Thursday, February 28, 2008

What did I get on the SAT? Barbecue sauce!

First, a few words on today's image. Paige and I went to see Dante do a stand-up set at the local bowling alley yesterday, and he was amazingly funny. He's also quite personable and friendly as all getout. Me & Dante (minus Unfunny) He is however currently going out with his opening act, a physically attractive young lady whose wish upon a star is to be Sarah Silverman. However, the position of Sarah Silverman has already been filled by the real Sarah, so her act fell on its face. That detail didn't escape her. Anyhow, so after the show he was out in the lobby to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and sell his DVDs, and she was right with him. Paige and I came up to say hello, he offered an autographed headshot (yaaay!), and then he suggested a photo together. Dante tells his girlfriend to step aside so I can snuggle up with him. I handed my cell phone to Paige to take the picture, and shooting photos with a cell cam is a dicey enough proposition, which is why this is so blurry. She's standing in the middle of the lobby framing him and I up, when she jumps into the frame on my right shoulder -- which I was not aware of at the time because I'm wrapping myself around a famous comedian. Paige sees the intrusion, thinks she should ask her to get out of the picture but figures it would be rude to tell her to push off (but I would have done so had I noticed!), takes another step back to get the three of us in the frame, and shoots. We got home, I'm sorting through the pictures and find the two major faults with the photo, and unable to do anything about the sharpness of the image I improved the part I had power over by Photoshopping her out of it to restore what was supposed to be pictured.

So here's the status of the kitchen: The ceiling is done! What I wrote last week about the ceiling isn't how things played out. Yes, I think a very light green would have been great, but bright white is better. We decided that we wanted to apply a texture to the entire kitchen/diningroom ceiling to bring continuity -- what was up there was a fine orange peel on one side and an even finer orange peel on the other, with a diagonal division between the "rooms" which was probably created with masking tape in 1959. ceiling's done! Paige had painted white up there, as I mentioned, but the texture paint ("if we use texture paint rather than a texture spray covered with paint, we can have it done in one try") proved to be dull white, closer to vaguely yellow, so we DID have to paint over it anyway with bright white. Rolling on the texture paint was somewhat of a challenge because the texture roller put on too much and the regular wooly rollers put on nothing at all, so I wound up using a 6" edge roller on the entire ceiling. And by the time I ran out of white paint, there was still a 30' section left to go. But I made sure to take care of the two fixture areas and the fissure between "rooms" so those two trouble areas would be painted in a consistant color. Okay, once those were dry around 11pm, I decided to put the kitchen lights up at long last... it's only been since October we haven't had overhead lights in the kitchen. (And found some screws in the shed that would work; I still have no idea where the baggie with the real screws went.) So now we have light in the kitchen! But it's very direct task-lighting; the places where we work are illuminated but the kitchen as a whole is dark. Ugh. Time to move along to the countertop, backsplash, three walls, and floors...

Anything else I was contemplating saying here is slipping my mind so more words can wait until next week, which isn't that far away. Will toss out here that for a department that's going to be going away soon, we're sure bringing in new people at a fast clip. FIVE this week! In the morning it seems evenly matched, longtime employees and newbies, but after 2pm the ratio slides amusingly. And it's likely one of those vacancies which we're filling was caused by the termination of the least competent member of the crew, who everyone jokes about. Unfortunately the person who has taken his place (there was a one day overlap) is someone I worked with at a previous job (and our supervisor of the time hated with the fury of a thousand suns), so I know he's a completely different breed of annoying. The old guy may have been stupid but he smelled good and didn't provide Too Much Information about personal subjects to strangers, two attributes the new guy did not exhibit two years ago and doesn't now. My friend who was giving him some training today told me at lunch that I was right, he does truly reek of fungus or something ass-like and tells you unprompted about his health problems, to the point that my friend here (and I quote) wanted to pull his own testicles out. Such is life. Cheers...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Make no mistake, you're wrong

Courtney needs to show me those delicious boobies and tasty wide hips   I was handed some good news today: Remember last May, when I had my car checked out and they said I had $1500 and three days of repair work ahead of me? [refresher] The money for that has been saved up for a few months, and I think I mentioned the last time I called them they claimed to not have a record of what was said at that time. I also recall claiming the person who told me that was a complete frigging idiot once I was off the phone. Anyhow, my bride went to the dealership and found a competent person, who set up an appointment for Wednesday (day after tomorrow) for me to bring the car in, hooked us up with a presumably free rental (read: "service loaner" from Enterprise) so I can get to work, and it'll be done in one day. The quoted price for the work is the same, and they did find the earlier results afterall. I should bring up the brakes when we take it in.
   The kitchen work has sorta kinda almost started again. Yesterday I painted the patches and texturing I'd done last year, and discovered that the ceiling paint we'd been using in the livingroom is much brighter than the paint on the kitchen ceiling. Given the choice between painting the entire ceiling bright white (and there isn't enough paint in the can to do the whole thing) and finding a very very light green that would work with whatever shade of light green she intends to paint the walls, I think we'll go with the green. So that part of the project isn't done. I was going to mount the two lights in the middle of the kitchen because we haven't had overhead light in there in months, but it seems that when I took the four screws from the fixture boxes off the fridge (thinking they'd get thrown out or assimilated into something) and put them into a baggie for Safe Keeping then put the bag in a Safe Place... I'll be damned if I know where the hell I put that bag of screws. Well, we gotta paint anyway so not a huge loss, but I sense that after I buy new screws at the hardware store and get everything up and working, those missing four will rematerialize... probably two weeks later. The cabinet door cleaning has resumed, now that it's warm outside, and we have yet to ponder when the cabinets themselves will get five layers of latex paint and two layers of stain removed. (Paige has the week off so maybe we'll get there by next Monday?) And I have to vent this rant somewhere. *deep breath* Why does my wife put stuff in the middle of where work is being done, and it's usually stuff unrelated to either what we're doing or where we're doing it, then complains about how big a mess the place is and how there's always something in the way?! Which must be the collerary to her usual procedure, asking why things which are currently in use have not been put away, right in the middle of the project. I swear, there are times when I could be vacuuming up plaster dust in the kitchen and she'd prefer to move the canister vacuum to the livingroom entryway (and leave it there for two weeks).
   Here's a stupidity for you... The ballot which is supposed to be submitted tomorrow contains both the presidential primary and local school measures. Washington has this totally rediculous system where you have to declare a party (Rep or Dem) via a checkmark on the outside of your ballot (which itself was something Washington voters voted on a few years ago). Without a checkmark in a box, they discard your ballot. Serious. The votes for school measures aren't counted despite being completely unrelated to the thing they want people to claim a party on. As it is now, thousands of absentee ballots across the state have been tossed aside according to the evening news, which isn't fair to the schools, but it is nice to see that the idiots who voted for this system are being shown how stupid it is at last.
   And in the "scratched LP" department: Someone kindly explain how I bought enough gasoline for my commute at $2.95 a gallon at 9:00am from the place down the street, then when I was coming back home and did a fill-up at 8:00pm it was $3.05 at that same place?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Change your mind until it's just the way you want it

A "just-so-you-know" thought: Hansen's Natural Green Tea Soda, Lemon Mint flavor... tastes like aftershave. Dead serious, the flavor is like what my sainted grandfather used to smell like in the morning, Williams Lectric Shave. My stomach isn't sure what to do with it but my face feels refreshed. Will have to try the Ginger and the Pomegranate sometime. For Gabriella I found this at the Canned Food Warehouse, along with some 99¢ Scharffen-Berger chocolate bars (which is totally amazing, that stuff is usually $5/bar at the upscale markets). I guess there was one good thing about Hershey's obtaining that chocolatier...

Observation to make about the current political race, or at least in viewing the local media: The cover of the newspaper the other day had pictures of Clinton, Obama, and McCain, and under were brief statements of what they wanted to accomplish. The two Democrats' synopses were about things that matter to all people, like health care. McCain's synopsis merely said he was seeking "party unity", which doesn't have much to do with the real world. Maybe Huckabee was absent from this article because he didn't stump here, or possibly there is a little creedence to his recent conspiracy theories about the Washington caucuses. Ron Paul also wasn't mentioned, which in this liberal hippie college student state is odd because he got 21% of the constituents at the caucus (where the national average is like 5%). I liked the 'Jump Start' cartoon this morning where a little girl says "there's more than just Clinton and Obama running" but then confesses she'd have to ask her dad who else there is.

What I consider very much stupid: There are people with the right to vote who are against Hilary Clinton simply because they believe that her husband Bill is trying to find some back-door way to get back into power. Somehow I think the people spreading that layer of chunky dogbutter are the same ones that, twelve to sixteen years ago, claimed that voting for Bill Clinton was a back-door way to get Hilary into power. Warning!: If Hilary Clinton makes it into the highest office in the land, be prepared to hear the detractors use the condensation "Bilary"... yet again. [And I'm still undecided.]

Least compelling ad line, courtesy of McCann Automotive: "And all of our Hummers take regular gasoline." That's nothing to brag about.

Blog subject line of the day comes from what I thought I heard come across the PA system at Target yesterday afternoon. If only it were true that I could. Not quite the same as my favorite, "Did you leave the store without buying any Extra Strength Pain Reliever?", but still pretty mindbending.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

you're on my mind like a song on the radio (Al Stewart)

Michael Winslow onstageI had a great surprise yesterday... The bowling alley down the street has a comedy night every two weeks, and the last one was a week ago, which I didn't attend because I've seen that headliner before and wasn't keen on him. So when I was passing by yesterday I thought "let's see who's coming up next week", and to my surprise the show was that night and the act was Michael Winslow, whom I've wanted to see since the 1980's. I dashed home, grabbed my wife, and fifteen minutes later the show started. I wish we would have known earlier because tickets at the door cost $5 each more than buying ahead of time, but that's probably our own fault. Next show with four comics is in 2 weeks and soon after, Dante will be coming to that club!

I know I had a thing or two more to report but I'm spacin'. Politics are amusing me. Yesterday a guy I worked with at both Earthlink and Verizon became the new trainee in my department at PleaseGoAway, so that's three places... geez! Yes, Illiterate, I still intend to pass you my résumé but haven't updated it yet. The fine folks at Cornfield Electronics have not only updated the TV-B-Gone keychain remote with more large-format televisions, this month they've started selling a new powerful unit that can turn a set off from across a football field (if their promo material is true; they said "100 meters" when it seems they might have meant "100 feet"). Dumb ad premise: There's a radio ad for a car battery store, featuring a guy trying to start his car and getting nutty because it won't go. The voiceover is about the pain of a dead battery. But the sound effect used is a starter engine cranking healthily, over and over. Bud, your issue is not a dead battery... try the fuel system or spark plugs now? And maybe if I remember what the interesting things were I'll write again...

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