February 27th, 2014

#4140: Barely made it.

It snowed last night, meaning that this week was not the first week of the year without some snow in it. It did not snow much--a dusting--but it counts.

Yesterday was errand day, and Mrs. Fungus and I ended up being out for a few hours to accomplish it. One of the things we did was to go to Sam's Club for sundries, and she picked up a largish bag of pistachios.

Not wanting to be left out, I picked out a big bag of M&Ms that nonetheless cost about 65% as much as the pistachios did...with the result that there is now a 3.5 lb bag of peanut M&Ms on my desk.

We were actually there for things like toilet paper and soap, but we hadn't eaten in hours and you know how that goes. One thing I really like to buy at Sam's Club is chicken breasts, because both times we've gone there it was $1.88 a pound and they're big breasts. "Are you sure this wasn't from a small turkey?" big, I mean.

Can't complain about that.

* * *

Tuesday night Mrs. Fungus was complaining that it seemed extra-cold, and I had recently seen a control box for an electric blanket in the linen closet, so I pulled out the old electric blanket I used to use and said control box.

My old electric blanket had been retired because its control box had failed. The wiring to the plug that connected to the blanket had developed a break, right at the plug itself, meaning there was nothing I could do to fix it, but the blanket had not been thrown away. When I saw the control box, I thought, So if I want to use my electric blanket again, I can use this one!

Except that putting that idea into practice revealed that the blanket no longer generates heat.

I don't know if the box was unable to supply enough juice (huh? It's 120V!) or what, but it wasn't warming up, so I sadly took it off the bed and folded it, intending to discard it the next day. But then it occurred to me that if we had the control box for an electric blanket that wasn't mine, we probably had another electric blanket in the linen closet.

So I looked for it, and yeah, I found it, and plugged it in, and it got nice and toasty warm. Mrs. Fungus was happy.

...and about the time the sun was coming up, the electric blanket was all wadded up between us and she was down to one blanket, sleeping peacefully, so I switched the electric blanket off.

The old electric blanket went into the trash as we were leaving the bunker yesterday.

I'm trying to get myself into a mode where I can summarily toss things that have no immediate use or value. "I might be able to use this someday" is insufficient cause to keep 90% of the junk around here, and an electric blanket that doesn't work is trash, especially considering how many other blankets we have. During the cleaning downstairs we came across three comforters, one of which went into the garbage and two of which have been relegated to "moving blanket" status. That is in addition to the 45,000 blankets Mrs. Fungus has (number slightly inflated) and the 50 or 60 that lurk around the bunker because my parents were both Depression kids and couldn't stomach throwing away a blanket which was still usable: "Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without." Crimony.

I've noticed that electric blankets are generally not very good insulators; a heatless electric blanket is less warm a blanket than an unpowered blanket of similar construction.

Anyway, I tossed it; and our generalized program of de-cluttering and trash removal is proceeding apace. It's not that the place is jam-packed with crap or anything--the living areas of the house are reasonably neat--but there is a plurality of useless junk in various storage spaces which has to be dealt with, one way or another, eventually...and if I can get the basement into some semblance of clean it would mean having a place to move some of the stuff from the garage. The sofa, for example--and then there's that old ice box; if that were cleaned up and put down there I think it'd be quite decorative. Why not?

The hard part is getting rid of stuff like the model rocket supplies. I have a couple of medium boxes of stuff used for building model rockets, stuff which moved to Iowa with me and then moved back here without me ever unpacking (but for a couple of weeks in 2002 where I was trying my hand at building terrain for D&D miniatures) and I haven't launched a model rocket since 1994 at least--twenty years? Really?--so why do I keep the stuff I use to scratchbuild the things? It makes no sense to.


* * *

Speaking of throwing away junk....

Having seen the pictures, I'm not surprised the cleaning lady thought it was trash. It's not her lack of education or sophistication that's at fault here; it's that the "art" doesn't look like anything but garbage that's the problem.

Okay, when I went to the Chicago Art Institute one time I saw an abstract sculpture--a six-foot cube made up of smaller cubes--which had no real meaning I could understand but at least it looked like something that had been purposefully constructed, which is more than I can say for the photograph at that Borepatch post I just linked. You know, if you have to put signs on your "artwork" telling people not to throw it away, perhaps you ought to re-evaluate your ouerve...or take up honest work.

* * *

Last night we watched a couple of old Twilight Zone episodes before bed, and one of them was about an outlaw in the old west being pulled forward in time--by the Professor from Gilligan's Island, using his brand-new time machine--just at the moment he was hanged for his crimes. Of course he could not handle the noise and bustle of the modern (1950s) world, so there's a scene where he goes into a bar and smashes the Wurlitzer with a chair. The barkeep is upset by this but backs down once he sees the outlaw's gun (taken from the Professor).

The barkeep demonstrates television to the guy, only it's a western and the cowboy shoots the TV...whereupon the barkeep is so outraged he apparently forgets the guy has a gun and starts yelling for the police.

Now, look--I know a commercial juke box was more expensive than a television set, even in the 1950s. Furthermore the TV set just needed a new picture tube, where the juke box had had its front smashed off.

Of course, this guy had just seen his juke box and his TV set taken out of commission, so maybe it was a cumulative thing. Maybe he'd just bought the TV. I don't know. What I do know is that the episode ended in a pretty pointless fashion, demonstrating that even classic TV has plenty of off moments.

* * *

I just learned that the generic sudafed I got from Meijer last week is gluten-free. Whee!

#4141: Yes, they were National SOCIALISTS

Fascism is a leftist political philosophy. Always has been. And the only reason we consider it to be a rightist position is that the leftists in academia don't want to call it what it actually is, to wit a version of socialism that merely makes obvious (more obvious) the endgame of socialism, which is totalitarianism, oppression, and mass graves. (And enormous body counts, some hundred million people in the 20th century.)

It cannot be otherwise. Socialism does not work without government oppression, and you can't have truly effective government oppression without the gulag and the concentration camp and the mass grave. All these things fall under maintenance of terror, and it is fear of what the government will do to those who disobey that keeps the people from rebelling.

Of course liberals get incandescent with rage when you point this out.

But it is worth noting that in the 1930s, the American left just loved Hitler to death. They thought he was the bee's knees and that fascism was the future...and that lasted until Hitler attacked Russia.

* * *

Why are so many of these shows that were on CBS? At least, as I recall Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life were CBS shows. (Weren't they?) I liked DS, but I never saw the nightmare episodes they discuss here.

* * *

Today I got called into work at the last minute, getting a text from my boss about 3:30 asking me if I wanted to work today. I was there by 5, and ended up staying until 10 PM in order to get everything done. The counter wasn't exactly mobbed but I worked continuously, with only about ten minutes somewhere around 7-ish for a brief rest and a snack. I had a pretty good day, though, and I made some money I sorely need.

Can't argue with that.

With tomorrow's regularly scheduled shift, this'll be a 15-hour week...and that's the biggest week I've had this month. I'm told that things will probably improve more in the next couple of weeks, so here's hoping.

* * *

Well, in other news, I've made the decision to submit #RELEASE_CANDIDATE_ONE to Castalia House as soon as I can get time to bang out the required one-page summary of the story and a brief bio of self. After that (regardless of how it goes) I intend to submit another story, something that was originally meant to be published as 1.5 page vignettes in a periodical, but which I should be able to rework into a novel. Their model doesn't give an advance, but does give a good royalty, and at that I wouldn't have to do all the other things that accompany self-publishing, like buying cover art, getting an ISBN, and so forth...none of which is cheap. (Reportedly an ISBN is about $100. Yeesh.)

Although I know how to build a text file that can be converted into a PDF or other ebook format with chapter marks and such, I don't know how to publish anything. That's why I'd prefer to have a publisher deal with all that stuff.

So, wish me luck.