Monday, August 7, 2023

Summery Judgement

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I'm back from my travels and once again experiencing being kiln-fired in Texas. Today's actual high is predicted to be 105° with a heat index of "lawyer's section of Hell." And that's hot.

I'm glad to say my family-related trip was a great success and gave me a much-needed emotional boost. Although I got off to a rough start when I flew into Indianapolis, the city of my birth, and then needed to drive a rental car to Mishawaka, Indiana about 150 miles away. I entered the destination into my GPS and set off confidently, enjoying the rolling scenery of the Hoosier state and the abundant corn fields.

A little too abundant.

After about a half hour, it started to strike me as odd that I was still only driving zig-zag patterns on back roads between fields so close I could have brushed my fingertips on cornstalks. I suspected a problem with my GPS but the roads were so small that there was no berm and no place to pull off to play with my phone. And I mean no place - no restaurants, gas stations, or rest areas. So I kept driving for almost five hours before reaching my destination - a Holiday Inn Conference Center in the middle of nowhere.

Only it wasn't "nowhere," of course - it just looked that way because it turned out a hidden setting in Google Maps had helpfully defaulted to "avoid highways" when using GPS and it had done the job flawlessly

AI is not going to even break a sweat destroying me.


• I'm still not following news in any kind of meaningful way, but I've heard enough about Trump's most recent BS indictments to be highly pissed off. Didn't we recently have hearings in Washington that failed to prove there even was any insurrection-type event or planning for same? Meanwhile, Adam "Googly Eyes" Schiff is pushing for Trump's trial(s) to be televised in the name of "transparency." Yeah, Adam, that would be transparent alright. 

• I'm embarking on a much-needed weight-loss program with no enthusiasm whatsoever. To kick things off, I finally stepped on the scale yesterday and the readout said "Hey, one at a time." After which I took a saucy "Before" photo in my skivvies and no, you will never see it here or anywhere else. I look like I should be holding a chain attached to slave girl Carrie Fisher.

I've considered bariatric surgery but it still sounds too extreme and potentially hazardous. And I've heard about "Ozempic" and similar classes of drugs, but don't know anyone who's had firsthand experience with them (plus, they cost a metric assload). So for now, I'm doing it old school: calorie counting and exercise. Wish me luck.

• I see that Joe Biden has now officially passed the "one year of vacation since taking office" mark. That means that he's been on vacation for 40% of his presidency, for which we should be grateful considering the damage he causes the other 60% of the time.

"Jill, what's a four-letter word for woman ending in U-N-T?" "Aunt." " an eraser?"

• Speaking of vacations, it looks like I won't be going to any exotic locations for, oh, the rest of my life. Because I was just starting the process of filing for a passport (my old one expired) and they've got a typical governmental Catch-22. My application (along with my photo and proof of citizenship) has to be filed in person at the post office and this can only be done by appointment.  If you click on the government's link to schedule such an appointment, you will theoretically be shown appointments available for the next four weeks. Only there aren't any. At any post office within 20 miles of here. And as a special touch, the website just gives the message "there are no appointments available at this location in the next four weeks. Please try another location."

In other words, you can't just shrug and schedule an appointment for 6 weeks out, or 12 weeks out, or any OTHER time beyond 4 weeks...but there are also no appointments available anywhere in that 4-week window. Which effectively ends the process with the government saying "screw you and go away." Although obviously, I can't go far away.


Monday, July 24, 2023

The Wind Between My Cheeks

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Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's...oh wait, it is a plane - with me white-knuckling it to my final destination, which hopefully has an airport waiting. 

And actually, I'm not traveling yet, but will be in a few days. So I wanted to warn everyone that I'll probably be absent from this space for a couple of weeks (although I'll try to visit the comments section if and when I can) and let you know you shouldn't worry about it.  Because I'm more than capable of doing all the worrying myself.

Mind you, I don't worry at all about flying. It's CRASHING that I worry about. A lot. True fact: I have never dosed on an airplane, even on a long flight, because I know in my soul that if I let my guard down the jet's wings will fall off. 

But even apart from that, I can now also worry about catching whatever mutant strain of Fauci's covid is currently making the rounds or encountering some of the crazies who have recently been disrupting flights while having psychotic breaks or violent hallucinations. Mind you, I have those same conditions but I at least keep my seatbelt on and my mouth shut.

And truthfully, I've got more anxiety than usual about traveling because I've become a pathological social recluse since losing my wife, Kathy. Social interactions are hard for me now, and I'm embarking on a week of them. Which my therapist considers brave, but she may just be saying that because I'll return home needing another year of PTSD therapy.

Plus, Kathy was always the person who handled details and organization flawlessly when preparing for a trip. On my own, thick fog fills my brain and I find myself struggling to decide whether or not to pack those whatchamacallits...hang's on the tip of my tongue...oh, yeah - clothes. And medications. And 17 different kinds of USB cables. And a white noise machine. And...and... no, I think that's everything I need, right?



"Try That In A Small Town" song - I like it and screw anyone who says it's racist.

• AI Czar Kamala Harris recently clarified this complex and ever-changing technology by explaining that "AI is two letters." I'm so relieved that she's representing mankind at this critical moment.

• I currently need to renew my driver's license in person which is now done only by appointment here in Texas ("Avoiding long lines by not letting you in at all!"). I tried to get an appointment two months before my license will expire and none were available - the best I could do was a week later and 18 miles away. Which I'm assuming I shouldn't drive to without a license, so I'll need to ask someone for a ride. I tried calling the license bureau for help, but their phone message says to use the online service. The online service offers no help but lets you send an email which they'll respond to in 3-5 business days. Currently, it's been over two weeks with no word back. This is unbelievably annoying and would be unthinkable customer abuse if practiced by any business which wanted to avoid bankruptcy. If I ever get far enough in the process to get a new license picture taken, you can bet your *ss that I'll be scowling and, if I get away with it, giving the finger.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Nice Snowing You

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Yes, this is real

Our nation has recently been rocked with the twin tragedies of a Hollywood writers' strike and, as of last week, a Hollywood actors' strike. Fortunately, this seems unlikely to impact Disney Studios' latest live-action remake of a classic film, because we see no hint that either writers or actual actors will be involved.

"Snow White" has gone before the cameras, albeit with a Hispanic heroine and no potentially offensive dwarves. Rather, in this version Snow White will be shacking up with one height-challenged individual and six beautifully-diverse homeless drug addicts who were enticed to join the production when offered clean needles and unblemished sidewalks to sh*t on. 

Seriously, this looks more like a production of Snow White Meets the Manson Family, which suddenly is a project I want to seriously think about making after seeing the recent success of the slasher film "Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey."

And you can forget all of that Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Dopey, Comet, Blitzen, and Garfunkel nonsense. No, this outfit is Mr. Big, Rolando, They/Them, Pud, Glory Hole, LaQueefa, and Flatline. The jolly songs practically write themselves! And it seems way more likely that they'll be mining for crystal meth instead of diamonds.

While I wish Disney every success for this very, very socially responsible updating of a bigoted fairytale that cruelly stereotyped Little People as hardworking heroes with big hearts, I can't help but worry that the box office may be negatively impacted by the impending Hollywood audience strike scheduled for opening day.

UPDATE: After receiving considerable backlash online, Disney issued a statement that the cast photo seen above is "fake." They wish. They have since had to admit that the photo is 100% accurate, but that its release wasn't official.


• So the Secret Service has announced that they've ended their investigation into the cocaine found at the White House because there are no clues other than video footage, sign-in logs, a multitude of guards executing tight security protocols, access to unlimited forensic technology, and the presence of at least one notable drug addict in the mix.

The Secret Service miraculously brought the list of suspects down to 500 people, but decided it wasn't worth the time and effort of interviewing anyone because the amount of cocaine would only be a misdemeanor offense anyway. Which I find hard to believe.

Would it have been a misdemeanor for someone who is currently not in jail only because of his last name and a sworn oath to a judge to keep his nose clean (literally)? Is it really just a misdemeanor to bring controlled substances into the frickin' White House? Does the Secret Service have no concerns about one or more of their agents being high on cocaine on the job? Should no one be worried about White House staffers with pinpoint pupils and powdered nostrils in close proximity to a fragile 80-year-old president?

Sadly, it now appears that the only purpose of the Secret Service is to protect the secrets of the corrupt.


• There's certainly nothing wrong with Joe Biden lasciviously nibbling on a terrified tot before going in for a grandfatherly French kiss, right? Right...?