December 5th, 2011

#3084: How interesting.

So I finished off the sausage gravy just now; and it tasted like I expect sausage gravy to taste. Sticking it into the refrigerator for 18 hours did the trick.

So I need to get more sausage and make more, and freeze it (fortunately gravy freezes fairly well) and that way I can have sausage gravy whenever I want it without having to make it from scratch every time.

This will also be more economical than buying pre-made sausage gravy.

* * *

I slept Sunday afternoon, got up around 6-ish, and my nephew and I piled ourselves into the Jeep and headed north. My brother called while we were en route, and we ended up meeting somewhere in the middle, so neither of us had to drive all the way to one end or the other of the route. That worked out fairly well.

After I got home from that, I fell asleep again around 8 PM or so and ended up sleeping for six hours.

* * *

So here's how it's going in my new updated attempt to use on-line introduction services to gain a love life of some kind: lets me log in, splashes a huge pop-up over the entire page with no close gadget that prevents me from accessing anything on the site. refuses to accept my password. So I reset my password and it still won't let me log in. Still works.

I'm not exactly a stranger to setting up profiles and/or user accounts on web sites, so the problems I'm having are all due to failures on their end. How annoying.

* * *

Now I've reset my password three times and it's still not working. Great system you guys got, there.

* * *

Another homebrewed Garfield Minus Garfield:

* * *

As I was going to sleep Sunday evening, I had this idea for a manga version of WKRP in Cincinnati. could tell the stories from the TV eps and new ones, and it would be hilarious.

Then I thought, "Why do WKRP? Just mine the series for funny stories and come up with your own characters, and set it in present-day Japan rather than the US in the late 1970s. It could be even weirder and more funny that way."

Since I know nothing about the broadcasting industry--either in Japan or the US--and I already have too many f-ing projects on my plate, I'm not going to do anything with this idea.

But I'm trying to imagine what a Japanese "Doctor Johnny Fever" would be like. I figure that the Japanese "Bailey Quarters" would be, basically, Megane-chan.

"Andy Travis" would be a fresh graduate from broadcast school rather than a veteran program manager (and he might be a she instead, to boot). Jennifer Marlowe would be largely unchanged, but we might be able to get away with making her a more avaricious, and slightly older, "mama-san" type.

Herb Tarlek--the oily salesman is a constant the world over; very little alteration is needed. Les Nessman can also be changed only slightly. (Maybe make him an otaku, tho....) And "'Mama' Carlson"--just lift Kaede Doumyouji from Hana Yori Dango and that will work.

The only real problem is "Venus Flytrap". But even that's not such a big one: he's an American, living in Japan, and he's there to lend authenticity to "Travis'" idea for a late-night rap program. Of course it would work better if the dichotomy between "Gordon Simms" and "Venus Flytrap" was just as (if not more) exaggerated than it was in the TV series. The on-air persona speaking in ebonics and throwing gang signs; the off-air persona with a barely-detectable accent and behavior that suits the establishment mainstream rather than the "gangsta ghetto".

(In fact, right there is one story arc: it gets out that "Venus Flytrap" is not an "authentic" gangsta, that he graduated with a major in broadcasting and a minor in Japanese from some hoity-toity east coast university and is not only very well-read but has never even thought about committing a crime. This could be hilarious.) ("No! No! I'm gangsta! I keepin' it real on the east side, yo! aren't buying this at all, are you?")

I put all the character names in quotes because obviously these would not be the names of the characters in this hypothetical manga that I'm not going to write and draw. (This is merely a creative exercise for the fun of it. You want to do it, go right ahead. Maybe say "Series concept by Ed Hering" somewhere.)

* * *

...and then I sit here and bemoan the fact that I'm not creative enough. *sigh*

#3085: The tap dancing reaches a furious pace

The situation in Europe is getting desperate.

They're doing their best to stave off a collapse of the euro and the PIIGS, and they're doing it by dropping lending rates into the pavement. The European Central Bank is apparently going to drop the interest rate it charges to governments and large banks; it dropped this rate to 1.25% in November and could cut it still further.

Hmm...that sounds suspiciously like what teh Bernank did at the Fed: drop the prime rate into the macadam. I wonder if there's a connection? I wonder if the US prime rate was dropped that far because otherwise the whole idea of deficit spending is unsustainable?

* * *

Still no way to link to individual posts at Ms. Barnhardt's blog, damn it.
There is literally NO WAY to make that language any plainer, clearer or more direct. None. I have gotten a bunch of emails from people saying, "If I get physical stock certificates mailed to me, then I should be safe, right?" Again, I just shake my head. What the hell good is a STOCK CERTIFICATE if the entire system collapses? Aren't stock certificates contingent of THE RULE OF LAW and a FUNCTIONING STOCK EXCHANGE and FINANCIAL SYSTEM? Don't stock certificates also assume that the corporation in question actually EXISTS and hasn't dissolved and scattered to the winds of war? Stock certificates would make good fire kindling, and could be used to wipe your tailpipe in a pinch (Ow - scratchy!). So picture it, the system has collapsed, the US dollar is no longer being accepted, credit cards are obviously meaningless and you need some food. You stagger up to some guy who has some Malt-O-Meal and hold out a stock certificate. Mr. Malt-O-Meal then LAUGHS IN YOUR FACE, and you go lay down under a tree and die. When you are dead, Mr. Malt-O-Meal picks over your corpse, takes your stock certificate and uses it to roll cigarettes.
...yeah, I'm not looking forward to this, not one little bitty bit.

Every time I've had to consider a bad decision in the sober light of subsequent experience, I have to quell the regret with the one tool available to me: "I made the best decision I could with the information I had available to me." Sure, you can double- and triple-think every major decision you ever made in your life and say, "FFFFFFFFUUUUU--" and really get down on yourself for being such a frickin' moron, but at the end of the day you have to chalk it up to the fact that you will never have perfect information when you have to make a critical decision.

It would take a 10% tax hit for me to get my money out of my IRA and into gold or something else tangible; but the money I've got in my IRA right now does not amount to a year's wages at the poverty line. If I were to lose that money to a systemic failure of our financial industry, I would:

1) Still have to work

2) Still be up the creek

3) Still be facing the same problems everyone else would be.

4) Still have economically useful skills like the ability to repair machines and build useful things.

It's prudent to keep the money in the IRA because it's more likely that the entire system will not collapse, that there will be some kind of reckoning but it won't be a flat-out unmitigated apocalypse.

I'm going to be relying more on #4 on that list, should everything go to pot, than I can reasonably expect to get out of my IRA even IF the collapse doesn't happen.

* * *


GM's going to ramp up production of the Chevy Volt next year. There's nothing in the article about the sales figures for the Volt, and there should be, because that would really make the point that the writer is trying to make: electric cars are for the birds.

* * *

Sometimes there is justice. That guy who defended himself from two female attackers by hammering them with a metal bar? A grand jury declined to indict the poor guy. Good for him!

* * *

In Australia, you don't have to tell your fiancee that you have a terminal and communicable disease before you marry.

Wonderful, isn't it?

* * *

There's no new information in this article claiming that Noah's Ark has officially been found in Turkey.

The article is badly translated from Russian and it cites an official Turkish decision in 1986 that the artifact found on Mt. Ararat is indeed Noah's Ark. But there's nothing new here, so I think nothing's actually changed.

* * *

That damned man-made global warming is ruining summer in Australia!

No, it's not too hot or anything. What makes you think that? It's too cold! It's cloudy and rainy and chilly even though we're a bit more than two weeks from the austral summer solstice.

This unusually cold weather is all the fault of human carbon emissions heating up the atmosphere. The science is settled!

* * *

Anyway, I've got errands and chores to attend to. Banking, cleaning, and so on.

I'd better get going.

#3086: Hollywood, Sodom, Gomorrah

This must be why Hollywood is so eager to defend Roman Polansky: everyone's in on it.

"On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for 'Sesame Street,' was arraigned on charges of coercing a child 'to engage in sexually explicit conduct' in South Carolina."

"Sunny day
"Taking your
"anal virginity away..."

...something's got to be done about this shit.

* * *

Idiots driving 100 MPH in the rain cause a massive wreck. What else is new?

At least the assholes didn't kill anybody.

* * *

Okay, this would be fun! I could throw that kit onto my $99 K-mart special (bought in 1994 so it's probably a $10 bike by now) and have some fun with it. Heh.

Oh well.

* * *

So: I went to the bank.


...I tell the banker what I want to do with my chunk of inheritance from bank #4, and I'm told I can't do it.

Me: But...but that's exactly what I did with the last two!

Banker: Yes, but you see, this check is made out such-and-such, so we can't do it.

M: But here's the stub from the last check which I deposited in August and it wasn't a problem then.

B: Well, it's because the check says "Beneficiary of..." on it.

M: But it's a cashier's check!! Here's the paperwork from this bank putting the money into my IRA here.

B: Yes, it's a cashier's check, but because it says "beneficiary of..." on it and the previous holder was over 70 you have to take distributions from the IRA regardless of your age.

--the rest of the conversation is too confusing to relate this way.

What it boils down to is that the federal laws governing IRAs are INCREDIBLY FUCKIN' STUPID AND BYZANTINE.

If you receive funds from an IRA after the previous owner dies, you can't put the money into your IRA even if you take a distribution into cash and pay federal income tax on it.

NO I don't understand it. That money is somehow FOREVER TAINTED or something.

...even if I had simply rolled the money over into my IRA I still would have had to take distributions on it, and I couldn't then put that money into an IRA.

But it's a frickin' check, and I paid taxes on the money! It's my money; why the everlovin' fuck can't I do what I want with it? I don't want to spend it; I want to sock it away in the bank!

I was much less than pleased, let me tell you, because I ended up establishing a second IRA and the maximum contribution was considerably less than the amount of the check. So now I've got entirely too much damn money in my savings account.


Of course, the government has done this because lawyers and accountants (and Wall Street banksters) hire lobbyists to persuade Congress-slugs to do this kind of happy horseshit as a jobs program for lawyers and accountants. It doesn't make any sense nor does it even follow any reasonable logic because an ordinary person could then understand it and wouldn't have to hire a lawyer and an accountant to keep him from getting in dutch with the federal government.

Hanging is too good for those f-ing crooks.