October 11th, 2013

#4000: Well, it's been about two years since the last millennium.

I would expect it to take about three years between these posts, not two, but...y'know. Uh.

#3000: Three Thousand Posts! That was October 14, 2011, and today is October 9, 2013, so it's five days short of two years ago.

#3031: MY FOG COOLER IS EXCELLENT!!! Decorate your house for Halloween and you don't end up with three pounds of leftover candy.

#3038: I joined choir and it's a thing of beauty.

#3154: Ordered a Kindle yesterday. Yeah, I took the plunge and bought an e-reader.

#3156: Unintended consequences which is when I learned that my Internet plan had a monthly bandwidth cap of 150 GB. I was running El-Hazard as a torrent box continuously, and that's what happened. Oh well.

#3287: 11 Hours of Pure Nerdcore. I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies, back-to-back-to-back, at one sitting.

#3331: I survived the first performance. ...of King of the Jungle, the first play/production I took part in since 1979.

#3334: Isn't Illinois wonderful? In which I--among other things--write about a story idea that came to me in a dream. It was later submitted for publication as a short story.

#3365: I wonder if I have enough beef. This was the day I brought home 120 lbs of beef and filled all the freezers in the bunker.

#3426: Don't wanna in which I talk about creating Ormusia, Ormus' little sister, who's a rogue and dumb as a sack of hammers.

#3435: Crazy-ass f-ing day, let me tell you. This was the day that Lemonzen and I went on what ended up being our first date...to the fireworks store.

#3444: Very busy Sunday. And this was our second date. She gave me a deep fryer.

#3464: The Lost Day was written on July 5, 2012, because I'd had too much fun the day before. Lemonzen and Sailor V came by for a cookout and fireworks. This post also includes the dream about vampire hunting that included the nacho sombrero:
I had to hit the can. As I was closing the door I heard one of the other bikers say to a third party, "He is a man to be reckoned with!" And while I was in there I was looking at myself in the mirror, admiring my nacho sombrero, and saying, "Yep! I'm a man to be reckoned with, and I'm wearing a nacho sombrero!" ...and that's when I woke up.

"What," you may ask, "the fuck is a 'nacho sombrero'?"

It's a hat, damn it!

...the top part is heated and is essentially a nacho cheese fountain. (Like a chocolate fountain, but with cheese.) The brim contains tortilla chips. Someone who wants nachos picks up a tortilla, sticks it into the flow of cheese, and eats it. That is a nacho sombrero. Please try to keep up.

Anyway, I was disappointed that I'd have to take my nacho sombrero off in order to put on my helmet, so it's just as well that I woke up just as the dream achieved maximum awesome.
Heh.

#3469: Sunday! I can't believe that I am still doing the Lich King schtick I mentioned here. Sean Connery has taken the place of Mal'ganis but it's still going on. (Best part: when Arthas calls Sean "Snug-a-boo"....)

#3524: The sense of impending disaster. Turns out that Synthroid makes my anxiety disorder worse.

#3530: Today is a bit better. I suffered a serotonin crash from the Synthroid and realized I had to stop taking it.

#3561: At least two really leaky injectors. It's been more than a year since I last worked on the Fiero. *sigh*

#3582: Crazy! I should have jumped on that. $140 for a system needing only a hard drive and video card--it wouldn't have been the greatest computer on Earth but it would have represented a decent upgrade over the current desktop I'm using.

#3594: This damn gremlin bell ain't working. The bike's luggage rack breaks, and I get it welded. Also, this post includes pictures of El-Hazard getting its new case.

#3612: Yes, new tires are a good thing. New tires on the motorcycle, because the ones that it used to have were probably original equipment.

#3627: IttyBit died last night. IttyBit had been with me for ten years, but she had cancer and couldn't eat any longer. *sigh*

#3648: I see that I have, once again, forgotten something important. Here is where I announced my engagement to Lemonzen. "September 22 was the day we made it official, when I put the ring on her and all that," but we had actually been engaged for a little while before that. I'd gotten out of bed, grabbed one of my Dad's old rings, and proposed to her with it. She kept that ring (even though it doesn't fit her) and I got her an actual engagement ring on September 14th of 2012. So, yeah.

#3672: I'm home, without my wisdom teeth. I had my last two wisdom teeth yanked out, a scant week before Thanksgiving. Whee!

#3691: The Thanksgiving meal I cooked. For the first time in my life I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, and side dishes, for Lemonzen and I to eat. It was probably the most delicious turkey I ever ate (sorry, Mom!) and Lemonzen couldn't believe I'd actually used cheesecloth! She seemed more impressed over that than anything else I'd done, but we had a very nice meal at the dining room table, with the good tablecloth and candles and--

#3736: Yesterday, Lemonzen became Mrs. Fungus December 31, 2012, was the happiest day of my life.

#3778: Eight inches of snow! I'm having FUN! I'm having FUN! FUN FUN FUN! Yes, I went off the road and got stuck...in a Jeep.

#3800: Wish me luck. I did it. Two hundred posts ago, I submitted a novel for publication. It dropped off the face of the planet.

#3803: I have been doing this nearly every day for seven years. Seventh anniversay of the Fungus.

#3845: BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER. Bar none.

#3846: Luna is dead....and then I had to take Luna to the vet for the last time. She'd been with me for fifteen years, from when she was an 8-week-old kitten. I was a wreck.

* * *

...and that brings us up to date. "What--nothing from June, July, August, or September?" These retrospective posts link the highlights and lowlights, but those four months just sort of happened. Looking over the last several months' worth of posts I really didn't see anything I thought rose to the level of being linkable here.

But that's okay.

It still seems to be averaging in the area of five hundred posts per year, give or take a couple score. I guess you just can't beat that.

#4001: I'm going to have to change that habit.

See, for one thousand posts I have been starting them by typing "#3" in the title bar. Now that we've passed #4,000, though, I must now get used to typing "#4". But I just caught myself trying to type "#3". *sigh*

* * *

So: running an errand last week, I found myself needing a drink. There was a Burger King that was easy to get into and out of, so I stopped there for a small diet Coke.

...which cost me $1.93.

Look: if I go to McDonald's, I can get a large drink for $1 and change. Why does BK have to charge twice that?

But okay--it was convenient, I didn't really need a large, and this was what I had time for, so it would do, I decided.

Got my drink, got back on the road, took a sip--it wasn't diet Coke; it wasn't even flavored. The ratio of syrup to carbonated water was so pathetically low that it was brown fizzy water rather than diet Coke. So I rescued the sales slip from the trash, intending to take the survey and complain about it. Heck--that way I'd at least get a free burger out of the deal, right?

Heh. Sure. Just have to buy a small drink and fry, and you get a free Whopper. What's wrong with that?

...took the survey, wrote down the validation code, and set the receipt aside. A few days later I was out on the bike and decided on having a couple of Whoppers, so while I was there I checked out what a small drink and fry would run me.

Well, the small drink is $1.93 with tax, and it looks as if the small fry would also be $1.93 with tax, for a total of $3.86.

A Whopper is $3.79 before tax. The fry and drink together are $3.58 before tax. So for the trouble of filling out their survey, I get to save a whole $0.21 on a Whopper.

"You get a free drink and fry, so you actually save...!" Sure. The Whopper combo is about $5.60, so I end up saving two dollars over what I would pay for a Whopper combo without the coupon. But the whole thing is sold to the consumer on the basis of a free sandwich, not a sandwich that you get for spending almost as much money on fries and a drink as you'd spend for the sandwich alone.

The real wagger-griping thing about all this is that the soda fountain in a restaurant is almost pure profit. McDonald's makes money selling a large drink for $1 because the cost per serving is extraordinarily low. Lots of places offer free refills for people who dine in because most people will refill their drinks once, or perhaps twice, and the cost is quite literally pennies per serving.

If that small diet Coke I bought for $1.93 cost BK more than a quarter to sell me, there is something seriously wrong with their business model.

I'm not really angry about the soda being egregiously overpriced so much as I'm pissed that it didn't even have any flavor, and I was in a situation where I didn't have any time to seek satisfaction from the restaurant. The other issue is, of course, that their "free Whopper for filling out our survey" thing turns out to be "we'll save you a couple dollars on your next purchase if it happens to be a small Whopper combo".

Definitely not "value for your money".

* * *

Wonderduck has identified the keyboard I wish to buy for me. Thanks, dude!

* * *

The law is an ass. A living, breathing man is unable to convince a sitting judge that he's not legally dead.

...

I don't know what the guy can do, given that the judge refuses to accept the evidence that the guy is alive. What do you do when you can't prove that you're legally alive? You can't collect welfare and I'm guessing that you can't work, so what do you do? Go to the guy in the barrio who makes fake IDs for illegals and get yourself a new identity?

* * *

So, Wednesday night Mrs. Fungus and I watched Oz the Great and Powerful. It was a pretty neat story, nicely integrated with the existing movie canon. It's been so long since I read the Oz books--and my reading began with the second book, not The Wizard of Oz--that I can't really speak to how the movie fit with the rest of the story.

What I do know is, though, that I would love to see the rest of the books done the way that movie was done.

I last read the books when I was in my senior year of high school, and these were very old copies. Mom mistakenly shipped them to my sister in Maine, and everyone agreed that she would hang onto them until I wished to reclaim them...but no one thought to write that down, of course. Then my sister passed away, and the books were sold, because they were valuable antiques and the estate needed money--yeah. *sigh*

I'm unhappy with losing them because of the sentimental value; the dollar value doesn't matter so much to me since I wouldn't have sold them (unless I was on the street, or something). On the plus side I can still get copies of the books if I ever want to read them. They just won't be the books my grandfather had bought, and passed down to his daughter, who passed them down to me.

Still: it was a good movie, and we really enjoyed it, and it was free. That was after we watched The Croods on Tuesday, which we had to pay for, and which was...less good, but still watchable.

I would have liked it better if the animals in the story had been, y'know, actual animals that were around during the "cave man" era. But I gathered that this was more in line with The Flintstones than actual anthropology. (Probably, Eep Crood and her family were Neanderthals, and Guy was a Cro-magnon. Were they the last humans on Earth?)

The most interesting thing about that movie was how they animated hair. Hair is a bitch to animate in a computer, but their hair looked and behaved like the real thing--or very, very close to it. And there were clouds (volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic flows) in the thing that looked real. So I guess computer animation is still progressing nicely.

* * *

Me, I have more errands to run today, and they're not going to get done if I keep sitting here. Off I go.