June 17th, 2011

#2754: General Tao!

General, I've got your chicken, and it is tasty.

The guy at the Chinese place didn't even have to ask my number when I showed up to get it. I guess I'm a "regular" now. Heh.

It reminded me of when I lived in Cedar Rapids. Me, Mark, and Robb would all get together on Thursday nights to hang out and stuff, and sometimes we'd go to Thai Moon for dinner. It got to the point that when we showed up there, the host asked, "Gentlemen! Your usual table?" It was neat, and fun.

We were non-rowdy and we tipped well, so I guess we were the good kind of regulars. And the food there was great.


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Thank God this isn't going to happen to me. A bunch of legal firearms, legally purchased, but now deemed illegal because people lost their rights due to mental illness or what-have-you.

"They were known to be a danger to themselves or society." I am neither, yet because of a stupid legal technicality I'm in the same boat.

"Harris said local law enforcement and state agents don't have the time or personnel to track down their addresses and conduct the high-security operations needed to safely seize the guns from people who are presumed to be dangerous. Many of them own more than one weapon." "High-security" is code for "SWAT teams breaking down doors".

A lot of those people would probably respond reasonably to a couple of cops knocking politely on the door and informing them, "Hey, we know you have guns, and your license to own was revoked on such-and-such, and we've got a warrant to search your home for firearms and take possession of whatever ones we find."

Very, very few people will respond to that with gunfire. Even people who are deemed "mentally ill" or those with restraining orders against them. Chances are that--if they had their shit together sufficiently to be legal gun owners--they're not going to screw with the police, but will comply. (Perhaps--probably--not cheerfully, but they'll comply.) You save the SWAT teams for the people who slam the doors in the cops' faces or who are otherwise obstreperous.

This automatic recourse to quasi-military arrests is quite literally fascist, and has to stop.

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The yen rises against the dollar. It's only been a few months since the earthquake. The "broken windows" phallacy takes time to become obvious.

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This is progress: the Senate voted to end ethanol subsidies. That's good, because it means less food will be uselessly turned into fuel.

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Years ago I used to like Janeane Garofalo. Then she opened her mouth and revealed herself to be incredibly, incredibly stupid.

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A thorough demolition of AGW. Worth reading.

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And I even remembered the story I wanted to tell! Last night I was half-asleep when it hit me, and my eyes snapped wide open. I got up and wrote it down, and now I can tell the tale!

There was a time in my life when I had one friend whose name didn't begin with M. Marcus, Mike, Mace--and then there was Eric. And my Mom joked, "Marcus, Mike, Mace, Meric." Heh.

Not a lot of information is conveyed when I say that M. had a pervy sense of humor, except to those who already know him; and to make matters worse, this was in junior high.

One fine Christmas season, then--around 1980-1982-ish--M. began singing "Frosty the Snowman", but his lyrics were "Frosty the Pervert". I have substituted "blah" for words I cannot remember:
Frosty the Pervert
Was a blah blah blah blah blah
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
and a penis made of snow

(more missing words)

There must've been some magic in
that old dildo they found
'cause when they jammed it in his crotch*
he began to dance around
*may actually have been "...jammed it in his ass"
As you can see, it was pretty...uh...yeah. Well, he got to the part about "down to the village, with his penis in his hand," you know, and coming to the cop, the cop yelling "Stop!" and stuff.

Getting to the bridge, M. paused for a moment to collect his thoughts. Then:

"Humpity hump hump
"Humpity hump hump
"Look at Frosty screw!"

...it's just as well that he started laughing and couldn't keep going, because I was busting just about every gut God gave me laughing at this nonsense. (Look, I was in junior high, too; what do you expect?)

Think about this the next time you hear "Frosty the Snowman", and try not to laugh out loud. I do, every year.

#2755: I can't really call it "progress" as such....

But I got the garage and my workbench cleaned up. There are two benefits of this:

1) I can easily move the Fiero out of the way; I need only move 4 things instead of [God knows how many] and 3 of them have wheels on them. (The 4th is the motorcycle carrier.)

2) I have a place where I can disassemble the carb and clean it properly without having to worry about getting driveway or patio grit all over them. (Bonus: it's out of the wind, so I don't have to worry about small parts being blown away.)

The garage can't be called "clean" by any stretch of the imagination, but since I only have to worry about what I want done out there (and I no longer have to accommodate birdseed and potting soil and-and-and) I can do as I will. Getting the Fiero mobile also means it'll be easier to clean out that end of the attic, since there's an access stairway in the garage.


Once the motorcycle is 100% and the 4th is over and I have a job, the MGB is the next stage. Ideally I'd like to get it running, tuned, street-legal, and sold before the end of August at the latest. Autumn is the best time to have a convertible--especially an LBC, because the heater in that car is like a nuclear furnace and keeps it warm in there even with the top down and 40° temps outside.

But where the Fiero was kind of embedded, the MGB is cocooned in stuff, and it's going to take more than a couple hours' work for me to get it free. And I'll need help.

In the best case, I could extract the MGB in a couple of hours (with some help) and then remove some of the utter junk that is piled up east of it. There's a pool table in there I'm sure no one wants; it can go. There are pieces of an antique table that I do not have the authority to toss, as I've got no idea if it's complete or not, but there are other things in and around that pile which I could dump and all I'd hear was, "Hey, good choice" in the wake of the decision.

There are some old bottles near the wall. I think I could throw away the broken ones; I mean, come on--they may be vintage 1930 but they're broken into about a million pieces. How much is that worth?

I mean, if they were Roman or Etruscan or whatever pottery shards--sure, that'd be worth something, but pieces of broken 1930s bottles are just trash.

(I don't mean chipped; I mean broken, as in "huge pieces missing" broken.)

Anyway, the MGB is next, and it'll be fun to be able to drive that thing around while I'm waiting for someone to buy it.

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Next up on the motorcycle front is to order parts. Og's gotten too busy to make the rotor remover for me, so I'll be ordering that as well; so I'll be ordering tires, tubes, the bands that go around the inside of the rim to protect the tubes from the spoke nibs, a battery, and the rotor removal tool. Then it'll be wrenchin' time!

I can move the Fiero out of the garage and work on the motorcycle even if it's raining; it won't hurt the Fiero to get wet--maybe wash some of the dust off--and that way the weather won't keep me from accomplishing the mechanic work.

I'll do the carb this weekend, probably, and flush the oil lines for good measure if they're not too inaccessible. Clean the oil tank and the fuel tank, and check the fuel line for any issues (and replace as needed). Get all fluids in, all lines bled of air, and everything functional and adjusted. (Points will have to wait until I get the rotor tool, of course, but that's not a big deal.)

Get bolts for all the holes that are missing them (there are not too many) and reinstall the skid plate.

Once I can button up the engine, then, I can get some aluminum-safe engine cleaner and powerwash the grease, grime, and dirt off the bike. Get it nice and spiffy, polish the chrome, etc, etc.

Remove the wheels, strip the rims of all rubber; clean and reassemble with new rubber. (Probably I ought to take 'em to a bike shop and have 'em balanced, too, but I don't expect that to cost an arm and a leg. Maybe a foot....)

Then? Start her up and hoon her around the back yard a bit. Maybe ride down the street and back...and afterwards, put it on the carrier, go over to Sailor V's place, and ride the dickens out of it for an afternoon. Before the 4th of July, just because I can! Ha, ha!

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...assuming I get all this done sometime in the next week or so, because the 4th of July weekend is a mere 14 days away now. I'd better get cracking.