atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4118: A well-turned phrase.

Last night, after I'd taken the trash out, I said to Mrs. Fungus, "You know, it's below zero out there, and I didn't even notice how cold it is. This winter has been harsh enough that when it gets really cold like this, it's not even remarkable."

...and as I thought about what I'd said, I realized that I'd said (off the cuff and without thinking) the kind of phrase I often have to consider before saying: something that neatly encapsulates what I'm trying to convey. I'm not normally that pithy, not when speaking; generally I use phrases which are more semantically convoluted ("I don't even notice what temperature it is any longer.") rather than something simple like "this cold is not even remarkable".

Well, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

But it does point up how cold this winter has been, particularly compared to the last two years. In early 2012 I was able to ride my motorcycle a couple of times over the winter; I managed to ride it in December of 2012 before having to leave it in storage for the rest of that winter (early 2013). This year I didn't even manage that much--I think I last rode the thing in October. (Though--to be fair--I started work and had less time for riding motorcycles, so I missed several good riding days.)

There's been snow on the ground continuously since before Christmas, to one extent or another; it melted in that little warm snap we had in the week before Christmas but it came back pretty damned quickly--and one thing you cannot do is ride a motorcycle in snow, not without studded tires and a serious lack of concern for one's well-being. I certainly wouldn't want to try it.

Even without the snow, it's been cold outside. Today it's struggling to hit 10° and last night it was below zero again (frost on the latchplate) and it'll continue in that mode until Saturday, when it's supposed to warm up a bit (...and we're expected to get more snow). Even on dry pavement, it's just no fun to ride a bike when you face arctic wind chills.

* * *

"This sure wasn't the Obamacare we were promised," Advice Goddess Amy Alkon says. Well, she knew that would be the case, and is speaking in the ironic mode there, but it certainly is true regardless.

There were several things that conservatives predicted about Obamacare, based entirely on what we had seen from other countries with socialized medicine:
1) It would NOT cost less. (At any level--personal or governmental.)
2) It would NOT improve care.
3) It would NOT cover more people.
4) It WOULD cause rationing of care.
5) It WOULD result in government control of the health care system.
6) It WOULD fail exactly the same way all other socialized medical systems fail.
The Democrats delayed its implementation until after the 2012 elections because they knew what they were doing. If the stories coming out now had started coming out in 2012, Obama would not now be President.

Then again, if people had simply been paying attention, Obama would not now be President.

Socialism doesn't work. It can't work--because it is utterly foreign to human nature--and no matter who is in charge it will fail...and this bunch isn't any smarter than all the other socialists who've tried this nonsense. (No matter how smart they may think they are.) No matter how many times it's tried, no matter how many variations are attempted, it fails because human nature is capitalist.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus' friend S. sent her an e-mail about her day, and when Mrs. Fungus read it aloud to me I just about busted every gut God gave me laughing at it:
So I get out of bed at 12:30 and not 5 minutes later the phone rings. Here's how that went:

Me: "Hello." (all I heard was a lot of backround office noise)
Me: "Hello?"
Caller: (after a pause) "Hello, I want to speak to [S]." (VERY thick Indian accent.)
Me: "Speaking."
Caller: "Hi, ma'am how are you today?"
Me: "Not good. What do you want?"
Caller: "I'm World Wide Web." (Really, the internet is calling me personally and it's Indian? Sure.)
Me: "Who the hell is this and where the hell are you calling from and what the hell do you want?"
Caller: "I'm Roger and I'm calling from www.World Wide Web. We have information that your computer is sending out error messages over the internet."
Me: (yelling) "This is a scam, there isn't a damn thing wrong with my computer and leave me the hell alone." (I hung up)

Ok, I'm not the most computer savvy person in the world, but I know damn well that your computer doesn't send error messages out over the web, asking for someone to call and help it. How stupid do they think people are? And you don't say that you're the World Wide Web. The internet is not conscious. And if it was, it wouldn't be some guy in India named Roger that you can barely understand. Plus, to top it all off, the bill for internet services is under my Mom's name, so technically there's no way that anyone would know I had a computer. I'm so sick of these scams. If there was anything wrong with the computer, I'd be getting a call from my security company or from Sony, not from this idiot company. If I had the time I would have loved to have stuck on the phone to see what they were trying to sell me, but I had to get ready for the doctor. Gaaa!

So now you know the world's best kept secret. The internet's name is Roger and he's Indian.
Still, thinking about this anecdote, it does give me pause for thought: what if the Internet was conscious and it was calling people? There may be a short story in there somewhere.

* * *

Today I've got to try to find a belt for the snowblower, and then finish clearing the driveway. Once that's done, though, the rest of the day is mine--and I expect I'll use it on rest, because I noticed last night that I have dark circles under my eyes again.

Now, I'm not the kind of person who generally gets that. I've known people who did--one guy looked like a raccoon when he wasn't sleeping well--but I usually don't. So when I do get the dark circles I know I am in dire need of rest, so that's my plan.

Once the snowblower is fixed and the driveway reasonably free of snow.

On the plus side I looked up the MTD part number on the Internet Roger, and have found that I need a V-belt which is 3/8" wide and 34.4" long.

The belt I bought the other day which was too short was a Mitsuboshi 3L320, and I was pretty sure that a 3L330 would have fit the bill exactly, but according to this page a 3L340 is a 34" belt. If Ace has that, I'm in business...assuming that 0.4" of belt length won't keep me from getting the damned thing over the pullies. If this thing is that f-ing finicky about the size of the belt, I'm going on a spree.

("A killing spree?" "I was thinking more of a shopping spree, but suggestion noted.")

So before I try anything else I'm going back to Ace to see if they still have any of the several 3L340 belts they had on Wednesday. Assuming they do, I'll try one of those, and if it doesn't fit, then I'll start calling power equipment dealers in search of the factory exact part...because I expect that buying it from one of them will run me upwards of $15 or so. The prices quoted on-line ("on Roger"?) for MTD factory parts is around $20 for one of these things. Argh etc.

...and it's 1:30 as I type this and I'm wasting daylight. Off I go.
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