atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#944: Tuesday, it's cold, and I hate everything.

I've just been in an extremely foul mood since Monday, and I don't know why. I alternate between wanting to take a vacation, and wanting to activate my (fortunately non-existent) doomsday device which will destroy the world, nay, the universe. Argh etc. I am in "not safe for fabrics" mode, for reasons which are beyond me, and so...

The news of Gary Gygax's passing only serves to anger me. I'm probably the 40,002nd person to link to the Order of the Stick page about it.

D&D is the most successful RPG of all time, and he invented the freakin' thing. Gygax passing away is like Tolkien passing away, damn it.

* * *

Something else that annoys me: French astronaut growing plants in space. Wow, what a brave new world we live in, where frenchmen can grow plants in space. This is an unprecedented day in the world of science and space exploration.

OMG!!! Plants won't grow in microgravity the same way they do on Earth! Why, this frenchman is a genius! Let's give him his own space station!

I am utterly dumbfounded.

* * *

Yaay! I'm seeing reports that Hillary took Ohio and Texas. That means the battle for the Demograt nomination will continue! Right down to the wire, baby!

On my side of the aisle, it's going to be McCain. *sigh* Well, McCain is better than Hillary.


* * *

Surprisingly, I managed to build a vortex gun almost by accident.

I noticed that a CD will fit perfectly over the top of a rice bowl. And if you tap the CD, then, the thing emits a puff of air which can be felt quite far from the assemblage.

I want to test it with some incense, but haven't gotten around to that part yet. It'd be nice to see the vortex as it moves.

Ah, random science. Where would I be without you?

Probably doing something useful.

* * *

On the plus side, when I took Mom on her monthly smokes run, I had been planning to buy gas in Indiana where it's cheaper.


But the "low fuel" light in the Jeep was on for the first time since the day I bought it, so I yielded to my worries about running out of fuel and tanked up before we left. It took $50 worth of gas (at $3.10 per gallon) without filling completely.

...then when we were in Indiana I saw that gas was ten cents more per gallon there than it is here. $3.20! WTF! Normally it's 3-5 cents cheaper there! What the hell is going on in Indiana now?

But if I'd toughed it out--and if we had, in fact, had enough gas to get us to a station in Indiana--I would have had to pay $0.10 more per gallon rather than the 0.05 less I was expecting. So it did, in fact, work out rather well.

(What? Why not put some gas in in IL and then fill up the rest of the way in IN? Because we had a fricking cold northeastern gale blowing today, right off the frickin' lake, and there was no way I was going to make two stops for gas. NO.)

* * *

At work last night we took our third break at the warehouse, and having nothing else to do I read a Scion brochure someone had left there.

Half of the thing is a magazine for hipsters and it's about the stupidest crap I've seen in a long time. Articles were credited this way: "Words by Joe Blow". "Words by"? You use that when someone writes a libretto for a song, not when he writes an article.

The other half was devoted to Scion's lineup of three (count 'em, three) vehicles. The xB, the xD, and the tC. Half of the options for the things are stupid things like "carbon fiber dashboard applique" and such. O boy! It looks like it's made from carbon fiber! Sign me up!" And if you're really hardcore you can get a TRD (that's "Toyota Racing Development", by the way) oil cap and radiator cap! Oooo! That'll add several horsepower right there!

(All "TRD" makes me think of, when I see it, is "TURD".)

If you buy a TRD supercharger, and have it installed by a dealership, it'll be covered under the powertrain warranty. If you install it yourself, it'll be a 12-month/12,000 mile deal instead. But that supercharger is the only real performance option they offer. Everything else is for looks.

The base engine on the tC is a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder. Oh, wait; it's the only engine offered on that model. In fact, none of these cars have engine options. (If you want the supercharger, you can't buy it at the same time that you buy the car. I'm not sure why, but they made sure to say so in the catalog.)

I weep to think about how much printing those brochures must have cost Toyota. Thick paper, glossy, at least forty sheets, glue binding--none of that is cheap. But the tC is the only halfway-decent-looking car in their lineup; the xD and xB look like ass. Boxy ass.

Well, it's not really my problem, I guess. I have to say that the interior designs of the cars look fairly decent--certainly better than many GM and Chrysler products I've seen over the years. (I decided against buying a Neon in 1996, in part, because the interior looked like shit. Cheap-ass shit, at that.)

* * *

Today, in order to bring the house up to code, we had a plumber come in and add a "box" to our plumbing.

Like many houses, ours has a utility sink in the basement. It used to be that sump pumps drained right into the sewage system. But Crete's system can't handle that anymore, not with all the new construction (I assume), so now the sump--which contains basically groundwater--is to be drained outside of the house onto the ground.

But that leaves the problem of what one is to do with the wastewater from washing clothes. As it stood before today, the sink merely drained into the sump. This worked when the sump was pumped into the sewer; but we can't do that anymore. And since our washing machine (and the utility sink from which it gets its water, and into which it drains) is below the level of the sewer pipe, the wastewater must be pumped into the sewer; it won't drain there via gravity.

We had a workaround--a sump pump in the sink, which we never use anyway--but that wasn't enough for the Village of Crete. And so today we had a couple plumbers come in.

The system they installed consists of a box that's a bit more than 1.5 cubic feet into which the sink drains. There's a sump pump in it, which pushes the water into the sewer line.

In other words, it's about 75% of what we already had in place.

If I had known what they were intending, I would have installed that shit myself and saved about $300 in labor. I'm positive I could have bought everything I needed at a home improvement store and done the exact same job in the same time it took them, because they used PVC piping for everything and just plugged the pump into where the other pump went.

But, oh well: I'll know for the next time, if there ever is one.

* * *

I think I'll go back to bed now.

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