.: "So?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Focaccia. Such a wonderful word.

The Mrs. took our continuously misbehaving new compooter back to the store today. Our good buddy who didn't fix it right last time puttered around with it all day, then he called me at the end of the day and said, "You had a bad memory stick. I found a memory stress program that failed every single time on one of the upper banks of the second stick."

So, chalk one up for Bozzetto who diagnosed the problem as "probably bad memory" back when the compooter was brand new solely based on my description of what was happening.

When I went to pick up the compooter, Mr. Sub-genius was already gone for the night, but the other two guys there were kvetching about how they thought they got a bad batch of memory from their vendor, as mine was the fifth one they had go bad just in the last few weeks.

Oh - so when I brought it back the first time and said, "It's acting like it has bad memory," that, uh, didn't trigger any kind of "Hmmmm...."?

For the record, it is Corsair Value Series RAM. Like you care.

All I can say is that the compooter has not crashed any aps or rebooted in the few hours it has been back home. Fingers are crossed.

Mr. Sub-genius also "fixed" a problem I had with shutdown where an application wouldn't stop properly and I had to hit "OK" to kill it. Luckily, he told me he did this, and he explained that there were like 8 possible causes for the problem and said, "One was something to do with multiple users and another was this service you just needed to stop."

When I got the compooter home and started poking around, I discovered first that the stopped service was causing windows to log a system error every 20 seconds about not being able to start this service. I've become quite intimate with the Windows event log. So I had to google that and learn that if you stop this one service, you have to stop two others or you get error messages all the time. None of the services are needed, as they're part of Nero DVD burning software. The services continuously scan your hard drive for "media" files so that they can catalog everything for you and let you access it all at the touch of a button.

Just what I need.

Then, I discovered that I could no longer have two people logged in at the same time. The "fix" for the problem associated with multiple users was to disable the ability to have multiple users.

Googling that, I discovered that to enable this requires a regedit, which you may recall is what killed my last compooter. But I was brave (and under warranty), and I re-enabled multiple users in the registry.

So now I guess I'm OK. We shall see.

The deck failed final inspection today. Contractor comes back Monday to fix the problems. One thing it failed for was the steps not being deep enough, which is the one thing I was unhappy about with the design. So I'm actually happy it failed for that, as now I get better steps.

I yelled at someone at work yesterday. It needed to be done. Sometimes people are intentionally dense, and sometimes they just don't listen. Six weeks of pointing out the same error in the calculations, having everyone nod and say, "Yes, this is in error," and then coming back the next week with the calculation done a completely different way, but with the same exact error. I felt kinda bad about it today, but it seemed to have stimulated some results. If by results you mean I felt compelled to just develop the damned calculation myself rather than trying to explain to the people whose job it was to do it the right way to do it.

I yell at someone at work about once a year nowadays. It used to be a lot more often, but I get most of my yelling out of my system at my childrens.

I think tomorrow I may need "A Taste of Europe" for lunch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Genius Squandered

Manly Lesbian asked for a picture of me in my fireman jacket over at Weather or Not, and I got to thinking how I was pretty sure I already had a picture of me in it up on this blog. So I spent some time this afternoon while dialed in to a boring meeting surfing through the archives. I didn't find any picture of me in the fireman jacket, but I did rediscover something:

My blog used to be interesting.

I think it's because in non-summer times, I get remarkably depressed, and all creativity is derived from pain. Or it could just be that I'm in a slump. The Mrs., as if sensing this revelation, did her part by laying in to me for no reason at all the minute I walked in the door. Something about not helping her enough because I didn't read her mind and figure out that she couldn't walk four dinner plates six feet from the kitchen counter to the kitchen table by herself. When I claimed she should ask me for help if she needed it, she asserted she had asked for help by saying, "How may I serve by getting you a drink?"

Then we got into a rather animated argument where I claimed, "Asking me 'how may I servitude you?' is not the same as asking for help," and she "won" this argument by saying, "I didn't say 'servitude', I said 'serve' and that 'serve you' is synonymous with 'help me'. Duh."

Then The Childrens intervened, which in itself was quite funny given that The Childrens are generally the source of such inane blather right around dinner time.

On other notes, we received our first HOA notification of non-compliance today. Something about storing "garbage, trash, or junk next to the house." I think they're talking about the junk from when I took down the old retaining wall on the trampoline pit, but that got hauled away to the dump about 4 weeks ago. If it's not that, then I'm going to need a clarification. We have until the 31st to comply. You'd think in the age of digital photos, they could attach a snapshot of what they're complaining about.

I hate HOAs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

CherkyB, Parent Extraordinaire 2

MaxieC: "Daddy, what's that chirping I hear? Do you know?"

Me, CherkyB: "That's crickets. It's a whole bunch of crickets outside all chirping at once, which is why it sounds like a constant chirp."

MaxieC: "Are they chirping for food?"

Me, CherkyB: "They're chirping to find girlfriends."

MaxieC: "Why?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, outside there aren't a whole lot of crickets all right next to each other. So when the boys want girlfriends, they chirp, and then the girl crickets follow the sound to find the boys."

MaxieC: "Oh. We're boys."

Me, CherkyB: "Yes. But we don't go outside at night and chirp to find girlfriends."

MaxieC: "What do we do?"

Me, CherkyB: "Well, we get jobs that pay a lot of money. Girls can smell money, and if you have a lot of it, they'll want to be your girlfriend."

MaxieC: "Oh, like if they smell the money you throw down on the ground in front of them, then they'll be your girlfriend?"

Me, CherkyB: "Yeah. Pretty much."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Walking Dead

Actually, I'm more of the lying around in bed all day dead. Over the last few weeks, I've been developing a progressively worse and worse cough. The Mrs. had enough today (after I got up for a couple hours then went back to bed) and sent me to Urgent Care right after we all went to Michael's to stand around for about an hour while she found stuff to waste money on and sent us all through the lines separately so we could use 3 discount coupons that said "one per customer" on them. And then after we went to a patio furniture store for an hour to buy some furniture for our newly completed deck.

Yup, I was so sick I got to skip the grocery store to go to Urgent Care.

It appears I shall live. Though I did walk out of there with three prescriptions and instructions to go see my own doctor about possibly getting two more. That is, I think, a record. Even when I had pneumonia (which I do not have this time), I only got two prescriptions.

I was pretty sure it was consumption. The doctor, on the other hand, was pretty sure it wasn't.

I get to go to the grocery store tomorrow, I hear.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

CherkyB, Fashionista

I own three pairs of nice-enough pants. But I never wear them. I tried them on on Friday night, and only two fit. That made my life 1/3 simpler when it comes to dressing all fancy-pants.

But then I realized it had been so long since I wore nice pants that I didn't know which shirts went with which pants. So I axed The Mrs. to help.

She was kind enough to lay my two pairs of pants out on the floor, and the place the shirts that matched each pair on top of that pair, with a third pile above and in between of shirts that matched both.

This was great. Except I knew there was no way I could ever remember all this information. But then, as usually happens, I was struck with Brilliance!

Cell phone cameras are cool.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I broke another one

No, not a compooter. That one seems to be doing alright today. I poked around a bit on the web and discovered a number of people who have reported spontaneous reboots when running a virus scan with this particular program, so I uninstalled it and installed a competing (also free) program.

No crashes since then. Keep fingers crossed. I haven't run a full system scan yet. But I ran a "quick scan" and it completed without incident.

What I broke today was a mulching blade for my precious lawn tractor. I caught it on a metal landscape edging, and it bent down about 50 degrees. That's the same way I broke the only other one I've broken, but it was on a different piece of metal.

Now, breaking the lawn tractor blade this afternoon was shaping up to be a particular annoyance. See, I had fertilized the lawn about two weeks ago, and we got some rain, and it was growing like crazy. So it very badly needed mowing.

However, Lowe's appears to be phasing out Husqvarna as one of the brands they carry, and they only stock parts for tractors they actually sell currently. I imagine this is problematic no matter what you buy, as it usually isn't for a least a year before you need replacement parts, and by then they're selling something different.

So the local Husqvarna dealer is way the hell down in Loverlyland. It's the place I got my Berco snowblower. I called them up, and they were already closed for the day (close at 1pm on Saturdays). Not open at all on Sundays. And I'm not going to have time to chase all the way down to Loverlyland during the week.

But then I am struck with Brilliance! Husqvarna actually makes all the Craftsman tractors, and Sears also sells my model under both the Craftsman and Husqvarna brand names. I bet they have the part. After all, Sears is Parts Central.

So I hit their website and look up the part number for the mulching blade for my tractor. They have it as a Craftsman-branded blade, but it is guaranteed to be compatible (because the tractors are identical except for the paint, perhaps?). I hit the "tell me if it's in stock locally" link, and it says, "no."



But, Sears is run by KMart. So they're probably a bunch of idiots. I decide to head up there to make sure. HannahC decides to go along for the ride. The Mrs. decides to tag along to take MaxieC to Target, which is a couple blocks away, to get him a bubble machine as a reward for sleeping in his own bed the whole night.

Something he's done only once before in his life.

So, suddenly I go from mowing the lawn to hauling the whole family out for Saturday shopping in the minivan.


When HannahC and I got to Sears, I quickly located three packs of the mulching blades. And then I realized why. These were two-blade packs (since the tractor takes two blades), and they had a different part number. And the contents were listed as "blade_part_number qty 2". So they didn't have any single blades. Only two blade packs. But the Parts Central website didn't tell me two blade packs even existed. The price for the two-blade pack was slightly more than double the price of a single blade on the website.

F'ing KMart.

Though to be fair, Sears has been messed up for as long as I can remember. Which is much longer than KMart has owned them.

Three of us also got haircuts. The Mrs. didn't cuz either she's too fussy to go to Great Clips, or she's married and has decided to let her looks go.

When I got back home and removed the old blades, I noticed they had multiple part numbers stamped into them. One was the Craftsman part number. So the only difference is the packaging.

We were officially allowed to use the deck today, as the sealer had dried (enough). We're still waiting for the special-order step lights The Mrs. selected and for the serving/storage roll-away cabinet. And the contractor is still waiting for his last check.

It's a good-looking deck.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Got the new compooter back today all "fixed". It rebooted itself within 30 seconds of me powering it on, and then suffered two terminal application crashes and one more self-reboot within the next hour. Interestingly, every single problem has occurred while the virus checker is doing is full system scan.

I can get the computer to crash in some way within 10 minutes of starting the scan. I wonder if I have a bad hard drive controller or a bad hard drive. The store root caused the problem to my old hard drive (from the old compooter) being flakey cuz after reboots it was sometimes there and sometimes not. The copied the data onto the new drive and removed the old. But the drive was never flakey on the old compooter. Hard drive controller is integrated on the motherboard, so if that's the problem, it means a new MB.

In other news, the new Blog of the Week doesn't seem to be posting any new material this week. I may have to award the title to the runner-up.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Blog of the Week

I haven't named a Blog of the Week in a long long time. Mainly because most of my past Blogs of the Week have ended up surpassing me in readership, and I'm an insanely jealous person. Plus, none of them are even remotely as good as Me, CherkyB. Except maybe one, but I ended up purging that one mostly from the archives for other reasons altogether. Reasons I felt strongly about at the time, but now I think are perhaps kind of petty.

So, because I'm in a charitable mood today, I'd like to introduce you to Badgers. I don't for the life of me understand why it is that this blog is named Badgers, even though the first post tries to explain it. It is in reality the blog of The Locksmith, who as you regular readers may recall, is the boyfriend of Ellie, who in turn is the sister of The Mrs.

The thing I actually love about The Locksmith's blog is how he is so obviously in pain as a result of giving up his freedom to place himself under the heel of Ellie. Perhaps this is particularly poignant to me, having gone through the same thing with a member of the same family a bit back . ("A bit" in this case being 17 years.)

But there's nothing quite like the suffering of another man at the hands of a woman to spice up a blog, even if you aren't related to any of the characters. So go check it out.

CherkyB Movie Review: Crash

The Mrs. and I watched Crash last night. It made me think of my new compooter.

CherkyB, Parent Extraordinaire

MaxieC: "I have to go potty!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK. Go potty."

MaxieC: "I want you to come with me!"

Me, CherkyB: "[grumble grumble] OK"


Me, CherkyB: "What are you doing? You've got to aim. You can't just whip out your gun and start shooting without aiming."

Me, CherkyB: "You're not a Democrat."

But of course

As one would expect whenever I buy anything new, the new compooter has gone back to the shop today to have its problem with continual rebooting and application crashes straightened out. Due to my super-sleuthing efforts, I have root caused it to "not something I did after I got it", as Windows logged a crash/reboot about an hour before I picked it up.

That was about the time he was installing the front-panel flash card reader. Maybe it's that.

Monday, August 06, 2007


The datar on the old drive was fine. I've gotten The Mrs. all recovered on the new compooter, though it threw a couple blue screens of death Sunday. From reading the Windows event log, it looked related to the printer driver, so I reinstalled that. Will have to keep an eye on it.

That is all for now.