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Atomic Fungus
 
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
2:50 pm
#5410: Hey, MTV, I have a couple of New Year's resolutions for YOU.
1) STFU; and 2) eat a bucket of dicks.

I don't need to be told what my resolutions should be, particularly not by a bunch of limp-wristed converged SJW asshats. The video--I watched about a third of it--is nothing but commie-lib bugaboos and shibboleths, and it's 100% racist, sexist horseshit.

Do you want to know what my 2017 resolution is? GET MY F-ING FOID CARD BACK AND BUY A NEW GUN, that's what my f-ing 2017 resolution is. So suck on that, you political correctness pussies. I know you'd like it to be that collection of anti-man, anti-capitalist, anti-American crapola you're spewing, but I have a brain and can think for myself so I don't need your communist, collectivist, idiotic "suggestions".

And if you're going to wet your pants over that--a white American man buying a gun--make sure you do it outside so I don't have to mop it up. Assholes.

*

The one that really pissed me off was, "America was never great for anyone but white males." That is such bullshit it's not even wrong. If you really think that--if you think America is such a terrible place because you're not a white male--then go somewhere else. Go find your non-white non-male paradise. Maybe you can find it in Africa or the middle east.

Oh! Is that the sound of you not leaving I hear, because nowhere else on earth is as free or prosperous as the United States of America? For everyone, not just white males? Is that why so many people are trying to come here we need to build a wall to keep them out?

Kinda thought so, you snivelling communist piece of shit.

I'll believe that America is a horrible place for women and minorities if we ever have to build an iron curtain to keep them from leaving, and immigration (legal and otherwise) approximates zero--but until and unless that's the case, shut the fuck up.

* * *

So, tomorrow is the winter solstice, Christmas is in five days, and I don't have a vignette yet. And I need to get moving and take care of my errands.

But it's nice and warm, and my computer is a marvelous portal to the world, and it's been eight years since I first tried WoW and I'm not tired of playing it yet....

Still...got to go. *sigh*
12:14 am
#5409: Rain on Christmas day
That's the forecast. Thrillsville.

* * *

Robo-waifu. I suppose it will find a market somewhere. It's actually a pretty intriguing idea.

* * *

How to get Pale Moon to redirect to Infogalactic rather than using the SJW-converged Wikipedia. Not bad. I'll get after this sometime, maybe.

* * *

Had a pretty reasonable day at work today. And as a bonus I found out that the "pegged oil pressure gauge" thing the Cherokee has been doing is electrical and not a problem in the oil pressure regulator, for which I am just as happy.

Got into the truck to come home, started it, and the gauge went to 80 PSI as it has been every so often. Shut the thing off, turned it on again--not starting it--and the gauge went right up to 80 PSI with the engine not running at all. Cycled the ignition switch again, and it stayed at 0, where I'd expect it to be with the engine off. Started her up and she went to the normal pressure indication.

Pretty sure that's electrical.

* * *

Rumor has it that if they don't get 400 people employed in the call center by January or February, the place will be shut down. All the posters saying "$Major_Telecom" remain, but the ones saying "$Employer" have been mysteriously taken down, fueling speculation that the operation is going to be sold to someone.

I place about as much stock in these rumors as I do in most rumors--I'll believe it when I see it--but these rumors (even as they contradict each other) dovetail with the nagging feeling I've had since about September or so that disaster is looming. I don't know what form the doom will take, but I expect it; after we passed October without the hammer falling I figured we were good until January, anyway, as no one would make a major change like that in the middle of the biggest sales and service season of the year.

I'd like very much to be wrong. Who knows?

* * *

Anyway, my weekend has begun, and I need to get on with the R&R.
Sunday, December 18th, 2016
7:52 pm
#5408: Glorious day off
Asked for today off two weeks ago, approximately. Boss hemmed and hawed the entire time. Last night he approved it, and I'm glad, because I spent the day with my wife rather than being anywhere else. A good day for it; current temp is -3°F and it's going to go lower before it goes higher. By the time I have to leave for work tomorrow morning it should be at least eight degrees warmer than this.

So what happened? Got up at 7 AM to hit the can, did a little surfing and reading on-line, then went back to bed until after noon. Got up again, threw a frozen pizza in the oven and played some WoW. Even got to play with my wife for a bit, too, for the first time in two weeks. Then we decided it was nap time, and we went to bed. She's still napping, but when I woke up around 6 PM I decided I'd stay in bed until the time I would normally get home from work on a Sunday night.

I feel relaxed and comfortable again. I needed that day off. After the way Thu, Fri, and Sat went, I needed it. I don't know what it is this year, but customers are just meaner than they were last year. Are they mad that Trump won? Is it the economy? Something else? Or was I just not paying attention last year?

* * *

I have had an idea for a Christmas vignette, but I'm not sure where it's going to go, or if it'll go at all. I actually had two different ideas, and of the two, I think the first one would be better. I don't know yet.

* * *

Another post about ads and ad blockers. My tablet--the Nook, an Android tablet--out-and-out crashes when I try to view some web sites on it. The browser is virtually uncustomizable and since it's a mobile OS you can't block ads on the thing. (Google purposely built the Android OS so it cannot block ads; the HOSTS file for the browser is encrypted and cannot be changed, and the specifications state that browsers cannot have customizable extensions like ad blockers.) So I hardly use it for viewing the web at all any longer, just a couple of sites I know won't crash because they serve no ads, or virtually no ads. The crossword puzzle app I used to use no longer works; there was this or that update, either to the app or the OS, which rendered the two incompatible. I cannot put the former, working version on; if I download the app again it works for one or two days, updates, and dies. There is no way to prevent the updates from occurring.

I suppose, when my Freecell game stops working, I will have to simply buy a new tablet, but I don't enjoy the prospect and should not have to do so. Given the designed-in limitations of the Android operating operating system, though, it makes owning an iPad seem like an acceptable alternative...or would, rather, if the typical iPad didn't cost as much as a good desktop computer. With monitor.

Short of rooting the tablet and installing a custom OS on it, I don't know what I can do about any of this, except resign myself to confining the majority of my web use to the computer.

* * *

So, Friday night I come home from work, and there's a trash can in my driveway. "Did I forget--? No, it's where it should be," I thought to myself, thinking first that I'd forgotten to drag the can up--but every Friday morning when I leave for work, the first thing I do after leaving the house is to bring up the empty can.

I went to look at it, trying to see who's can it was; then I saw the ziplock plastic bag stuck in the hinge.

"TRASH AND RECYCLING COLLECTION SERVICE INFORMATION", it said.

Me: *sigh*

On the plus side it is--at least, for the moment--voluntary. I don't have to separate my trash. I do have to figure out where to put the recycling bin I'm not going to use at all, though.

Maybe spray-paint the lid the same color as the rest of it and make 'em think it's a regular trash bin. Well, that's something I can worry about later.

* * *

So, looking at nonsense on YouTube, I saw a video titled "Top 10 hilarious Ben Stiller moments". That's funny, because there aren't ten "hilarious Ben Stiller moments". There aren't even enough of those to make a "top one" list.

Him and Will Farrel--just totally not funny, and it's been years since I saw a live-action comedy movie which was actually amusing. What passes for comedy in Hollywood these days is movies which contain an unending series of frustrations for the main character, with a leavening of nut shots and fart jokes. Some will contain scatalogical or sex gags, which are also not funny.

Gah.

* * *

Today's been a nice, pleasant, quiet day. The upcoming holiday week promises to be laden with noise and confusion, but despite all that I've been looking forward to Christmas as usual. It's my favorite holiday.

It's a week away, and I'm going to enjoy it.
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
9:45 pm
#5407: You don't get any free time, slacker.
Wednesday I was going to write a second post, but Mrs. Fungus came home, and that was the last time I touched the computer. Now it's Saturday evening, three days later, and only now do I have time. It's been two weeks since Mrs. Fungus and I last played WoW together, and I've only spent a little time playing the game myself.

We've had egregiously shitty weather the past couple of days. It snowed, then sleeted, and then we had lovely freezing drizzle. Today I left work to get lunch and had to scrape ice off my windows. Thank God I got the washer pump fixed; otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see anything on my way in. The Jeep's side windows are white with salt.

And next it's supposed to get cold again.

Well, guess what, Skippy? It's winter! LIVE WITH IT!!

* * *

The DNC emails were not given to us by Russian hackers, but by a Democrat whistleblower.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the Democrats and the press BIRM to apologize for lying about it.

(BIRM="But I Repeat Myself".)

* * *

Yes, Illinois is boned, and it'll become obvious when the media starts reporting honestly about the economy, which will begin happening around January 20th or so.

* * *

I will not read anything on a site that forces me to disable my ad blocker. Years ago I went to Space.com and got a firkin' rootkit on my system from an infected ad, and it took me a hell of a lot of time and effort to remove it; I am not going to disable my ad blocker to read an article on your site.

Wired.com, for example, gets all snarky and pops up a message: "We get it, ads are annoying," it begins, and then pisses and moans about ad revenue and refuses to show any more content unless you whitelist them. I won't do that. Look, guys, your site cannot guarantee that the ads it serves will be 100% malware free--and when I say "100%" I mean actually perfectly clean, not just mostly. I mean no malware at all. The guys running Space.com thought they were serving clean ads; I don't visit that site any longer, and won't, because it hosed my system but good.

And so I find it easier just to say, "Well, if I have to disable my ad blocker to view your site, I guess whatever you posted there is not worth my time." Because if my system gets hosed by a bad ad hosted on your site, I can't give you the bill for the repair job, can I?

And Borepatch, being a computer security expert, points to this, which essentially blackholes ad requests, among other things. Nice.

* * *

So, Mrs. Fungus really wanted to see Suicide Squad in the theater, and I was at best lukewarm about it. So she waited, with bated breath, for it to be available to rent on-demand through the cable box, and the other night it finally went live, so she immediately rented it.

...and hated it.

I'm not surprised. You take some of the most psychotic, evil characters in the DC universe and collect them into a team, and make them the protagonists--and then you don't even make them interesting.

They spend time telling us how deadly Deadshot and Harley Quinn are (mainly by having the prison guards talk about how many guards they've killed) and then add a few others for good measure; and then when a couple of them collude to escape, Sir Target Dummy gets his head blown off exactly the way the "good" guys said would happen if anyone tried to escape. This character is literally introduced about fifteen minutes before he's killed while trying to escape. (Special talent: climbing things! Why's that dude not in the Legion of Evil?? He could sit next to Solomon Grundy!)

None of the characters are likable--they can't be, for crying out loud, because they're psychotic murderers!--and even the supposed good guys are utter skunks. The plot was shit, too, and somehow managed to make the impending end of the world boring.

"No wonder this bombed," my wife said.

* * *

Spaceweather.com says 2016 has had 27 days where the sun had no spots. Ready for the next solar minimum?

* * *

NYT has to rent out eight floors of its building to make ends meet. That's how I read that, and it means NYT is doomed, and good riddance to a commie rag.

* * *

Well, they've found source document from which was generated the Obama long form birth certificate.

* * *

Department of Energy doesn't realize they've fallen into a trap. Heh.

* * *

GOod point: Trump's not a muslim.

And this is pretty funny. I mean, what do you do?

* * *

Christmas songs and I agree, the "ting-a-ling-a-ling" part is pretty catchy.

Santa Lost A Ho!!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
8:08 pm
#5406: Damn, is it cold out there.
I mean, it's cold--single digits--and that wind is brutal. I went out and did some Christmas shopping; I was in Walmart for perhaps half an hour, and it knocked the Jeep's engine temperature from normal hot to full cold in that time. (Note to self: stop parking with nose into the wind.)

Glad I don't have to be anywhere else tonight.

But they're saying "-17°" for Sunday night. Not looking forward to that.

And, once again, I find myself cursing the fact that I let another summer go past without installing a block heater in the Jeep. Well, it's the old hillbilly paradox: in summer I don't need it, and in winter it's too cold to install the thing. *sigh*

* * *

You know, the American left has spent the last seventy years complaining about the CIA being skunks and evil and horrible. If you have had your head in a bag during that time period, and haven't watched any TV or seen any movies or, indeed, have not partaken of popular culture at all (you lucky bastard) read Clifford Stoll's Cukoo's Egg and you'll get an idea of what a rock-ribbed Berkley leftist thinks of them, and the NSA.

Suddenly, though, the CIA is the darling of the American left, and rather than being bad guys they are the arbiters of truth and justice.

On the plus side, there's this:
Believing something the CIA says is like trusting a meth addict with your car, and trusting the CIA when they're working with the Washington Post is like trusting a meth addict with your car and leaving your kid in the back seat with the house keys and money for Taco Bell.
After the way this country has gone over the past twelve years I don't believe the CIA or the NSA or anything the spy establishment says about anyone.

This whole "Russians hacked the DNC to meddle with our elections" thing is nothing but horseshit meant to de-legitimize the biggest threat to their power since Ronald Reagan.

* * *

Well, we'll see if "raciss" works the other way. I believe it will not, because the people judging the cases will see a sea of white faces and say, "Nope! No racism here, we'll leave Disney to their importation of foreign labor."

* * *

Star Wars: Rogue One, as reviewed by a pretentious doot-head.
...[B]ut when you use gibberish like "corporate Kremlinology" and "There's none of the Shakespearean space politics, enticingly florid dialogue, or experiential thrills of the best of George Lucas's "Star Wars" entries ("Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith")," man, it’s really hard to take you at all seriously.
It's hard to take anyone seriously who thinks Revenge of the Sith was good. Not just for the purposes of one review, but entirely. As in, "Holy shit, man, how can you be living outside of some kind of institution?"

* * *

Animated GIF warning but man, does that dog look unhappy.

This wouldn't keep out a determined cat.

We got our tree yesterday. For the first time ever we got a tree with short needles (Douglas Fir?) and it's tall enough not to need to be set atop a table. We didn't break the bank for it, either. I haven't put lights on it or anything, but I bet it'll be a lot less scratchy than the kind we usually get.

After getting our tree, we went to see Nutcracker, another thing for which we didn't break the bank but really enjoyed it. The story was "reimagined", so it was not the traditional Nutcracker:
Discover the magic of Chicago's mysterious 1893 World's Fair through the eyes of a child in the Joffrey's astounding new Nutcracker--brilliantly reimagined by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Wheeldon. Be part of dance history as we celebrate our beloved city and unlock a world of wonder for the 21st century. An electrifying holiday tale that will leave you breathless.
At the intermission, if my wife had not told me it was not the traditional version, I would not have known; but the second act would have made it obvious to me.

It's not like they took a messy, runny, SJW shit all over it; it was fantastic and the performances were marvelous. And as I said, the music was stunning. "Waltz of the Flowers" is one of my favorite pieces of classical music, and hearing it live was simply amazing. Hearing that one piece alone was worth driving into and out of the city at night.

I was never really a fan of ballet, but after seeing a live performance I can understand why the art form has endured.

As for the tree, I'm to put the lights on it tonight; while out doing my shopping I tried to find LEDs but could only find them with white wiring. No. So, another year with incandescent. That's okay. We can go with LED next year, and if this "short needle" thing works out maybe we'll do that again.

Meanwhile, I stopped at a bookstore and purchased Yotsuba&! volume 13. I almost bought 11 and 12, but then realized that I had indeed read them, and therefore I must have those two books around here somewhere. It's just a matter of figuring out where the hell I put them.

Vol 11 has "Yotsuba tries pizza", which was the only story I remembered from it; and then vol 12 has "Yotsuba's first Halloween". So I know I read both books, and because I refuse to read that series on-line I know I bought them.

Well, they'll turn up eventually, I guess.

* * *

I bought a new pair of sweat pants today.

I don't know when was the last time I did that. I've got several pairs of them which work well enough, but the pockets have come loose on all of them. Regular Hanes fleece sweat pants, the price of which has not changed materially in a decade. I think I paid $6 for the newest pair. So just in time for the coldest night of the year I have a nice new pair of sweat pants to keep my legs warm.

That'll do.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
12:32 pm
#5405: I don't know why we put up with it.
Democrats have proven once again that they don't give a rat's ass about the legitimacy of their election victories as long as they have a thin veneer of it covering them.

Claiming to be the party of democracy, they are instead the party of thieves, liars, cheaters, and tyrants. 300 votes from 50 voters--all for Hillary--but voter ID laws are "racist" because they might prevent this kind of horseshit. (I notice, in this case, that the voter ID law didn't prevent vote fraud, but it sure as hell made it easier to track.)

It's like, why bother having elections when they're going to cheat? Except that they know they can't stay in power without that facade of "will of the people", that if they outright and unambiguously stole an election the people wouldn't stand for it. Why do you think the Democrats are also the party of citizen disarmament?

Related: This is wrong because SEXIST!!!!!!!!111111one-one and a woman can do anything a man can do, probably better, you neanderthal neo-nazi!
You see, Darwinian scientists understand full well that women are constitutionally weaker than men. It is settled science. Women are less aggressive than men. Women do not react to trauma and threats the same way men do. The list goes on, and Scott details all of the arguments, but, at the end of the day, size matters, muscle mass matters, testosterone levels matter, bone density matters, aggressiveness matters.

And, of course, science matters. Those who pretend that the Democratic Party is the party of science should hide their heads in shame for ignoring the science that tells us unambiguously that men and women are not equally suited to military combat.
Democrats are anything but "the party of science". The Democrat party is the party of "whatever gets us the most power".

* * *

So, today is a chilly December day with a blue sky and sunlight, so the view outside the computer room window is all blue and white.

New washer pump works like a champ. Still haven't got new wiper blades, and as usual the bitter cold and accumulated ice makes the wipers perform about as well as a stick would, but it's the principle of the thing. You know. To fix it I have to roll down the window and catch it on the dwell, to lift it and let it slap against the windshield and dislodge the ice. I've had to do this kind of thing with every vehicle I've ever owned, regardless of age. With the Jeep, if I run the defroster flat out with the heat on max, it keeps them from icing, but then of course I need to roll down the windows to keep from broiling.

Seriously, this was the Jeep Sunday night when I stopped for gas:



I was driving down the road and suddenly realized my headlights didn't seem to be on. No wonder, I realized, when seeing this.

By Monday morning it had changed, looking a little more aggressive:



I have to wonder how much of that melt-off was due to engine heat escaping from the engine compartment, and how much was external. Judging by the look of it, it melted from the inside out.

Ah, winter. Yes, winter.
12:27 am
#5404: WTF!
You know, if you call me, and you don't know your phone number, your account number, your business' tax ID or address, do not then give me a "no" survey because I can't find your account, you douchebag.

Yeah. That long pause after you said, "Gee, they don't give you very good tools for doing your job!" is me using every ounce of willpower I have to avoid making a wisecrack like, "Yeah, it's almost as if they expect our customers to know something about their accounts, or something."

* * *

The long pause in the global warming continues. What I especially like is the last couple paragraphs of the article. A dire prediction, indeed.

* * *

Speaking of global warming, we got something like five inches of it over the weekend; and now it's going to get fucking cold. Projected high for Thursday? 0.00° F. Whee! And then this coming weekend they're predicting a blizzard. It's just like that movie where global warming triggers an ice age, because fuck the laws of thermodynamics!

* * *

It'd be awful nice if this turned out to be true. You don't ask questions like that when you're preparing to increase budgets. The entire federal apparatus needs a good going-over with a liposuction machine.

* * *

So I get home, and it's like a friggin' meat locker in here. Outside air temperature is a balmy 14.7°F--virtually tropical--but once I get inside the house and take off my parka, it's like...cold.

Go into the hallway to turn up the thermostat, set it at 70° to warm it up a bit in here. We keep it at 69° for the winter, and that's usually on the cool side of comfortable. Too cold right now, so let's warm it up, and...hey, what does this mean, 66°?

I turn the thermostat up more, but no click comes from it. I get fresh batteries for it--I don't remember the last time I changed them--and there's no change. "Well, I can hotwire it if I have to, but I'd rather not," I told my wife. I go outside to look at the gas meter, but it's fine and there's no evidence that anything's been done to it. Gas is on, so I tap the meter, wondering why the heat is not working?

Next up, the furnace itself. Go down to the basement with a flashlight. Me: "Well, if we have to get the furnace fixed, that'll be entertaining. And expensive." Kept thinking that we could swing it, but it might put a dent in some of our plans for the next few months. (Like not having ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) Have a gander through the porthole at the diagnostic LEDs. They are slowly alternating, blinking red and green like a Christmas version of a railroad crossbuck. The label on the front says--I paraphrase--"Ignition failure or flame sense failure."

There is an outlet box on the furnace itself, a relic from the original, and it has a light switch in it. This switch controls power to the furnace, so I don't have to figure out which breaker is the one for the furnace. A quick flip off, count to ten, flip it on--presto, the furnace microcontroller is reset and we have heat again.

Still, not liking this, not one bit. I haven't got the faintest idea how one troubleshoots a furnace with a computer in it. If this isn't just a glitch, $5 says it needs a part that costs $8.50, but six hours of labor to install at $89.25 per hour. And you can't discover this fact without using a diagnostic device which is made by the furnace manufacturer and costs $4,000. Argh etc.

I can go downstairs and flip the switch when needed, but for fuck's sake, this furnace is a mere eight years old. It's three years out of warranty. I expected better.

...and of course it happens on the coldest night of the winter thus far, with subzero temperatures expected sooner rather than later.

* * *

Anyway, it could be worse. Managed to get through another week, and hopefully my wife and I will get to have a little fun on our "weekend". Could be worse.

* * *

It's the return of Starbirt and the Loch Ness Monsta!



* * *

And while looking for that link, I spied this hilarious juxtaposition:



Wonderduck didn't post that first part, but this made me laugh.

I mean, what's not to like? Dr.Ramah restores womb! He is a real and genuine spell caster!
Sunday, December 11th, 2016
8:39 pm
#5403: Well, now it's Sunday night again.
I have not touched my computer since Thursday morning.

Thursday night: I can't remember that far back. Anyway, I didn't do anything on the computer.
Friday night: came home and went to bed, got 4 hours of sleep.
Saturday night: went to Mrs. Fungus' employer to hang some pictures for her. Ate at Cracker Barrel, drove home in snowstorm such that it took two hours to get home. Watched Secret Life of Pets and went to bed. 5 hours' sleep.
Sunday night: left work at the usual time, got home 1.5 hours later.

Shit.

On the plus side, the Jeep's heater works. On the way home in the snow, both nights, I had to open windows to get it cool inside. Had to keep the defroster going full blast to keep the windshield from freezing up.

Ah, winter. Yes, winter.

* * *

How to get illegal aliens out of US without massive army of stormtroopers. Step one: enforce the law.

* * *

One fossil singlehandedly invalidates all the Jurassic Park special effects. Dinosaurs had feathers.

* * *

Deicing a windmill with a helicopter is so very, very green.

* * *

Hater's guide to the 2016 Williams-Sonoma catalog. Not as funny as the original, but funny enough.

* * *

Need to squish baddies in the dungeons.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
3:11 pm
#5402: Well, that's done, finally
It feels like I replaced a transmission, rather than just a washer pump, but it's done. I am way out of shape.

Procedure went as noted in the video posted previously. Bit of trouble with the inner fender liner not wanting to line up once the pump was replaced, but that's to be expected. It literally took longer to reassemble everything than to disassemble it.

Pump for the rear washer (which I never use, since the rear wiper motor is broken) looked to be in about the same shape as the front; I didn't even bother testing it. Tested the front for function before installing it completely; it gave a reassuring whir so everything went back together. Tested with fluid, fluid sprays on windshield again.

Now I just need to replace the wiper blades. *sigh*

I'm glad I was able to get this done today, because according to the weather forecast a week from today it's going to be cold. If the forecast holds up we'll get more snow this weekend, so I think I'd better go get some more gas for my snow blower. I have half a gallon of two-cycle fuel, currently mixed at 16:1 because I didn't check my gasoline supply before pouring oil into the 2-cycle gas can. Another half-gallon of gas will fix that, and then I should be good for a 2014-style winter.

In winter, there are fewer house chores. There are not none. Still, we perservere.
1:20 pm
#5401: One chore today. Just one.
Replacing the windshield washer pump on the Jeep. It's cold outside but it's got to be done; since I commute to work, I need to be able to hose off the salt spray.

Procedure looks simple enough. Bought the part yesterday. Just need to get outside while the sun is still shining. Once it's done, I can relax. Back to work tomorrow, after all.

Work: yet another new supervisor. We'll see how this goes.

* * *

But first, FAKE NEWS!

It's the left's latest bugaboo; they claim "fake news" cost Hillary the election.

No; what cost Hillary the election can be summed up fairly succintly with a few alliterative bullet points:
* Utterly unlikable
* Completely crooked
* Possible Parkinson's
* Dismissing "deplorables"
* Terrible temperament
Not to mention the fact that the Democrat party rigged the primary so Hillary would win it, thus pissing off a lot of Bernie voters (who either voted Green or not at all), and their overweening reliance on breathing their own flatus rather than looking at the hard facts and changing campaign strategy to align with reality.

No one at the Hillary campaign stopped to consider this point, something the right-wing media pointed out repeatedly throughout the campaign cycle: the polls could be wrong. They've been wrong before; and in the runup to the election a lot of people hesitated to say they voted for Trump because the press--supporting Hillary to the hilt!--continued to portray him as a racist, sexist nazi.

In a way, I suppose you can say that "fake news" did cost Hillary the election; but it's the same way you can say that global warming is man-made. Global warming is man-made because humans are changing the historical data to match their prejudices; the climate is changing but it's not changing the "right" way, so climatologists are fixing it by altering the data.

So it went with the campaign coverage. Polls showed Hillary winning, for two reasons: a) because it was politically incorrect to support Trump, and b) because the polls themselves were biased in favor of Hillary.

That latter point doesn't make sense to me. I understand that the theory is that if all the polls show candidate "A" is going to win it can cause a preference cascade as people want to back a winner; at least it should help to suppress the vote for candidate "B". But if you then believe your own faked numbers and build your strategy on them you're shooting yourself in the foot.

I can only conclude that the pollsters themselves were convinced that Hillary had to be leading (because!) and that therefore their results showing Trump to be in contention were obviously incorrect (because!!) and so their own biases led them to "normalize" the data...exactly the way climate change data is being "normalized" to fit a specific narrative.

And for the same reason: reality is wrong. Change it! Change it so it's right!

And so the trend continues as Google polices search results of crime reports to remove racism.
...[V]irtually every metric proves that criminality is more prevalent in black communities compared to white and Hispanic communities in America. It's an uncomfortable fact that black people commit more crimes than any other race in America, but it's a fact nonetheless. Claiming that reality is actually "fake news" because it suits your political stance doesn’t change the nature of reality.
It doesn't. Claiming that the historical temperature data is wrong because it doesn't show man-made global warming works the same way.

This kind of idiocy is what cost Hillary the election: the insistence on narrative and political correctness over facing reality. That's why she had the epic meltdown when she lost: she thought she would win, and no one in her camp was capable of telling her otherwise because none of them was looking at real numbers.

(Not to mention, of course, the whole "shoot the messenger" thing, which is common to tyrants.)

...but this is not what is meant when the left talks about "fake news". To the left, "fake news" is anything which does not conform to their preferred narrative.

Southern Poverty Law Center "Buries 2,000 Reports of White Kids Getting Harassed Over Trump Victory". Because that doesn't fit the narrative about Trump being a neonazi racist sexist rethuglican.

But the drumbeat about "fake news" is encouraging, because it means that the lefty press is losing power. They wouldn't be complaining about it like this if it wasn't having an effect, and that effect is that they are losing control of "the narrative". They can't get into a room and decide what the news will be when there are a couple thousand web sites out there bringing up the inconvenient facts they refuse to cover.

No one on television would talk about the possibility that Hillary Clinton has advanced Parkinson's, but the news is fairly widespread regardless. The polls all said Hillary would win, but a myriad of web sites explained what was wrong with those polls and discussed how they had been rigged for that result.

And Donald Trump used the alternative media to his advantage.

That's got to be infurating to the left. "We're the party of hip and high-tech! We're the masters of social media! How dare he use Twitter better than us?"

Heh.

* * *

A quick and easy guide for translating lefty catchphrases.

* * *

I just have to shake my head. A witch hunt is not so nice when it happens to you, is it?

* * *

I am thinking about this myself. I want to play WoW as it was in 2008, myself; when I first logged on, shortly after Wrath of the Lich King went live, I liked how the game played. Blizzard has dumbed down the game considerably since then. It's still fun, and the new content has been entertaining (to one extent or another) but I do miss the old way.

I bet vanilla WoW would be fun. I also bet it would be a little frustrating: no flying mounts, you can't even ride until level 40; having to train your weapons skills so you can use that new polearm as effectively as you used your two-handed sword; hunters having to keep a supply of ammunition (that was the case until Cataclysm as I recall); 12-slot bags being the biggest you can have. Having to find groups to do dungeons with.

...but I want to play it.

* * *

It's beginning to look a lot like a prison camp. Dang, dude...know when to say "when".
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
5:12 pm
#5400: Please do. Please do.
If all Democrat voters stopped paying their income taxes because Hillary lost the election it would be epic. Do you know why it would be epic?

It would be epic because if a demographic of that magnitude stopped paying taxes, the feds would be unable to do anything about enforcing the income tax. Seriously: how do you try tens of millions of people per year for tax evasion? It would represent the immediate nullification of the income tax. It would be like a single cop enforcing the 55 MPH limit on a busy superhighway at rush hour: the IRS could punish some small percentage of people, but the number of people punished for tax evasion would be dwarfed to insignificance by the people they simply could not prosecute.

If all 65 million Hillary voters stopped paying their income tax, it would starve the federal government, and we might actually go back to being free again.

It won't happen, though. It can't. Do you know why?

Withholding.

Right now, most people in the country are employed by others, and those others are required by federal law to withhold income taxes from paychecks. In fact, there are several taxes which must be withheld, some of which are illegal to itemize for the employee. When you file your income tax form on April 15th and you get a chunk of money back, you're not getting free money; that's your money which the government was able to use for free. You were forced, under penalty of law, to make an interest-free loan to the government. Anyone who receives a wage or a salary is subject to withholding. You can minimize the amount withheld but you can't eliminate it entirely.

Not filing a 1040 just means you haven't documented your income. The government's already collected the taxes.

And so, this makes this effort into more Democrat butthurtedness. That's all.

* * *

Speaking of lefty butthurtedness, big clothing designer cancels massive holiday party, complete with sexual harassment, because Hillary didn't win.

First comment asks why male homosexuals get a pass when putting nude male bodies on display? Because gays are a protected class, that's why, and heterosexual men are not.

* * *

Another thought prompted by the comments there: the same people who hurled the epithet "baby killer!" at GIs returning from Vietnam are the ones who most strongly support abortion-on-demand, AKA the killing of babies.

* * *

Conservatives warned Harry Reid about changing the confirmation rules to gut the filibuster. When you want to change something to suit your present needs, you had better consider the unintended consequences. Such as: "How will this rule affect my party if we're in the minority?"

Other hand: thanks, Democrats, for gutting the confirmation rules for us. We promised you this day would come.

* * *

Running errands today, went to the parts store to recycle some oil and get a new washer pump for the Jeep.



Well, for crying out loud: if the rear washer pump works, I could just swap that into the place occupied by the front washer pump. Wish I'd seen this video before I bought the part. Consolation: the rear probably won't last much longer anyway, assuming it works, which I don't even know. And it's not even $20 for the part, and they had it in stock. So, intercourse it.

Incidentally: Jeep, WTF, there wasn't enough room in the engine compartment? It had to go inside the fender?

That's a task for tomorrow, though. I didn't get moving soon enough, and I had a list of tasks to attend to, so oh well.

* * *

Gyros taste so very very good, even reheated. Pity about the onion and garlic breath.
7:57 am
#5399: Optimism?
A couple of days ago--I now do not remember when, exactly, it was--I found myself eagerly anticipating Christmas.

I don't get excited about upcoming things the way I used to. I can't remember the last time I was excited that Christmas was coming this early; Mrs. Fungus frequently chides me for not having any enthusiasm, when in fact my ability to anticipate pleasant things is simply more asymptotic than hers: I do not get excited until we're on the cusp of the event.

This year has been pretty craptastic. We were unable to attend the annual $Small_Town_Christmas_Parade, due to work, and because we both work weekends our holiday schedules are pretty cruddy. Add to this the fact that the time off request I submitted in August for the week between Christmas and New Year's seems to have vanished into the ether, and the piles of other asininity swirling around our lives, there doesn't seem to be much to look forward to.

Yet in the hurricane's eye of all the worries assailing me, there is this core of irrepressible joy, the likes of which I have not felt this far out from the holiday since I was perhaps twelve. There is only one possible source for it.

I just don't know why I'm the one who's getting it.

Maybe I am getting it because I need it, and don't realize how badly needed it is. Maybe it's just a gentle reminder that the Grinch cannot, in fact, steal Christmas, no matter how hard he tries; no matter how much he wants to ruin the holiday, no matter what he does, the Whos down in Whoville will still gather in the center of town and hold hands and sing the joy in their hearts, because there is much to be joyful for in a world where God loves you.

In pondering this I keep coming back to the revelation that people who are thankful for what they have tend to be much happier than those who are not. And sometimes it's a vanishingly tiny thing that makes the difference. The other morning I--already wrapped up in my troubles as I drove to work--had forgotten that the Jeep was low on gas and needed fueling, and was just about to make the last turn before the highway, when beep! the low fuel warning light went on and the Jeep called my attention to it with a single second's worth of 1 kHz tone. Just as I was passing the gas station, and soon enough to remind me to turn.

A moment of happiness that fractured the clouds around me and let the light in.

If it had waited until I was on the highway, I would have been slightly inconvenienced by the need to pull off at an oasis and tank up. I would have paid a few cents more per gallon. It would not have ruined my day nor would it have made me late for work. I couldn't run out of gas in the distance I'd have to drive. But that little beep from the dashboard chose that exact moment to occur, coincidentally just as I was about to drive past my preferred gas station, in time to change course, where I have a loyalty card which saves me a few cents per gallon. A tiny coincidence that totally changed my outlook on the day.

My day was still hard: a long day full of dealing with people, some of whom act like drunks with debilitating brain injuries. A hundred stupidities, a myriad of tiny cuts, the need to take half a tab of Xanax to keep the stress-related anxiety at bay. Both Sunday and Monday were pretty bad days (Sunday was the worst of the two) and my weekend promises to be full of chores and errands. Last night I stopped and got gyros for my wife and I; we ate dinner and had intended to retire shortly thereafter, but then found ourselves engrossed in The Pianist and ended up watching the entire movie. I woke up at 6 AM when her work phone made a noise.

And here I sit in quiet joy. Christmas is coming.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
8:53 pm
#5398: People suck
They really do. Today I managed to have the worst day at work I've had in a long time. It was snowing, big fat fluffy flakes, and by the time work was over I was in no shape to appreciate it. Argh.

Plus side: first snow of the year, and it stuck. I just blew down the driveway. It's probably going to melt, but we got plenty and I liked it.

* * *

So, because I have just about everything else to get done before Mrs. Fungus gets home, SHORT SHRIFT!

Apple announces its entry into the self-driving car market. Their cars will cost 2.5x as much as other autonomous autos, and will only work with Apple-branded tires and gasoline.

American leftists lose their shit over Trump's talk with Taiwan. The bedwetters never saw a tyrant they didn't like, which is why they all loved Castro and Stalin and Arafat and Mussolini. (And Hitler, before he attacked the USSR.)

The EPA is why I detest Nixon.

* * *

Hilarious sound at 2:26:



At first I thought it was the Wilhelm scream, but it's not. An excellent substitute, though! Use it in all your humorous films!
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
9:12 pm
#5397: If it's gelatinous after refrigerating, you did it right.
Yesterday I did not have much time after work--and Thursday Mrs. Fungus and I came home and went right to bed--but I had time to get the turkey stock set for freezing.

Boiled the carcass Tuesday, strained and boiled down the broth Wednesday. I reduced the volume by half by simmering it for about six hours; by bedtime Wednesday night the stock was cool enough to go in the fridge, and there it stayed until Friday night, when I had a few minutes to tend to it.

Scraped the fat off the top (a thick layer of it) and then scooped the nearly-gelatinous stock--if I had boiled it for a while longer, it would have ended up being aspic--into freezer bags, which then went into the freezer.

This is going to be used, in the future, in delicious things. Another holiday tradition kept alive!

* * *

Yes, Saturday evening represents the first time I've had any time to sit at the computer since November. Crimony.

The other night Mrs. Fungus decided to watch Sausage Party, and I demurred. Instead I sat in here and engaged in the time-honored tradition of writing: I stared at the blank screen until beads of blood began forming on my forehead. I managed to add a couple of pages to the story, and they were pretty good pages, but it was not much result for a lot of effort.

What I am liking about the story thus far is that I am setting up a whole lot of disaster, which is good, because it's supposed to be a disaster. A whole bunch of crap will go spectacularly wrong, and that'll be the climax of the first part of the book. It's going to be fun.

If I can ever get any of it written down.

* * *

My God, they've gone and done it: you can now literally give a flying fuck. Science!
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
4:00 pm
#5396: So, what will it be like in two months?
So, on January 20, Trump will be inaugurated, and that's 51 days from now. What will change?

First: expect the economic reporting to change. Trump inherits a shitty economy, but for the past eight years the press has done everything it can to shore it up. With absolutely no changes made whatsoever, to the economic circumstances or any policies, suddenly:
* worst employment rate ever
* all new jobs are "low quality jobs"
* "subprime" auto loans will suddenly become a big problem
* inflation is as bad as it's been since Carter (eg butter's doubled in price)
* trade deficits are enormous
I could go on, but that's enough to make the point. Grim economic news which the press has glossed over since 2009 will suddenly become an emergency. The press, instead of realizing that pushing the Democrat party line is hurting them, will double down on it. And become even more irrelevant in the process.

And I'm not the only person who thinks so.
I strongly suspect that if holiday sales or any sales continue to be subdued during his term that they will actually be described that way.

After eight years of trying to see recovery where there was none, the constant spin of sunshine will very likely disappear on January 20. It is ironic in one sense since it is this very disparity between mainstream “reporting” and actual economic conditions that contributed to the Trump victory in the first place. As Black Fridays for years now, but especially 2014, a great many people were fed up with hearing how wonderful the economy was when they had to scrimp and save and cut back at each and every one. For the last several years, all that has mattered in the media has been the unemployment rate no matter how many times it was shown in the real economy that the statistic was misleading or even invalid.

This is the last holiday where mainstream deference to the employment numbers will be so absurdly absolute. Several years too late, realistic descriptions are set to return to the legacy media.
Second: expect more nonsense from the leftist groups like BLM and the sorostitutes. The concept of "decorum" and "respect" are totally foreign to these people, so they will be all over the place, doing egregiously stupid and irritating things. I'm up in the air what this will mean for their long-term prospects, but assuming that Vox Day is right and the pendulum is swinging the other way, these folks may be furthering their irrelevancy, as well, as ordinary people get fed up with their horseshit.

Third: despite all the predictions of gloom and ruin, Trump is not going to turn the US into a military dictatorship. What will, in fact, happen, is that Trump will serve his term (or terms) without having to do anything out of the ordinary. With Trump in the White House we have a much lower chance of ending up in a shooting war with Russia and/or China than we would have had if Hillary had won. I believe Trump understands that war is bad, and that we have no compelling national interest in the Ukraine.

What I would like to see is for the US to pull out of NATO. NATO was constructed to counter a specific threat--Soviet communism--at a time when Europe was too poor to defend itself. The threat of the USSR is gone, and the countries of Europe are rich enough to pay for their own militaries. We could retain treaties with those countries without footing the majority of the bill for defending them from a threat which no longer exists.

My instinct is that Russia under Putin is not the bugaboo that the US ruling elite would have us believe it is. In any event, us telling Russia they can't do anything about the Ukraine is about on par with Russia telling us we can't build a wall on the Mexican border, and Putin's actions in Ukraine are at least part of the reason the ruling elites tell us Something Must Be Done!

Well, we'll see, I guess.

* * *

I want things to be different. Yep, that about covers it.

* * *

It was very warm yesterday, and it's very cold today. I got the Jeep's oil changed, then came inside and dealt with straining the turkey stock and separating out the useful meat. Now the stock is boiling down and we have a big bowl of shreds, which will probably end up being made into a big batch of turkey salad.

Man, it's just one thing after another.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
2:22 pm
#5395: I am struggling to understand why gas went up $0.46 overnight.
Over the entirety of the holiday weekend, the gas station I frequent had gas for $1.90 per gallon. By the time I got home yesterday, it had gone up to $2.36 a gallon.

After the holiday weekend was over. Nothing else has changed.

I struggle to understand.

* * *

Go to 3:07:



The dance of your people is strange. Go away.

* * *

Well, here we come to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and it's time to make turkey stock.

We barely touched the dark meat on the bird, so I'm trying to decide how to proceed from here. Having previously cut the bird up, so that I have wings, legs, and thighs, I have two choices: pare meat off these pieces and save it for sandwiches etc, or toss everything into the stock pot and then save out the shreds as usual.

The latter is very easy, if a bit messy, and I end up with a very flavorful stock and an epic amount of turkey shreds, which are then useful for things like turkey salad. The former leaves me with less shreds and more sliced meat, but then I have the problem of how to use it, because oddly enough it's much easier to use up shreds than slices. And we're already a little tired of turkey. And shreds freeze better than slices do.

We got this turkey for 60% off the normal price--I think we paid about $14 for it--and given the chance to do it all over I think we'd have gone with a smaller bird even if Dad had come by for dinner. 23 lbs is too much for three people, let alone two, and going forward I'm going to keep that in mind. But I can deal with that.

Interesting problem to have: too much meat.

* * *

Last Gotham until January--actually not quite as good as some of the other eps thus far this season. But a few satisfying things happened.

For the entire season, just about, a "bad fanfic" development has been looming: Penguin is gay for the Riddler. Now, I don't have any real problem with this, because Penguin's sexuality (as far as I know) has never been the main theme of any Batman story, and even if it's a retcon, it's pretty harmless. For the purposes of this series, it seems fairly logical, even. At the reveal of Penguin's proclivity, I was afraid that Riddler was going to swing the same way, but that wasn't the case That's good, because that would have been far too much, anyway, and could have led to me no longer watching the show: whenever a TV series begins to focus on gay relationships, very soon they take over the entirety of the series and make it unwatchable.

Instead, however, Penguin's (thankfully) unrequited love for E. Nygma is driving conflict between the two characters, and that is also just fine.

But something else really, really interesting happened in the preview for the next ep, in January. And I predicted it more than a year ago.

Me: "Don't worry, he'll get better."
Mrs. Fungus: AAAAHHH HA HA HA HA HA!! Yeah!

* * *

Well, time to relax.
7:14 am
#5394: That was a LONG week.
It was four days long, but it was long nonetheless. Seems like the closer I got to Monday evening, the longer it got.

Mrs. Fungus and I got home, watched Gotham, and went to bed. We were both too tired for anything else.

Plus side: no one was forced into working extra-long hours to "make up for" having Thanksgiving off. Sunday's peak number of reps logged in was 48, which is tied for the second-lowest workforce since mid-October. (Lowest was 41, some weeks ago.) Most of the team I'm on was not there Sunday--including the supervisor--and the same seems to have gone for Monday. Monday peaked at 57 about the time I was logging in, and spent most of the day below that number. After my lunch break, it was never above 30 and there were a crapton of calls in queue all night.

* * *

Sunday was a cold, gloomy November day. Monday was extremely windy; it was drizzling when I left home and then it rained just about all day. When I got to work it had started raining steadily, a cold November rain; when I went home 9.5 hours later, it was still raining, but considerably warmer outside.

At one point in my trek to work, there is a very large American flag flying near the interstate. On my way in, it was standing straight out from the flagpole. On my way home, it was nearly as straight.

Weather. WTF.

Well, today I'm hoping to get teh Jeep's oil changed, and since the windshield washer pump is not working I'm going to have to attend to that, too. Wish me luck.

* * *

The weird thing about yesterday: it was one of those days where I simply did not care about being on time for anything, and so I got to work earlier than usual (despite getting out of bed later than usual, not hurrying to get ready, and traffic being horrendous due to rain) and when lunchtime came I was finished eating with ten minutes to spare. WTF.

Maybe it's all part of that same time dialation thing that kept happening this weekend. I don't know.

* * *


So, here I sit in solemn joy at an indecently early hour. I'm still really tired, but apparently I was snoring too loudly and I kept waking up Mrs. Fungus, who would then wake me up to get me to stop making noise. I decided to hit the can and let her get to sleep before returning to bed; I think it's been long enough. I'm going back to bed for a few days. Hours. Whatever works.
Sunday, November 27th, 2016
7:41 pm
#5393: Epic!
We'll start with how I woke up at 3 AM today.

Woke up as I was turning over in my sleep. Motion had dislodged a bubble in my stomach and it wanted to come up, bringing everything in front of it along for the ride; I thought, "Better not do that," and went back to sleep. Almost immediately, though, *blurp* and I was bolt upright in bed, coughing and choking on the worst episode of acid reflux I ever had in my life.

I went to the bathroom and drank some water, had some antacid, and drank some more water, but it felt like something was caught just north of my vocal cords, and suddenly I was on my knees in front of the toilet retching like there was no tomorrow.

I didn't throw up, though, and the heaves went away; eventually I realized everything had calmed down and went back to bed, the back of my throat burning; and in fact it's still feeling kind of raw.

Worst acid reflux ever. Epic.

* * *

Got to work on time today, despite the gastric nonsense, and when I got to the parking lot I found that mine was the fifth vehicle to drive in and park. When I logged into the system, at 8 AM on the dot, I saw that there were a total of nine reps logged in...and in the queue were waiting

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE

calls.

Peak number of reps logged in today barely got above 40, but at least that horrifying queue dissipated plenty fast. Holy shit.

But at 8 AM we had a call load of 14.8 times unity. Epic.

* * *

So, in past years, we have been told that winter weather is something that keeps the Black Friday sales from going very well. This year, it's the warm weather that's causing poor sales. I mean, it can't possibly be due to the fact that we are mired in a great depression which started no later than 2009 or anything.

Economics. Epic.

* * *

The geniuses at Rolling Stone don't seem to understand that Trump won't be President until Jan 20, 2017, and so currently all these things that they are decrying are happening under Obama.

Elites think they are smarter than everyone, but they don't even understand how our government works. Epic.

* * *

Dinner on Thu, Fri, and Sat was turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. This is probably the best-tasting turkey I've ever cooked, and this time I made an entire pot of gravy, so we have had plenty. First time I cooked a turkey, I made enough gravy to fill the gravy boat one time; now I've finally learned how to make an approximate gallon of the stuff. (Couldn't find the gravy boat. WTF.)

Using Mom's roasting pan helped a ton, I think. I had plenty of juices, and didn't have to deglaze the pan to get them; furthermore this time I thought to separate out as much of the grease as I could, which led to a better quality of gravy.

The turkey, as always, came out looking like something from a gourmet show:



Everything we like, nothing we don't like. I'm not going to spend my day cooking crap neither of us will eat. Corn-on-the-cob? Why not?

Epic.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
8:53 pm
#5392: I'm sorry, but I'm really not sorry.
Last night, Mrs. Fungus and I saw something on TV, and when I understood what it was, I turned to her.

"Honey," I said, "I am going to do something I do not often do."

Then I stood up, posed guts-posture, and shouted, "YEAH!"

...it was the news that Fidel Castro was dead.

I cannot mourn the death of a murderous thug, a communist dictator like Fidel Castro. All I can do is be happy that the world has one less butcher in it.

Donald Trump has it right:
Fidel Castro's legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
That's putting it lightly. Fidel Castro was the guy holding Ernesto "Che" Guevara's leash.

Communism kills. Best estimates for the number of political murders under Castro number in the tens of thousands. (Out of a population averaging 10 million from 1959 to present.) All over the world, communism killed 100,000,000 people in the twentieth century. Advice Goddess quotes a discussion of the tally of Castro's victims, and it looks as if it could be as high as 100,000. She compares Castro to Stalin and Pol Pot, which is pretty apt.

Communism enslaves. It forces people to the yoke of the state, often under the control of one man. It forces you, under pain of death, to think right thoughts.

Communism crushes. Compare Russia under communism to Russia today.

Communism impoverishes. It makes nearly everyone live in grinding poverty so a few elites can live lives of luxury. Do you think Nikita Kruschev ever had to stand in line for a few rolls of industrial-grade toilet paper? And Kim Jong-un is probably the only fat man in North Korea.



Yeah.

No, I am not sorry that one of the central figures of twentieth century communism is dead. I will not mourn him.

* * *

And now, humor: Is Donald Trump your President?

You bet your sweet ass he is.
7:34 pm
#5391: The stupidest people in the United States
Who are they? Educated whites, that's who. The more education they have, the stupider they are.

It's not because they can't figure out how to pour piss out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel; it's because they automatically assume they are smarter than everyone else and act accordingly.

Case in point: the idiot who kept me at work an extra half-hour this evening, because he simply could not comprehend the fact that if you buy four new iPhones and add 10 GB to your data plan, gosh! Your bill is going to go up, and pretty steeply. The difference in equipment charges alone was sixty fucking dollars.

This came after he called in, protesting that he had been charged for returning a damaged device. Looked up the abuse photo, found the screen all cracked to shit. Dickwad insisting it's not his fault--packed two phones to a box and "It was pristine when I packed it!"--and of course I'm not allowed to say what I really want to say, and I really wanted to say it after he himself pointed out that iPhones are fragile:

WELL, DUMBASS, IF YOU'D WRAPPED THE FUCKING THING IN BUBBLE WRAP, IT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DAMAGED!

Here's how you wrap a phone for shipping: you take bubble wrap, and you make sure the entire surface of the phone is covered with it, and you tape it in place. More than one layer for extra security. You do the same for every phone you're boxing up. Then you pack the phones in styrofoam peanuts or foam or more layers of bubble wrap or something to keep them from sliding around, because the box is going to get shaken just by the typical sort process. Also, you ensure the phones aren't right next to the outside of the box. The guys loading and unloading those trucks don't get paid to gently caress each box as it's moved; they're expected to move all the boxes as fast as possible.

It's like, the shipping label says "USPS" on it. The post office will break ANYTHING not wrapped like a mummy. Sometimes even then.

But I managed to get a resolution, one that should work all right, and the only sticking point was that his bill was due. I called the financial services department a scant few minutes before they closed to get a collections hold on the damaged device fee, and they needed to talk to the guy, so I switched back to him and told him what the score was. And then he decided it was time to argue with me about how high his bill was. (See above, "four new phones" and "40 GB data plan".) After three minutes of this horseshit the person from Collections hung up (not that I blame her) but Mr. Asshat still couldn't understand why four new phones and more data meant his bill went up. "It's maybe $12 per phone," he complained. Sure! 4x$12 is forty-eight dollars which is more than half of the rise in his bill, without even considering the plan change, but he's got the collapsium-plated skull of an educated white male talking to a mere customer service rep, who has only been dealing with the ins and outs of $Major_Telecom bills for fifteen months of his life and, by now, has seen just about every last stupid thing that can possibly happen to one. So of course because Mr. Penis is talking to someone who isn't educated like him, a mere working stiff, why of course the Great Phallus can't possibly be wrong or anything.

When El Schmucko was finally satisfied that he'd wasted enough of my life--mind you this was at 5:53 PM, over twenty minutes after I was supposed to leave, and I'd been on the phone which the Cockmaster for nearly an hour--then I tried to contact Collections again, only to realize Saturday and six PM which meant Collections was closed until Monday.

I may have taken just a little too much pleasure in telling the Grand Glans. "While we were having our extended discussion about your bill," I said diplomatically, "our Collections department closed for the weekend. They're not in until Monday at 7 AM."

Wrote in the remarks: "...so you will not be getting a collections hold today."

You know, if someone is telling you why your bill has gone up, and says the same thing three times, you might just want to listen to him. Especially if it's someone who reads these damned bills all day long, someone who spent two months learning how to read and interpret them for stupid motherfuckers who can't be fucked to listen.

Yeah, just a bit aggravated, here. *sigh* It's an extension of what I call the Dirk Gently rule: "Smart people think everyone else is stupid." It's an arrogant belief, one that's typically the result of people who can usually get one over on people who are not expecting it. The problem is, as clever as you are, you can never know when someone might have just seen right the fuck through your horseshit. It happens all the damned time. See the most recent election, for one: the smartest people in the room thought they had the election all sewed up, when in fact they lost, badly.

Idiots.
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