Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More solids into liquids and gasses

Coats, soothes, relievesThank you!! I was hoping you'd be a fascinating luncheon companion, but little did I dream you'd be regaling me with the consistancy of your bowel movements!
-- The Frantics, "A Piece Of Pie"

<-- Look, a Pepto-Bismol pink car! It's for sale.

The state of my innards (thanks for asking) is really bizarre. Ever since last Thursday stuff has been flying out my exhaust port, but not in a consistant manner. I keep seeing dinner but not breakfast, go figger. Warning: This blog entry is what the Internet was created for. My intestinal schedule has been such:
Thursday: didn't know there was a problem until I spent a lot of time in Idle purging my bowels.
Friday: Everything was fine all day, then when I got home from work at 10pm I went out to dinner with my wife and her sister. Afterwards spent an hour or so in the bathroom of a 24 hour Wal-Mart while they shopped for clothes.
Saturday: Not a thing came out of me beside wind. I figured my intestines were reloading from being totally voided... and realized I'd not soon need one of those colon cleaner products they advertise in infomercials.
Sunday: Figured all was well again, or until night fell and I was in the john on and off. Was able to identify components of the fajita I'd had at Applebee's hours prior (and was surprised the cilantro was intact) so once again my tubing is empty.
Monday: Took the day off from work, went to the doctor, the lab asked for a stool sample... and I was flat empty. Spent 20 minutes in the office trying, nothin', and the lab was going to close in an hour so it's now or later. I want to know what's up now! not in several days. It took 12 hours before I had anything to offer (that's 3am when the need awoke me and kept my attention for awhile).
Tuesday: Nothing out of me so far but my guts and kidneys hurt slightly, so I'm squirming a bit... and I'm a little nauseous. Dropped off my little gift at the lab so they can enjoy it.
Richard, the Wild Man of Branch Road
Aren't you glad to be reading this? Hopefully the lab/doctor will get back to me soon with an explanation of what's going on so we can remedy it, it's really distracting. As my wife said (who also seems to be having tummy trouble), having churning guts runs counter to going to a food festival so this had better pass by the weekend. And yes, I will be going. More importantly to me, driving two hours and hanging around with friends after that runs counter to having to visit the restroom frequently. At right is a photo of my old friend Richard, half of the "Corny & Horny" as we were known in elementary school, one of the assclowns who didn't bother showing up for the reunion cuz he preferred to sit in his room and get stoned; don't let the hair fool you -- he gets more tail than a toilet seat. (How's that for a segueway?)

Traveling out of my gut and into the real world: I've seen something really annoying on teevee lately, mostly perpetrated by the Ford Motor Company but I'm sure others are guilty too. There are these ads praising cars as revolutionary gas savers with numbers like 27!!! miles per gallon, 28!!! miles per gallon, ZOMFG 30 miles per gallon!!LOLROTFLMAO!! ... er, those are low figures, what the hell is up with this promotion? Those numbers are not revolutionary, they're sort of embarassing. My 2002 Saturn SL1 gets 34-37 highway miles to the gallon but no one goes apeshit over it. (Speaking of, some of the new Saturn models for 2007 look awesome but don't get good gas mileage, hmmm.) As those fine upstanding gentlemen in Public Enemy advised us, don't believe the hype.

You're the Betty Crocker of the bathroom! -- ibid.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I can't dial my Imodium

Haven't written the Daybook entry yet -- expect that by one minute until midnight Saturday. I promise. Have updated the Spackle page, and am getting annoyed by the guestbook spammer because he isn't using the webform (which I have removed) to do his work; he must have a submission script that goes directly to Earthlink's posting system, bypassing the webform. Short of changing the email address/URL of the site, I can't figure a way to get it to stop. Mush SMASH! Life otherwise is okay though my innards are pent (gotta lay off the fuzzy cheese, I suppose) and one of my coworkers is singing the 'Meow Mix Theme'. Meow! This has been counteracted by the customer, who said she couldn't hear me because she "must have beans in my ears" and that got me humming 'Beans In My Ears' by the Serendipity Singers. (BTW, the lyrics on that page do not exactly match the recording I have; the page repeats lines that are only sung once.) There has been great weather when I go on my lunchtime constitutional -- and it is swimsuit season at the beachlet plus I go past the city pool, so it has definitely been beautiful outside -- Spook of the Pearne Houseand that's helping to improve my attitude a wee bit. Or until I take some calls by people who can't think and chew gum at the same time, harshing my mellow...

Something in me was looking for an epiphany, some change or gain of wisdom, from the 20 year reunion. I'd probably be disappointed that I didn't have one if I could put my finger on what it was I had hoped to learn. I noodled over the dusty impressions on the wall where I thought a sign may have resided but I couldn't prove it, and that thing I've said to my bipolar beloved a few times came back to me: in times of tension between the ears she's questioned the purpose of life, and I've had to say, "you're assuming there IS a purpose which isn't being met." We live, we die. We consume, that's what we do. And the only "purpose" I can think of is to do good things for others and make ourselves comfortable; every person cannot become world-famous for some great accomplishment or discovery, so we have to be valued in what we can do with those we are able to touch. I guess the one thing I picked up was that the people I have long loathed aren't too bad afterall... if you wait 20 years, only handle two dozen of them, and only spend five hours around them, that is. Time heals all wounds and wounds all heels, as someone said. Still, I could have used an epiphany of some sort just as a souvenir. I suppose some great pictures and a solo adventure to savor will suffice.

Coming up next on my calendar: The Taste Of Tacoma is coming up June 30-July 2, which coincides with the Tech Support Comedy annual Northwest picnic and pillowfight (this year it's in Portland, OR) so I am requesting Friday the 30th off so I can attend both events; then two weeks later is Nile Valley Days in, duh, the Nile Valley above Naches, WA. (That's usually the third weekend of July, so it's a good thing I stopped by Jim Sprick Park [right of the pointer, alongside 410] on my way through there to find out... Say that name three times fast!) This weekend? No clue, but I'll find out soon enough. To follow the intended theme of this blog: if the Workforce Mangling dept at work fails to give me Friday the 30th off, that will truly be a stupidity.

Friday, June 16, 2006

We're all bozos on this bus. --Firesign Theatre

I survived my high school reunion just fine. I guess Cheryl (who didn't show up after telling me ten years ago she would) was right: it takes about twenty years before people mature enough to be tolerable. I figure this is because most of them have gotten married, had kids, and potentially have grandkids by that time... those things will grow a person up. But we also discovered that this isn't a cure-all; the people who organized this event discovered that half of the people in our class are still in or within 20 miles of town, yet not many of them showed up. Someone speculated that people have busy lives and so forth, and I said "Maybe so, but at this moment Johnny (who told people the reunion was cancelled!) is over at Richard's house getting stoned. They are not busy." cherries - Zillah, WA The total number of people who showed up was around 20, which out of a class of 90 -- and as said, many of which are still within a half-hour's drive -- isn't so great, but as I told Lori who was venting about how much work went into trying to get folks to attend, she held up her end and it was the rest of the class that dropped the ball. To avoid blathering on about people you don't know (or maybe do) I'll take the full discussion of the reunion to the Daybook of Say Something Cryptic. I'm a month and a half overdue on writing a monthly entry there anyhow, and will get around to that sometime soon. To follow up on what I said here last week... The people I was wary of seeing either mellowed out or didn't attend. The people I wanted to see didn't attend, but I had fun nonetheless. And that girl must have gotten over that phase because she's now married with two kids. The coppers in the old home town didn't notice me because there was an ABATE motorcycle club event downtown -- welcome to Sturgis, Washington!! The coppers of the next town over did notice me when I was going from my parents' house to the cemetary where my esteemed forebears reside, but that's because I had a brake light out, which I didn't know about until they informed me! The party ended around 11 p.m. (but was scheduled until 1 a.m.) so I drove the 200 miles home and hit the sheets around 2:30 a.m. Sunday -- and outside of maybe six hours (being social with visiting in-laws, a visit to the auto parts store and the turning of a star-head screwdriver, dining on Mexican food) I stayed in bed until 9:30 a.m. Monday. And a public apology: I'm sorry I didn't call you, Alene, but I told you I would be roaming around and couldn't commit to hooking up with you... as it turned out, had I seen anyone along the way -- and I did try to visit my parents, who were elsewhere in their RV -- I wouldn't have made it to all the places I wanted to go before sundown.

I did go on the photo spree I had hoped for, taking that segueway... There's a backroad between Yakima and Ellensburg that snakes along the Yakima River, and decades ago it went through this tunnel in the side of the hill. Somewhere during my lifetime they closed off the tunnel and followed a lower path, but you can walk up the old road (there's a parking area at one end) or, as I am prone to do, climb up the hillside, to get to that tunnel. I snapped some pix, and my legs are rather sore right now from the slide back down the hill. I also took a trip out to the Pioneer Cemetary in the Wenas Valley above Selah to visit some folks I could never have met, and took a few pictures... reshoots of some stuff I'd put in a Photo.net gallery in 2003, but not the entire set. And I found some ghost writing in downtown Toppenish I had never seen before -- you live in place for 20 years and you think you know where everything is? -- plus did an update of the postcard as you see below:
Downtown Toppenish 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gimme shum Pepshi and Sheeds wit my Shammon!

I am two days away from my 20 year high school reunion. I'm not nervous about going, or seeing any particular person, or any of the usual nonsense beside the weather since it's been raining lately and I have 175 miles to drive, and hoping that the small-town coppers don't notice my presence. [That's mostly a joke.]A form of blackmail The thing that's in the backwaters of my mind making swamp gas smells is how I feel about these people. I have no enemies (or among my class; the aforementioned coppers might have another opinion) but I can't really say I have any friends in that group... other than a couple guys I lost touch with in the late 1980's, so they don't count anymore, and I had a lot of acquaintances I'd known for ten years of public schooling, some closer than others. I think of at least one girl I was interested back in junior high that never gave me the time of day and to this day (when I mentioned that midpubescent interest at our 10 year reunion) still hasn't a moment to spare. I'm betting she prefers women. Sometimes I think what I feel is anger, or possibly hate, or just simple ennui... and ennui is definitely preferable, it takes less work and is more accurate. A smattering of people left me with a unpleasant taste in my brain, and rare individuals demonstrated some form of human compassion. It wasn't just the quest for opportunities that did not exist in that town which made me move away, or the pursuit of the woman I eventually married; it was the need to get away from the cyclical redundancy errors and stagnation... and stagnated. "But why would you come back to see these clowns if you despise them so much?" you may ask. Because it's an inside joke; familiarity breeds contempt but it's familiar. I must see what has become of these people I live happily without, whether they're happy with who they have become and whether I am happy with what they have evolved into. And I swear not to take anyone or anything seriously, which is the one lesson I learned from my ten year reunion: out here nothing changes, not in a hurry anyway as a song by Gowan said. The jocks and preps became teachers and state employees, but they were still jocks and preps. And I want to be there to witness this, this time with the attitude: "ah ha ha ha! no matter where they've gone, they're STILL jocks and preps!" rather than what I thought a decade ago: "boo hoo, I'm making a dime above minimum wage at Pizza Slut and they're now teachers and state employees." Things have changed. I am happy and comfortable. They still are dorks. ;-)

The other thing I'm going to do while I'm back in that area is shoot a cardload of photos... the Pioneer Cemetary in the Wenas Valley, the old Canyon Highway tunnel (and the only bug-free without insecticides peach tree in the county outside the entrance), a wander through downtown Yakima for old signs, and to stand out front of the Liberty Theatre to shoot an updated version of this postcard which nancyo23 posted on Flickr:
Toppenish - 1960's

Monday, June 12, 2006

Plant a tree in your belly button to make navel contemplation more serene

Okay, time for the latest update in the saga! I transferred the prescription for Lamisil to Costco, which was fifty bucks cheaper per month... however, being Costco, or because the prescription as it was written was for 45 pills, the bill was $495. Are my toenails worth a grand? Must be, I've started taking the Lamisil. Itsy bitsy spider Did I mention earlier that the doctor said that Lamisil is 75% effective and has a 50% recurrence rate? Guess I gotta start changing my socks daily and wearing more than one pair of shoes. (But I only have one pair of shoes I like or that are intact!) Have also taken something to try to clear up some skin problems I've been having, which was rather amusing -- by doctor's orders: take these two tablets, wait a couple hours, then go do yardwork to get really sweaty (it was lawn mowing day anyway on Sunday so I wore a sweatshirt), then hang around like that for six hours before bathing. I smelled funky-musky by the day's end, ooh-wee! Where's that patchouli and a hemp knit hat? This is the only time my neighbors will ever see me wander around the front yard without a shirt, I assure you; I was the kid who wouldn't take off his shoes to do foot tracings in the first grade [Mom, that drawing you have in the closet? Those are Casey Allen's feet] and in high school always wore grey terry sweatpants under his gym shorts during phys ed class as well as cross country practice (and my coach really didn't approve of how I also wore them under my uniform at meets too!), so showing my manly boobies in public is really outside normal expectations. And a gender double-standard, too, but that's another story.

I've been having fun with a few people on a web forum lately; it seems that when a person has pieces of one's self available for public perusal, anyone can have a look and make judgements. (Think similar to: There was a news story out yesterday about how employers check MySpace to see what kind of person they're talking to, and I once made the mistake of telling a Microsoft interviewer the URL to Say Something Cryptic as proof that I can freehand HTML code in Notepad.) Some pseudo-religious kaffee klatch latched onto me like a hungry bulldog on a hambone, due to a difference in opinion as to what is art. [Blogger is not letting me insert a graphic right now, grrr.] What I found most amusing about their assault was that when their profiles were viewed, half of the the taskforce didn't offer any details about themselves and the other half only had photos of themselves in sensuous positions or bare-ass nekkid. Irony overload! And so I had to say after the smoke started to clear:
As pot/kettle as this is, the funniest irony I've ever seen was when prop-comic/watermelon smasher Gallagher nearly got into a punch-up with balloon-wearer/Elvis impersonator Skip Banks over the subject of "artistic merit", backstage at the Western Washington Fair, 1998. One actually used the phrase "at least I have an act" on the other...
I hope that group will go back to whatever it was they were doing before they looked me up out of the clear blue sky. Especially 'KinksLola', who has a lot of wise words quoted but no intelligent things of her own to say. Sigh, I know, this is like that picture that was passed around awhile back of a track runner with Downs Syndrome, which was captioned "Arguing on the Internet is like being first in a Special Olympics race -- you may have won but you're still retarded."

Today's moral and object lesson:
How NOT to steal a Sidekick
In a nonviolent, legalistic way: kick their thieving asses!!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Preferred Provider Organization ate my balls

So for the continuing saga... If you can't get it up with this braless chick before you, give up! The doctor's aide called to say that my insurance company won't flip for Lamisil unless I'm diabetic. My pancreatic functions are fine, thank you, so it looks like I gotta pay $385 for a 30 day supply of Digger-destroyer pills. And the regimen is supposed to be 90 days, with a fainting spell blood test halfway through. Are my toenails worth $1200? Let's consult the Captain & Tenille: "My mama told me you'd better shop around." Don't you love it when your insurance company knows more about your medical needs than your doctor? It must be helpful that insurance companies are not bound by the Hippocratic Oath like your doctor, particularly the prevention is preferable to cure part... unless the words of payment are inserted after the word "prevention". My wife says she gets the same response when her podiatrist recomments orthotics for her shoes -- that unless she's diabetic, they won't pay. She works in a library and is on her feet 8 hours a day, and their response to being told that detail was (I'm not making this up) "why don't you get a different job then?"

Okay, a serious stupidity has arisen in Mushy's occupation. A new PDA-phone has become available, and it looks and acts pretty damn slick. Ug! Ug! Ug! Ug! Being in-house demo models, we couldn't try out all the online functions. It wasn't until the calls started coming in that a huge problem built into the device became apparent. Most people use their PDA-phones to send quick emails and check their email on the go, with the intention of using their home or work computers as their main email viewing/manipulation source (especially since PDAs can't open some document types or edit most document formats). Well, this new doodad -- which has a version of Microsoft's Outlook on it, the king of mail clients -- lacks a "leave mail on server" setting. Most PDAs have such a toggle, or if they don't it's okay because they don't remove mail from the server when it's been read or deleted from the PDA. Not this one, noooo, it does delete the mail from server after being collected, thus the computer never gets a crack at it. See how this could be problematic?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dead Formicidae tell no tales. -- Ernie Kovacs

My work schedule has changed from Sun-Thurs to Mon-Fri as of yesterday, ergo I had a rare 3 day weekend. My new friend I managed to find a span between rainfalls to mow the lawn, I visited the dermatologist, and I barbecued on both weekend days. So here I am at work, not really wanting to give top-notch customer service, and in my rush I left my driver's license and building access card at home. You'll see in the third paragraph why breakfast was a generic Pop-Tart and a double-chocolate cookie as I dashed out the door fifteen minutes late. Tangental thought: I was telling a coworker today about my absence of keycard while I sat at my desk eating my lunch (I wasn't going to leave the building once I got in!), and I realized that she's got one of the oddest "boobiedoos" I've ever seen -- usually this refers to having a belly that protrudes beyond one's bust, but in her case her paunch stuck out further than her tits, and what more the seam/zipper down the middle gave her junk-in-the-trunk the appearance of a fine butt in pocketless jeans! Wasn't sure which sense of aesthetics to believe, the delight or the disgust. Anyhow, here are a couple nature photos I took recently around the yard. The gastropod above is my new friend... I found him under some rocks when clearing some dead weeds from the yard. I moved him to the cattail pond and minutes later he was making a break for it.

The continuing saga of my prescriptions: Still no word from the insurance company about the Lamisil, ten days later. I want a job working in insurance claims, I could spend all day doing nothing but pissing people off! This is no bull! (Not that I don't already have such a job, but they do it so much more leisurely.) They had no issue approving the prescription I submitted on Friday for Nizoral, but as for the pharmacy... It was submitted Friday afternoon, and they said it'd be ready by 7pm. I got caught up doing fun stuff so didn't make it back in that day. I go in Saturday and there are signs up in the Walgreens pharmacy dept saying they're closed due to lack of staffing. Erm, alright... I go in there Sunday and they say it's not ready. Translation, they didn't actually attempt to meet their 7pm quote! (Even the bottle label says "promise: 5/3 5:33pm"!) It was ready soon after that and I'm going to hold off on taking it for a bit. The doctor had said that one takes this, then after a bit does some exercise to break a sweat to distribute the medication over the skin, then stay sweat-covered for six hours. Mowing the lawn is the best way of perspiring, and I did that on Saturday. So it'll be a bit longer before I have an excuse to do anything physical... grr.

Sometime last week, my bride discovered that there were little black ants wandering among the spice jars in the cupboard and across the range hood. It wasn't a large number, so we were squishing them as we found them. We decided that this would be a prime opportunity to redo the shelf paper in the cupboards, since we'd never really looked at the stuff which came with the house. Out with the sky-blue flowers, in with some beige marble on the upper 3 shelves and some 1970's mushroom Con-Tact paper I found in a thriftstore years ago for the lowest shelf. This also gave me more chances to squish ants, which seemed to materialize every few minutes to see what the commotion was. The contents of the cupboards were on the kitchen floor and drainboard for three days, ever in the way, while we tried to rid our home of ants and swap out the shelf paper. With the paper job done, we put the stuff back on the shelves in some semblance of order. (I say "some semblance" because after I got the spices arranged logically, she rearranged them illogically to make space for a tray to put Kool-Aid and seasoning packets in.) Spider ducking the rain in a rose I also put in a couple bait traps to get the little buggers. I got up this morning and go for a box of cereal... ANTS! All over the place! Muerte! Muerte! Apparently my breakfast products appealed to them, and I spent the time I usually use to eat breakfast and read the paper squashing, spraying, moving boxes, moving the boxes again when ants would emerge from underneath them and squashing some more. D'oh!! "Stupid bug! You go squish now!" -- Homer Simpson. Sprayed the hoard of ants on that freshly-papered now-empty shelf with pyrethrin like a bug-blastin' Rambo (complete with war cry), wipe up the wet cadavers and move a bait trap from under the stove up to that shelf; grab some food that's handy and antless off the drainboard, toss out the still-full box of Honey Bunches of Oats and last scoop of Trader Joe's Ginger Granola, and drive like NASCAR to get to work on time. And the first thing I did when I got to work, beside submit those three requests for replacement PDAs that I couldn't submit last Thursday due to system issue (the customers should have had those replacements in hand today), was got some aphids off my chocolate mint... with more of a vengeance than normal.

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