November 13th, 2021

#7892: McRib is back, and I don't care.

They're just like White Castle: get sick from eating them, and you're off the things, permanently.

* * *

Yesterday a train blocked the crossing near the plant for a good ninety minutes. I was in a meeting (virtual) and happened to be watching the train; it gave a kind of clonk and then came to a stop. And then it sat there.

I guess it didn't hit something, because the news didn't mention it. The next crossing north of there is on the same road as the university; a guy driving a box truck was killed there in 2019 because he drove around the crossing gates and got hit by an Amtrak train going 70 MPH.

There wasn't time for me to watch it the whole time it sat there but it moved a little, one way or the other, over the course of the next hour and a half, because when I did look out the window I'd see that a different type of rail car was sitting on the crossing. Eventually it started to move again; and when it did, it looked to me as if it was being pushed by two locomotives tied onto the hind end of the train. Problem with the locomotives at the head end? Just being ferried somewhere? Something else?

It'd be nice to know what that was about, but I probably won't ever know. Oh well.

* * *

Went shopping last night and very nearly bought a second turkey, for Christmas. I've got to go to the near supermarket for apples today; I'll have a look there.

They had butter for $2 a pound. I bought four pounds and put it all in the freezer downstairs.

But, filed under "reduce your expectations", no diet Pepsi in bottles, at all. When I was there on Wednesday, they had only two sixers of diet Dew, but the sale they had was "must buy four"--since the stupid Coof restrictions prevent returning product to the store, I wasn't about to buy two sixers of sugared pop with the intention of exchanging them later.

I'm kind of amazed by that. It's like the bottlers are just blithely going along making "regular" and not making "unleaded". I wonder what the problem is? Is it a lack of bottles? Labels? Aspartame? Obviously there is a supply chain issue which keeps Pepsico from supplying enough diet soda to keep the supermarket shelves full, but it appears to be more widespread this time than just one supermarket chain. There's more than enough "regular" to go around, though.

I mean, the vending machine service was out to the plant this past week--I happened to go for a jug while the snack machine was being serviced--but I got "please make another selection" from the pop machine the very next day when trying to buy a diet Pepsi. So far, it looks like if you click one and get that, clicking the other diet Pepsi button gets you a jug--which is weird--but who knows how long that's going to last?

At the store, I ended up buying cans, three half-cases of diet Dew. No diet Pepsi in cans, either.

Let's Go Brandon!

* * *

Heck, maybe there's a strike no one is talking about. Thanks to Go Brandon's vaccine mandate, a lot of places are having to lay people off or fire them. There are well over two million jobs for which there are no workers available. Go figure.

* * *

Big shakeup coming at CNN. Their ratings have tanked so badly that kids' shows are getting better numbers than they are.

I suppose that's what happens when your entire day's programming is dedicated to kvetching and cavailing about a guy who hasn't been president for almost ten months, and counting. I mean, what else can they talk about? They certainly cannot give glowing reports about how well everything is going under Go Brandon, because the Brandon regime is making a total clusterfuck of everything it touches. Similarly, they cannot talk about how badly the Go Brandon regime is fucking things up, because he's on their side. And they can't talk about things like the Loudoun school board horseshit, because that is also their side screwing the pooch. All they have is Donald Trump.

...who has been a private citizen since January 20.

The only people who actually believe that the Potempkin Insurrection was real are those in the Democrat-Media Complex, and people whose only source of news is the mainstream media. And I'm not sure that all the members of the former believe that, either; I think a lot of them are saying it solely because they see an advantage to pushing the story. So if CNN gets up and does three hours about "white supremacists" it doesn't go over all that well.

Let's face it: where is the white supremacy? Where are the people who support it? Where are the demonstrations and the other signs that white supremacists are a serious problem that the federal government must handle in order to keep America safe and free? Because from where I'm sitting, the only violence and disorder I see is coming from the left--the communists in antifa and blm spent 2020 burning down half the inner cities in the country.

And long experience has taught me that if I am wondering where it is, you can bet that other people are wondering exactly the same thing. There aren't any news stories about the KKK or Illinois Nazis or who-the-hell-ever going out and holding violent riots. In the Virginia governor's race, the democrat party had to fake a gathering of white supremacists!

In the DC echo chamber, they've all got themselves convinced that white supremacy is an enormous problem, but there isn't any evidence that it is--at least not where the average citizen can see it. And no matter what the media say--no matter how loudly they say it--the people do not see what the media and government claim is there. And all that does is further convince people that the media and the government are full of shit.

CNN is merely the worst example; if CNN didn't exist someone else would be in their place. It looks as if they're planning to cut out a lot of the left-wing commentary and opinion shows and go back to just reporting the news all day (or most of it) but without a serious examination of their standards for quality and accuracy, I don't think it'll help very much.

And I'm fine with that. I don't care if the entire legacy media apparatus disappears. It's all 100% democrat propaganda now, anyway.

* * *

Heh. I was talking about this last night with Mrs. Fungus. Apparently the "strong" female captain of USS Discovery has gone on a crying jag in six out of thirteen episodes of Star Trek: Discovery (STD) when the pressures of command just got to be too much for her.

In AV, there is a story element--spread across the 2nd and 3rd volumes--where one of the viewpoint characters is a woman who is given command of a flotilla of ships. She has no prior experience with commanding warships (she's CFO of a major interstellar conglomerate). As "grand admiral" her job is to tell the commander of the group what she wants him to do, and he handles the logistics...until he gets killed. So now she's actually in charge of the flotilla and must lead, but having just seen the guy get messily shredded is so traumatic that she falls to pieces and has to pull herself back together. After the immediate crisis is over, then she has to deal with the PTSD of seeing a man get shredded while simultaneously learning how to command a warship.

She cries once. Okay, when the lights come on and the guy is hanging there in the air with his guts strewn about like a ball of yarn after a kitten attack--only with a hell of a lot more blood--and part of him is stuck to her vacuum helmet? That's when she cries, because she's never experienced any serious violence and doesn't know how to handle what she's seeing and is already freaked out by being in combat in the first place. But she pulls herself together and starts leading, and by the time we get to the end of the story she's figured it out and no longer goes all weepy and leaky when things start to go wrong.

You can't put someone in command of a warship who goes to pieces at the first sign of adversity. I mean, you can do that, but then you're risking the lives of every person serving aboard that ship as well as the physical asset itself.

Look, I couldn't stand Star Trek: Voyager but I'll give credit where it's due: if Janeway broke down crying in that series, it sure as hell didn't happen more than a couple of times, across--what--five, six seasons? You can't put a person in charge of a ship that is tasked with exploring a dangerous universe if he's going to go to pieces half the time something goes badly.

Of course, STD is "woke", where the plots neatly arrange themselves so that the woke PC asshats always win and nothing ever takes advantage of obvious weakness like the captain of the fucking ship losing her shit because she got stressed out. *rolleyes*

* * *

It used to be called "looting" and they used to shoot people who did it. These days it's called "social justice".

Still...it's not sustainable. Stores cannot remain in business if their merchandise grows legs and walks out, $900 at a time. They won't remain in business. San Francisco is finding this out.

There will come a point at which the people decide they've had enough, though, and when that happens? I think shortly after that, people with sticky fingers start assuming room temperature, and anyone trying to put proprietors in jail for that will end up hanging from lampposts or trees.

At issue here is that the government is abdicating its responsibility to keep crime to a minimum. That is one of its biggest and most important jobs; that function is one of the reasons we invented government in the first place. People won't work if some random thug can come along and take what they've worked so hard to amass. They won't do anything useful if it's all going to be for naught.

But if government decides that theft isn't that big a deal, what is the public's recourse? What can they do other than be raped quietly? Watch while brigands come in, take what they want, and then leave? While they themselves will be arrested and prosecuted if they so much as say "boo" to the thieves?

Meanwhile, the leftists who promote this shit all claim that it's "racism" that's closing the stores, rather than economic impossibility. Of course.

* * *

Anyway, it's Saturday. Up very early for Orkin and our every-other-month reapplication of the stuff that keeps the ants away. Haven't seen any bugs at all for a while, which is encouraging.

Up at 7 AM, back in bed by 8, got up for ibuprofen and to hit the can--and here I am. I need to go to the store, still, so I might as well get that handled and then get the stew started. But once I do?

Back to bed, damn it. I'm tired.

#7893: Okay, now we have to wait a few hours

The temp alarm arrived today, while I was at the store. Tossed a pizza into the oven and then got to work.

For some reason the temp alarm was going off even when the temp was in the range I'd set, so I had to pull the battery out and re-set it. But then it worked. Probe shows 7 F, no alarm. Took out probe and warmed it; alarm went off when it went over 30. Put it back in freezer, no alarm. Okay.

The instructions with the temp alarm are pretty scanty, but through usage, I figured out that the alarm goes off every 30 seconds if the temp is out of range. That'll do, I think.

Started in on browning the meat for the stew, got the vegetables cut up, mixed up the spices and broth, put it all into the crock pot. I'll let it go on "high" for 4-5 hours, then make the gravy and let that percolate for another half-hour before dinner is ready. During that half-hour I'll put dessert together (apple crisp) and bake a can of biscuits. Ought to be quite tasty.

Pizza was a frozen Rosati's pepperoni and sausage; they're really good and I ate 5/8ths of the damned thing.

Anyway, now it's almost 3 on a crummy November day. I took out my winter coat and wore it to the store, because the high for the day was 39. Lovely.

* * *

While I was at the store I looked over their selection of turkeys but nothing really appealed to me, so I decided not to bother. Next week is payday, anyway.

* * *

Anyway, it's Saturday afternoon, the food's not going to be ready for the next step until 7 at the earliest. Might as well go nap or something.

#7894: Okay, that was good

Stew came out a bit thin but really tasty. I'm not sure about one thing in the flavor--maybe not use the caraway next time; the recipe said it was optional. The apple crisp came out perfect. This time, served with butter pecan ice cream--a great meal for not a lot of money.

I really like apple crisp; I think I like it better than apple pie. When I've got a pan ready to go into the oven it makes me feel great. When it comes out--

And plenty of leftovers.

* * *

In retail WoW they have a giant cat mount now. I'm going to have to get it and then make a character named Fflewddur.

* * *

I have noticed that my typing technique is a little odd, of late. Some words, instead of hitting the keys individually, I'll just kind of slide my fingers from one key to the next. "Think," for example--T then H then I, and while I'm typing N with my right index finger, I slide my middle finger from I to K, without lifting it, and out comes THINK. Couldn't do that on a typewriter.

That's not the only word, just the example that came to mind. I don't always notice it since typing is really, highly automatic for me. WTF sometimes I'll catch myself spelling words as I think them, that's how automatic it is to sit and think and type at the same time.

Well, you establish a method that works for you, I guess.

* * *

Tried to add "without lifting it" in that bit above and typed "wutgity kustubg ut" because I had my fingers one row over. *sigh*

Well, that's the kind of mistake you can only make when you're a touch typist. I am not sure how the "S" got there, though.

I think this happens because my right index finger doesn't feel the pip on the J key all that well; I have to consciously make sure it's there before typing.

* * *

Monday I need to make a serious effort to move a lot of stuff to the far-offsite, because I now have 10 working days left in the month before I must be out of my office at the plant. I do, in fact, have perhaps one load of computers left to take over there (mostly used ones now) and I need to get my desk stuff boxed up and moved. A final consultation with the infrastructure guy about what I should take from the server room (I am not planning to take all the cables, though) and then I just need to clear out the recycling. Get rid of the junk batteries, ship the scrap hard drives to Houston to get punched. I'm hoping to spend a little time sitting at the desk just staring out the window, too. I'm going to miss that window.

I'll definitely be leaving that office a lot cleaner than it was when I started using it.

* * *

Anyway, now it's approaching 9:30 on Saturday night. Today was pretty relaxing.

#7895: "Aw, youth is wasted on the wrong people!"

Every once in a while, something occurs to me from my past, and I am dumbfounded at just how stupid I was.

Now, I had a best friend for a long time. There were rough patches but things were generally okay.

In junior high, and high school, we were both perpetually dateless. I was the least popular kid in the school and could not have gotten a date to save my life, even if I had been capable of socializing with girls, which I most assuredly was not--not even close. It came to pass that we both graduated high school, and in one of the years shortly after that he got a girlfriend and kind of disappeared from the group, to the point that not only did he not hang around with us but even I rarely saw him.

I was fine with that, actually--having a girlfriend means you see your friends less, regardless of circumstance, and I was very happy for him. This and that happened and I ended up getting a girlfriend, and there were other things going on here and there.

Fast-forward to 1992, 1993; we were both footloose and fancy-free, but he had women after him. I never had cause to mistrust the things he told me--and I had seen women display interest in him--but being a callow youth myself I did not understand what was going on.

First example: he told me about being at a party, and a woman said to him, "I don't know what the big deal is about sex. If I get horny, I just masturbate." I laughed at the bald statement but the import of the quote did not occur to me.

Later, on a skiing trip, a woman he sometimes worked with told him that she liked sex so much "it should be illegal for me".

Me: "Oh, wow." Again, the import--

So I was laying in bed the other night, and I remembered all this, and I had to stop myself from yelling out loud, "DUDE THEY WANTED TO BONE YOU SO BAD WTF WTF".

I mean, that wasn't "slow pitch, right over the plate". That was fucking tee ball. The ball was stationary, hovering in mid-air, waiting for him to pound it right out of the park. That isn't "low-hanging fruit"; that's fruit that fucking drops off the tree, floats inside the house, washes and peels itself, and then arranges itself nicely on a plate with some cheese and crackers. That's a no-effort, no-risk, easy-peasy-squeezy trip to the hay, right there.

Now, my friend--part of the reason women liked him so much stemmed from the fact that he didn't really seem to care all that much about whether or not he had one in his life. Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" was practically his theme song in the 90s. He could take or leave them...and they respond to that shit, regard it as a challenge. Him not reacting to their "flanged mace to the skull"-level hints probably only made them want him more.

And these were not exactly plain women, either. I don't know what the former one looked like, but the latter one was easily a seven and probably an eight; I didn't really look at her all that much.

The real hell of it is, there were probably a few times when I was given some slow pitches, myself, and missed them, because I could not imagine a female being interested in me; but then again if anything like that did happen, it was never anything as blatantly obvious as these two incidents. Chicks just dug that guy.

All of this is academic; it was thirty years ago. As for me, I'm very happily married now, and would not change a thing, because everything that happened to me in my life made me into the man my wife wanted to marry. But I still can't help it when this kind of thing hits me.

* * *

Related:

...having lunch at Sears Business Centers in 1990 with some of the other office staff. The receptionist is talking about this potato soup having a lot of pepper in it: "It really grabs you!"

Sales assistant says sheepishly, "I wish I'd get grabbed." Then she realizes I'm there, and apologizes to me.

I didn't know why she was apologizing.

Hours later I was sitting in DC Circuit Analysis, and the current example being run through by the prof was just dull enough that my mind wandered and I started thinking about that conversation again. And then it clicked. If I wrote it, it would read thus: "'I wish I'd get grabbed.' poink She's HORNY!"

...and I clamped my jaws against an involuntary yelp of surprise, barely keeping it from getting out. It made sense then--the apology, I mean. I never regarded her as nubile (we were both in relationships) or even particularly attractive (she was only moderately pretty) but when I realized what was going on, the thought and the images that came with it were so out of specification for the situation I was in--dry lecture about the behavior of passive components in a circuit with a constant voltage--the sudden shifting of gears in my brain was almost too much for me.

The incident didn't change how I viewed her, because WTF of course she wanted to, eh, "do things" with her boyfriend. Her admission of her mental state was not meant to be a come-on, but a comment made among "the girls", her having temporarily forgotten that I was there.

Which, y'know, explains a lot, anyway. I got treated like "one of the girls" every time I ended up in a female-dominated workplace. They never saw me as a man; to them I was just a particularly ugly woman, and might as well have been a piece of furniture.

Oh, that does wonders for my self-esteem.

* * *

...which reminds me of working in the nursing home, and this one CNA there--I can't adequately describe what she was like to work with, except that she was ordinarily friendly and considerate. Pretty, smart, snarky, maybe a little bit brassy--but not in a bad way. I wasn't interested in her, for a variety of reasons, but the main one was that she was too young for me. (Her: 18-ish. Me: 36. Twice her age, almost old enough to be her father. Now that I think about it, she treated me like an uncle, and I was completely fine with that.) Then, one time, this guy she had met (a fireman) came to the place, and I caught a glimpse of how she acted in front of him--and struggled not to laugh my ass off.

Because "smart, snarky, brassy" was being very carefully hidden behind this "innocent doe-eyed cutie" act. I mean, she was doing everything but casting her eyes down and drawing circles on the floor with her toes. It was bleeding obvious that she really liked that guy, and the face she was showing him was so utterly different from what I normally saw of her, it was pretty funny. As much as I wanted to, out of courtesy I didn't stay and watch the whole scene.

* * *

And of course I can't discuss this kind of stuff without at least linking to the epic cringe episode. "Slow pitch, over the plate", and holy shit did I muff that one. *sigh*