May 25th, 2008

#1073: IT! HURTS!!!

Saturday--O Lord, what can I say about Saturday?

Got home from work at about 7-ish. I had leftover Chinese and hit the hay for two hours.

And then I got up.

We went to Menard's to pick up bird seed and a shed.

Then we went to U-Haul to rent a trailer. U-haul wouldn't rent one to me because I've got a ticket, not a driver's license. (Still.) We reserved a trailer.

Then we went to K-mart to buy a lawn tractor.

Then we went home.

Then we went to pick up my uncle, who does have a valid driver's license.

Then we went back to U-haul to pick up the trailer.

Then we went back to K-mart to pick up the new lawn tractor.

Then we dropped off my uncle.

Then we got home.

Then I cut the grass in the back yard. (45 minutes. Yow.)

Then I went back to U-haul to drop off the trailer.

Then I went home.

Then I went back to Menard's because they had given us the wrong damn shed.

Then I went home.

Then I assembled the shed.

Then I had a shower.

Then I ate pizza.

Then I collapsed.

...from 11:30 AM until 8:30 PM on two freaking hours of sleep after I'd worked all night. Jesus! Jesus Christ Almighty! Have mercy!

The pizza was Aurelio's, and I asked Mom to have it delivered. That made the pizza cost about thirty freaking dollars but both of us had wanted their pizza for quite some time, neither of us had the energy to cook, and I was not not NOT! going to drive anywhere else.

The pizza was so damned good.

On the plus side, it's nice to know that if I really need to, I can put forth such effort. On the minus side, everything hurts.

But mowing the grass with a lawn tractor instead of the regular mower--oh, it's so nice to be able to do the back yard quickly.

The tractor in question is a Craftsman 17.5 HP mower. It's got electric start. It's very easy to steer, so Mom ought to be able to herd the thing around the yard. It's even got headlights.

I'm thinking that we could probably buy a snow blade for it and use it to plow the driveway come winter, too.

* * *

We had discussed the relative merits of buying a shed, but ended up buying what I am now calling a "shedlet": it's barely bigger than the mower itself, but it's a box-like structure with hard sides and roof, and which can be locked. The roof slides partway open to give you access to the contents of the thing.

The walk-in shed would have cost $30 more. When I had to return to Menard's anyway, I came very close to paying the extra $$ and buying the actual shed, but I wasn't sure it would fit in the van. Pity; the actual shed could have contained not just the tractor but the push mower and the snowblower. *sigh*

Still, I can't complain about how the day worked out. I suffered reversal after reversal, but somehow managed to keep a level head and worked through the difficulties--despite lack of sleep.

I think part of it is that I expected it to be a major project. Just buying a lawn tractor by itself--when you need to rent a piece of equipment to get it home--is a major undertaking, but when you add the shedlet to the whole thing--and when you add all the fricking reversals I had to deal with--it stops being an afternoon's project and becomes an all-day aventure.

But I expected it to take all day, and I expected that it wouldn't be easy; and I think that's probably why I didn't get all that frustrated when roadblocks kept coming up.

* * *

And now it's early Sunday morning. The Indy 500 is today. I'm intending to watch it; it's the one race that I watch all year. Probably I'll have the laptop in front of me while I watch the race, though.

I've got to cut the front grass, though.

And I have the Friday night SF shows and the Saturday morning car shows to watch.

Blurgh. Well, it could be worse, I guess.

#1074: Indyblogging

Indianapolis 500 #92: part three of the Danica Patrick show!

The pre-race show on channel 7 devoted more time to Danica! Patrick! than any three other drivers. ABC still hasn't gotten over the fact that there's a woman driving in the race who looks good in a bikini.

Meanwhile they spent no time at all whatsoever talking about the other two women who are in the race.

It would have been interesting if D!P! had qualified somewhere near row 8 instead of row 2. Hell, I'm just glad she doesn't have the pole, because then they might as well rename the whole freaking thing the Danica! Patrick! 500 for Christ's sake.

I don't buy the arguments that the sports media concentrate on her because she's a woman who can actually win, either. She's started in 50 races and won one. To me, it looks like D!P! has the benefit of really good PR people.

And speaking of PR, I just felt sorry for Marco Andretti. When they were introducing the drivers, that poor bastard was wearing this stupid Indiana Jones getup. I wonder what asshole had that idea:

PR dork: "Hey, I know what we'll do! We'll have that driver guy wear an Indy costume at the Indy 500! Think of the tie-in!"
PR dork's yes-man: "It's like we're printing money!"

WTF, way to make someone prostitute himself for sponsorship, assholes.

And no, it didn't look cool. It just looked stupid--"blithering idiot" stupid--and you could tell by the guy's body language that it was not his idea and that he fricking hated it. I'm convinced that we could fire all the PR people into space and be no poorer for it.


...and I just saw an ad for a new TV show on ABC called Wipeout. You know what it is? It's MXC from Spike TV, that's what it is, only it's not a badly-dubbed Japanese game show: it's made in the USA with Americans.

I suppose I should say instead that it is obviously based on the concept behind MXC--which itself originally was a show called Takeshi's Castle. The idea is that ordinary people have to face physical challenges and beat them in order to win some prize. MXC is hilarious, and intentionally so: the "eliminations"--the people who fail--are meant to be laughed at. That's why they fall into muddy water; that's why the challenges themselves are so ignominious. I don't see that happening with this American version, and so the humor value will be lost.

And the WTF moment is that some producer thought, "Hey, we can do that!" *sigh* And people wonder why I don't watch much TV.

#1075: Danica! Patrick! throws temper tantrum

...and the announcers excused it: "Oh, she's a firebrand! That's because she's so determined!"

No; she got pissed off and threw a temper tantrum because someone bumped her car, knocking her out of the race. She's not the first person this has happened to; plenty of other drivers have been knocked out of the race because of other people and they didn't go marching down Pit Row, and have to be escorted over the wall by the Speedway security people.

Danica! Patrick! got mad because of an unfortunate incident. She got bumped by another car coming out of the pits, which broke an A-arm in her rear suspension. That knocked her out of the race, and it means she won't finish her fourth Indy 500.

Yes, drivers get hot-tempered when things like this happen. But it's never excusable; not even when it's D!P!

You know, if you can't handle the tough breaks, don't fucking race. You're not always going to get to finish, and sometimes you're going to lose the race for stupid fucking reasons, such as having someone's rear end kick out and bust your rear suspension.

The coverage of this race has lingered on D!P! as much as it could. They even have a picture of her car in the freaking splash screen for the commercial bumps.

Then there's the "" commercial featuring the little girl who wants to "be like Danica! Patrick!" (And the girl's voice even sounds like she's adding the same emphasis.) They show her racing go-karts, and the little girl bumps some poor kid off the track, and goes on to win. She gets a big silver cup and gets her picture taken with D!P! It's a triumph for women!

...except that little girl cheated by knocking the other kid off the track. I don't know; maybe that's kosher in go-kart racing and it's perfectly legal to knock your opponents off the track during the race if it makes it easier for you to win.

I'll bet that the coverage of the race will mention D!P!'s ignominious exit from competition, but not the temper tantrum; or if they do mention the tantrum, it'll be spun the same way the announcers of this foo-raw did: "Oh, it's because she's so determined!"

What freaking horseshit.

#1076: Music for Clannad

Some jolly soul in Japan uploaded a torrent of all the music for Clannad. I mean, all of it, because it's over four freaking gigabytes.

There is some good music in Clannad, so I'm grabbing it. I am not, however, grabbing it in order to get the "Big Dango Family" song.

* * *

I am really glad I don't work Monday, let me tell you, because after yesterday I am still a mass of aches and pains. Tomorrow I must get the front grass cut, though.

This week I'm scheduled to work Wednesday. That's it. Next week, I'm scheduled to work Friday. But a week from Wednesday May 28th will be the day I prep for my colonoscopy. That'll be Wednesday the 4th into Thursday the 5th, and I'll be spending lots of time in the bathroom.

I'm going to do my utmost to get more stuff done outside during this time (except for that Wed. and Thu, when I won't be able to) and perhaps even get a start on mounting the Escort engine on the Fiero cradle. I just need to fabricate and tack together engine mounts; then I can take them to the welding shop for the finish welding. If I could bolt the engine to the cradle, and get the cradle test-fitted into the car before my colonoscopy, that would be made of awesome.

Hopefully getting "the shaft" will be the worst thing I have to deal with.