June 17th, 2010

#2120: Earache, and miscellany

Damn right ear is hurting.

The same ear the doc said was infected a couple of weeks ago is hurting; finally realizing that it wasn't getting better and that it didn't make sense to try to tough it out, I went to the "extended hours care" clinic. It's the same place I go for regular medical care; the only difference is that they have a doc on duty to take care of things that aren't real emergencies but shouldn't wait.

I was in at 8:50 and out by 9:30. Even better, I had some good luck: it was my regular doctor's turn tonight. So he looked at the ear, complained that my ear canal is too convoluted and hairy for him to be able to see anything--I know this is so and don't blame him a whit--and gave me a prescription for a combination antihistamine and decongestant. He told me to call his nurse in the morning and get a referral to otolaryngology. ("Ear-nose-throat" or ENT for those of you who don't know med-speak.)

That right ear--when I want to put in those expanding foam ear plugs, I have a lot of trouble getting one of the damn things into my right ear. It's been this way all my life. So I know what he's talking about. And I'm a pretty hairy guy.

So I'll see the ENT and get the wax cleared out of my ears, and perhaps then we can find out WTF is going on with my ear.

* * *

The cleaning lady was here today. She was vacuuming the family room and I happened to be passing by on my way back to my room, after getting a bottle of diet Mountain Dew.

The vacuum cleaner chose that moment to explode.

...actually it was just the bag getting too full. When the bag gets too full, the air pressure from the motor has nowhere to go, and the bag expands such that it blows the front plate right off the damn vacuum cleaner; and then the bag, unsupported, blows off the pipe from the fan. It makes kind of a BLAWWW! sound as the pent-up air is released and the motor continues to run, now unfettered with the back pressure from the bag.

The bag and front plate, as a unit, blew off the main body of the vacuum, right at me. It went about a foot and scared the crap out of me. It also scared the cleaning lady. Then we laughed about it.

As far as I can tell, we are using the right size bags in the thing. It just does this when the bag gets full, and has since the day we bought it. Oh well.

* * *

So this afternoon I was playing WoW, minding my own business. I'd just gotten out of running a few random dungeons and was resuming my prior program, which was killing ogres in Alterac Mountains.

The ogres were netting me about half a percentage point each of my next level in XP. I was at 92% of 35th level and had just about collected enough quest objects to finish a quest.

Then I got disconnected. Actually, everyone on Aggramar got disconnected. No reason, no warning. (I bet someone unplugged the wrong network cable somewhere.) I logged back in; and when I did, Frexxed was at 81% of 35th, exactly where he'd been when I got out of the dungeon! (And in fact he was standing in the very spot of the map where he'd been at that point.)

I said many bad words.

...strangely, the number of quest objects was right; only my XP bar was wrong. I suppose I should be glad of small favors. In fact, I made up the lost experience pretty quickly. Still, it was irritating to have to retrace my steps that way.

* * *

Because of all the WoW I've been playing, Turtledove's United States of Atlantis has lasted several days, which is highly unusual for me with any book. I read pretty quickly. The book is interesting and engaging, but I'm doing so many other things that I'm not progressing through it very rapidly.

And when it's done, there's Spice and Wolf volume 2 to read.

* * *

Big Dick is right about the situation he's discussing in that post.

A) When a police officer gives you instructions such as "step over to the car" or "place your hands on the hood of the car", you do it. You don't fight him, you don't try to leave, you don't yell at him. All of these things are illegal, to one extent or another, and he can arrest you and take you to jail for them.

B) When a police officer is attempting to restrain someone, you don't step in and try to stop him. The girl who got socked in the face was doing just that; and by doing it, she left herself open to "aiding and abetting". The first girl was resisting arrest; by interfering, the second girl is as guilty as the first one.

C) Where the hell was this man's backup? On its way?

D) He could have drawn his sidearm or a taser. That would have been a bad decision for him to have made, but he could have.

What I really like is the anus saying, "Are you serious? Are you serious?" after the cop punches the dumb bitch. Dude, you think a cop's not allowed to hit someone? A cop's allowed to use deadly force if he thinks his life is in danger. If he turns out to have been wrong or incorrect he'll be punished for it, so most cops make sure never to use excessive force. (See "D" above.) But if someone is interfering in your attempt to arrest someone and you sock her in the face, and she stops interfering, it's probably not "excessive force". (Especially when you see her standing around in another part of the video, looking none the worse for wear. Certainly she wasn't bleeding or anything.)

The girls made all sorts of trouble for themselves. You know, the cop probably would have spent a few minutes telling them not to jaywalk but to use the pedestrian overpass which was right frickin' there and put there specifically for that purpose. Then they would have gone on their way, and none of this would have happened.

When he tells the girl that she's under arrest, she is only making the situation harder on herself, and much harder than it needs to be. Rather than show "police brutality" I think the video shows a cop doing a fantastic job in very difficult conditions.

Of course they're not going to use the overpass if they don't have to; that means climbing up and down stairs! By the looks of them, they could use the exercise. Lazy asses.

* * *

So apparently the big BP spill speech Obama pulled from his Oval Orofice was made of EPIC FAIL. It's so bad even Olbermann and Matthews thought it was a stinker.

Michelle Malkin thoughtfully provided this link which demonstrates the extent of the fail.

* * *

I'd really like to comment over at Rich's Garage but the comment system won't let me. *sigh*

He's got the engine out of his '67 Mustang and is going to take it to the shop.

You know, it's a hell of a lot easier to remove the engine from one of those older cars than from a modern one. There are a lot fewer electrical connections, for one thing. For another, the only other connections are basically gasoline, coolant, and exhaust. Oh, you might have to take a power steering pump and hang it off to one side, and an AC compressor and hang it off to the other; but the pumps themselves are held on with 3-4 bolts and then they're completely out of the way.

The hardest part about reinstalling the engine is getting the damn transmission to line back up. Otherwise you just drop it in, line up the mounts, shove in bolts, and then tighten the nuts at your leisure. (A transmission jack lets you put the trans in more easily, but you don't really need it if you have a good floor jack.)

And he's working on a car with a pretty sizable engine bay, too. There's plenty of room around the straight six in that Mustang, let me tell you.

* * *

Ahh, I hear the sweet drone of the mosquito fogger again. Excellent. The way the weather's been I'm surprised I'm not sucked dry the instant I step outdoors. I don't know what it is, but mosquitos love me. I hate it, and I hate them, and as I said before I'd press the button to kill off all mosquitos in the world without hesitation or a second thought.

Bring back DDT, damn it.

#2121: Are these the same "experts" who have been wrong all along?

"Experts" say there won't be a double-dip recession. I have to wonder. Every time an unemployment statistic is released, it's been "unexpected". Every time a major economic indicator has been discussed, its change has been "unexpected". These guys apparently expect the wrong things, time and again; so why should we believe them now?

I see too many signs that the economy is not in recovery; and I see plenty of ways the economy can slip back into negative growth (rather than zero, which is more or less where it is now). I don't trust these "experts" who haven't been right once in the last seventeen months.

* * *

According to language experts, if you didn't like Obama's speech, it's because you're stupid. "Experts" again. *rolleyes* It's the same kind of bullshit from those who say that people who don't like atonal and arrythmic music are just stupid.

It's not that people disliked Obama's speech because it was written for a freshman in high school. It's because his speech was too sophomoric. (Pun intended.)

* * *

China is not ahead of the US in "green energy". China is opening another new coal plant just about every other day, and China doesn't have the pollution restrictions the US has got.

Okay? In 2008 for the Beijing Olympic games, here's what the "air" looked like:

That's not fog. It's air pollution.

Yeah, they're really green over there, aren't they?

* * *

God save us from stupid government regulations. Oil skimmers are not allowed to operate because they release water which still has oil in it--Jesus. Yet another example from the "it's not 100% effective so we're banning it" school of abject stupidity.

So because these systems are not 100% effective, they couldn't be used...and it took EPA fifty days to issue a waiver for their use. If the skimmers had been put into operation as soon as possible, most of the oil that was released could have been contained. Instead, the EPA prevented mitigation of the oil spill.

I seem to misremember: as I recall, EPA stands for "Environmental Protection Agency". Am I wrong?

* * *

And BP is going to shunt its dividends into paying off Democrats. *sigh* This is probably the best deal BP can manage; certainly it doesn't want the Democrat Regime to force them down the same road they pushed GM.

What I don't understand is why BP is being held responsible for a government decision: BP is having to set aside $100 million to pay now-unemployed oil workers, who are out of jobs because of the government-applied moratorium on offshore drilling.

By what authority can the Democrat Regime make them do this? Other than "I won", that is? None of this is constitutional (or even legal, I'd bet) yet no one is asking why or how Obama thinks he has the authority.

It's not even a bill of attainder! It's just Obama telling BP, "You're going to do this, or else." That's not how this country is supposed to work!

If Obama deals with a large multinational corporation this way, what makes us think he's going to deal with individual citizens any differently? The man has no respect for rule of law or the Constitution whatsoever!

What the hell happened to due process?

* * *


* * *

The latter two segments of this Curmudgeon Emeritus post are worth reading. Particularly the last part.

* * *

The best way to cut the cost of a midlife crisis is not to have one in the first place.

If you must have one--if you can't avoid it--find ways to change things that don't involve spending a shitton of money. The douchebag in the article wants to buy a freakin' Harley--and I have just about decided that "person on Harley"="douchebag", believe me.

The way Harley riders behave, it's like the guy riding the thing has purposely selected his motorcycle specifically so you can easily identify him as a douchebag, totally eliminating the guesswork or error factor. "I paid twenty thousand dollars for this motorcycle! Now get the fuck out of my way!"

(I originally said "fifteen" there. Then I thought about it. Prices have been going up, after all.)

You know, people used to ride motorcycles because they were cheaper than cars, they used less fuel, and were fun to ride. Now that motorcycles are a fashion statement, though, the damn things cost more than many cars.

And apparently they're not any damn fun to ride, either, because every time I get one of these morons behind me they're tailgating me as if their lives depend on getting where they're going as quickly as possible. Generally you're not in a hurry when you're having fun.

OTOH it may just be the Harley riders around here. Maybe when you get away from Chicago ("Douchebag Central") the people on motorcycles are more relaxed and are enjoying life more.

Then again, maybe the people riding the things are all unhappy Boomers who bought the things becuase they think expensive toys enable one to enjoy life, and ride them the exact way they drive their BMWs becuase they think the world revolves around them...and they're not having fun and they're taking it out on everyone else: "It's not me; it's because that guy's only driving at the speed limit that I'm not enjoying this!!!"

I think that's probably about right.

* * *

Speaking of stupid-expensive junk, Jalopnik's posted the Nissan GT-R warranty settlement.

Nissan designed and marketed the car as a supercar, yet the transmission in the thing is apparently made of glass from Faberge eggs and paper mache made with paper that comes from a rare tree found only in certain parts of the Amazon jungle. How else can you explain a $20,000 list price for a transmission that breaks so easily?

Shit, I've never owned a car that cost more than $20,000. (My Jeep probably listed somewhere near $25k when new, but I certainly didn't pay that much for it.)

* * *

I had intended to get back on WoW yesterday after returning from the doc's, but instead I posted a blog entry and then read my book before going to bed around midnight.

I'm seeing the ENT next week, on Tuesday, about the ear. It's still aching a bit, though less than yesterday. Maybe the really expensive pills ("Allegra") the doc prescribed are helping.

* * *

My Libre ebook reader ships in 33 days. Not that I'm counting or anything.