It's so damn funny to watch this.
And Ann calls Barak Hussein Obama "Obambi". I love Ann Coulter.
* * *
Just in time department:
Last night I gutted it up and put my air conditioner into the window.
Projected high temp for today: 90°.
The air conditioner was bought new in July of 2004--a month shy of four years ago--and I knew it would need cleaning. Also, I wanted to drill a hole in the underside to allow condensation to drain; thanks to the way the storm windows are, this thing can't be installed at a steep enough angle for it to drain properly.
In 2004 I filed a notch in the rear bottom of the frame, but for some reason the water will no longer flow from that hole, so I drilled a new one.
The evaporator was about half-clogged with lint. Even though I periodically remove and clean the filter. I suppose this was stuff that got through the filter. Anyway, ten minutes with an old toothbrush got that crap out.
The condensor, however, is inaccessible. There's a nice big shroud around the fan, and there is no way to remove the damn thing because it's sealed into the unit with double-sided tape, and there is no slack whatsoever in the refrigerant piping from the condensor to the compressor. I did what I could with compressed air, which wasn't very much, but if I tried to remove that fan shroud I'd bet dollars to donuts that I'd end up cracking a refrigerant pipe, making this thing a paperweight...and not a good one.
Still, with the evaporator clean, air can actually flow past it again; and while testing it last night I could feel the breeze from it several feet away, again, as I could when it was new.
In general, air conditioners of this type are not built to be maintained; you use it until it clogs up and then go buy a new one. But I hate doing that--screw all that stuff about the environment and shit; I just hate wasting money on a new appliance when the only thing wrong with the current unit is literally that it is dirty.
But machinery in this class is not made for that; it's made to be assembled as quickly and cheaply as possible. ChAD (Cheap And Dirty) assembly is good for low-cost merchandise but it always guarantees that you won't be able to get the thing apart again unless you don't care about ever reassembling it.
So I'll have to find a way to do that, I suppose, if I want to use this thing next year. Or the year after, perhaps. I'd just feel a lot better about the efficiency of this thing if I could get the condensor cleaned.
Still, how many people bother with this kind of stuff? I think a lot of people look at their AC and think it's perfectly fine as long as it works. Well, an air conditioner might keep you cool but if the radiators aren't clean, it's going to use more power than it would if they were. On the other hand, most people don't know enough about machines to do more than break shit at random. They'd probably try to clean it with the thing still, plugged in and electrocute themselves. Then their surviving relatives would sue the company that made the thing. *sigh*
* * *
It's about 6:15 and I can already tell it's going to be a hot and sticky day. It's already seventy degrees outside.
The hygrometer in my time-temp-humidity desk clock says it's 72% humidity in here. Weather underground reports a dewpoint of 71-odd degress, and a temp of 73. Sticky. Philippines sticky.
* * *
Last night, as I was gearing up to put the AC in the window, naturally the storms started.
We had nice ordinary summer thunderstorms for about three hours or so. I had intended to wait it out, but it became clear that we were in for hours of rain. I surprised myself by getting the AC into the window and properly emplaced without having to go outside at all.
My AC is set off-center, because my dresser is in front of that window. When I got the AC in 2004 I cut a blanking plate from a piece of 3/4" plywood, painted one side white, and use(d) it to block off the other half of the window. I set the unit on the windowsill, leave the accordion thingies collapsed against the side of the AC unit, slip the blanking plate in next to it, and presto! I've got the entire window blocked, one way or another.
The plate is just wide enough that I have to slightly compress the accordion thingy on one side to get it to slip in; and then it stays there long enough for me to lower the sash and get everything secured.
I really should have lowered the screen and storm window, but I can do that from outside and it's not critical to the operation of the AC; it's just an additional mechanical force holding the AC unit in place.
* * *
Well, I'm finally done with Da Capo, which I have taken to calling Clannad Lite because of its heavy usage of "now cry" situations.
It started out as a light, fun story, but the last handful of episodes were tedious "tearjerker soap opera mishmash WTF" eps. From the nekomimi turning back into a cat, to the android girl dying, to all the BS between what's-his-face and the pseudo-loli girl and his (not actually related to him) little sister--WTF.
I don't know if I'll start with the next series of this, or not. I actually split my attention between the last ep and the latest issue of Model Railroader, for crying out loud.
Anyway, ep 7--which was DVD-only, and just released--of Wolf and Spice worked well as a stand-alone story. Which is good, because I sure as hell wouldn't have remembered what was going on.
Lamune seems harmless. I hope there is fan service. A shot from the end credits, of six girls in bikinis, lends hope.
Ep 2 of Mokke was fun, too. I think I can seriously like this series if they don't screw it up.
Kimikiss Pure Rouge has started DVD release, and I discovered that it has zero rewatchability. I watched about half of ep 1, and then went on to the next item in my playlist rather than sit through it. It was tedious.
The main character's forced inability to recognize Mao was most of my dissatisfaction with it. She and her parents moved to France two years ago and anus-boy doesn't recognize her? Because she's not wearing glasses? WTF. It's such a shame, too, because all the girls in the series are so cute, but I doubt I'll watch this again, at least not any time soon.
Moetan ep 8 went extra-heavy on fan service. El Cazador ep 2 gave me hope that it's not going to be a "grim and gritty" series, at least not too much so; a development I thought was a sure thing failed to happen, and I was happy that was so.
* * *
I reread two short stories of mine last night.
I've been reading an anthology of "the best" short SF short stories from 1993, and I am convinced that only a couple of them are any damn good at all.
One of the good ones is Charles Sheffield's "Georgia on My Mind", about a pair of computer experts who find evidence that Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine was built and operated in New Zealand, by a couple who then went off to the island of South Georgia to meet with--according to documents left behind--the "cold-loving people", as they are called by the Maori: aliens. It's a great story.
The rest of the book? I've found myself paging past story after story, as very few of them caught my attention at all.
There's one story which is told, in part, from the viewpoint of a dog with cyborg enhancements. I read only those parts of the story, not the parts from "third person limited omniscient", and it was fine. In other words, about 60% of the story was utterly unnecessary.
There's a story about a team of people spelunking in Miranda, a moon of Uranus; that's a pretty entertaining read. But the stories about the fucked-up baby savior of the world ("Cush") and the one about alien bootleggers--boring as all get-out. I skimmed them.
There are stories in that book which, by any and all rights, ought to be interesting, but just aren't. The story about the rogue scientist hiding in a bioengineered rainforest, for example, should be fascinating--but it's dull.
And these are long short stories, too. (Wait, is that an oxymoron?) Some are probably closer to novella length. They could have benefitted, IMHO, from a really good editing.
So I turned to my own stuff which--by definition--suits me better. I wrote a short story about a psychic helping the police solve a serial murder case--only this psychic is actually psychic. There was another one about a guy who prevents a terror attack (one volley of a 9/11-style attack, only larger) and his life afterward, told from the viewpoint of a reporter who is trying to get a story.
I found these a lot more entertaining than most of that book.
This is the kind of hubris which prompts people to try to get their stuff published: looking at something which has been published and thinking, I write better than this shit! Only I haven't submitted anything. (Yet.)
Got to work on that.
* * *
One of the little chores I have to attend to today is buying a replacement blade for the Awesome. I kind of ran over a rock with it on Monday, which stopped the motor dead; I didn't even try to restart it--not with a compromised blade. It'll be out of balance, for one thing. (Come to think of it, I wonder if it'll even run now? Theoretically I could have twisted the crank with that shit, which would turn the Awesome into scrap metal.)
* * *
While I'm at K-mart picking up a new blade for the Awesome I may go buy a MP3 player. They've got a 1 GB model by "Coby Electronics" (read: cheap Chinese junk) for $15. I'm willing to risk $15 on something like that sucking ass.
The last time I bought an extra-cheap personal stereo, I got lucky: I bought an "AudioPhase" CD player for $30--back when that was cheap for a portable CD player--and it turned out to be quite good, a lot better than I'd expected it to be.
I had bought it to replace a Sony Discman that cost about 3x what that thing cost. The Sony had died because its spindle had broken: the little spring-loaded ball bearings which retained the CD had broken loose, rendering the thing incapable of holding the CD well enough to play disks.
Seeing that the AudioPhase had the same sort of thing, I tried to pry it off, and bent the spindle. *sigh* So I bought another AudioPhase, and I still use that one.
In fact, I use it more than I use my Rio Volt, which is a CD-type MP3 player. The Rio is nice, but it takes forever to get going when you stick a CD in, and it's hard to manage the controls in the dark.
I like to sit in my rocking chair, in the dark, and listen to music with my eyes closed; it helps me relax and think divergently, which is useful when you like writing stories. But the Volt's playback controls are arranged on a single round control thing and you can't tell by touch which is which, so I have to keep the thing in a very precise orientation so as to be able to skip tracks I don't feel like hearing. (Which is useful when you're listening to a disk with 650 MB worth of MP3s on it.)
With the AudioPhase, I just have to make sure to have a stack of CDs handy, and then go through them one-by-one--if I cogitate for that long, which is infrequent at best these days.
Because I have the Rio, though, I don't need an MP3 player all that much--Ipod, Zune, WTF--and in fact don't want one. I do keep thinking that this nifty cassette MP3 player would be a good investment for those times when I'm at work, doing Receiving. A 2 GB SD card can hold a lot of MP3s, and I wouldn't have to rely on the battered boom box in Receiving reading my work CDs anymore. They tend to get scuffed up in my
* * *
I've been doing another experiment with Diablo II lately.
I started a new character, then--using a character editor--set things up so the brand-new character could start out in "Hell" mode. At first level.
To ensure the character had a ghost of a chance of surviving, I gave her (a Sorceress) 2,000 hit points and bumped her stats to 60 each, bumped her mana to around 500, and gave her one skill point in each skill.
Went out, killed two monsters, and hit second level.
Since then I've been continuing to play this character, and partway through the "Lord of Destruction" expansion chapter, she's 76th level going on 77th. This is in "speed" mode, where I skip doing anything that isn't strictly necessary.
Regardless of everything I tried--even giving characters a charm which granted a 461% experience point bonus on each kill--I could not get a character above 50th level by the end of the game in "normal" mode. That's going into every dungeon, killing everything possible, walking through the entire map of each chapter several times, etc, etc. The next run-through in "nightmare" mode would get maybe another 20-odd levels; and going through in "hell" mode would just add a handful more.
Once I complete this, my next experiment will start a character from the same beginning state, nore or less, only this time I'll add that magic "+461% EP" charm to the equation, and go kill everything and go into all the dungeons, and see what happens.
* * *
In the original version of the Monty Python sketch "Crunchy Frog", the character played by John Cleese refers to his sidekick as "Constable Clitoris". Naturally they sanitized it for television, but I can't remember what the good constable's name was in the TV version.
"Constable Clitoris et one of those," John Cleese says indignantly. It's pretty funny.
I named my latest D2 character "Offr_Clitoris" as an homage to this.
* * *
Last Friday, BBC was running a couple of MP episodes about the same time that Sarah Jane Stories was on. The first ep of the latter show was a rerun, so I watched MP instead.
But BBC had started the shows late, so just as the ep of MP was getting around to the "Killing Joke" sequence, I had to switch channels to SciFi to find out how SJS turned out.
I reasoned that I had seen the "Killing Joke" sequence so much that I know it almost by heart, where the SJS ep was new.
"Wenn ist den Nünstück git und slötermayer? Ja! Beierhund, das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput."
...oops. If I have any native German readers, I think I just killed them.