Wednesday Funk

I am being way too consumed by this damn emissions test. My plan to unplug the battery, reset the check engine light, and sneak through that way? Yeah, the light stayed off for about thirty seconds.

I feel frustrated because I am frustrated — this should have been simple: plug in a new sensor, everything’s good as gold. But that hasn’t been the case, and several mechanics have gone through every trick in their bag to figure out the problem. I suppose its possible that maybe the sensors themselves (or one of them) is defective — perhaps I’ll float that past Ken tomorrow.

If that doesn’t work, the MVA does have a waiver for forgoing the emissions test. I read up on it briefly, and I don’t have many details, but in short — if the car won’t pass the emissions test because of needed repairs, and the owner can show that a certain monetary amount was spent attempting to make those repairs (but failed), the MVA will waive the emissions test. I don’t know how much the waiver specifies, so, we shall see …

In my funk, I spent an hour in Best Buy today, just wandering through the aisles. That’s dangerous, for me — to easy to spend money, dig myself right back into the debt I got out of. I’ve been in a funk all day, primarily because of the failure of my battery idea. I did get a considerable amount of reorganization done on my den — it’s really coming together nicely, and I’ll see about posting photos of it later tonight after I’ve finished. The cats have found a nice patch of carpet to curl up on and they’re enjoying it.

**

I was supposed to drop off a fan today to Jason Thomas, but my complete and total funk is all consuming. Tomorrow afternoon, JJT.

**

Thanks to the funk I skipped grocery shopping, which is bad because I’ve got no food in the apartment and will have to go later.

Also: my den window looks into the parking lot and an angle at the dumpster. I’m sick and fucking tired of the residents of the townhomes across Padonia Road from loading their pickup trucks with trash and driving it over here to dispose of it. Lazy fuckers.

**

Tomorrow, I will have had this blog for one year.

**

Speaking of funk …

Alex owed me a favor for working his Saturday shift. So I asked him to cover for me tonight. Jesus Fucking Christ. Five to ten is all I wanted. “Oh, I’m going to miss martial arts” and “Oh, I’m going to be tired for my eight am class.” He bitched and moaned all Monday night to the point I took the time to get Ross to work close, so Alex can work late and be out by nine. Alex just called me — “Oh, do you still need me to work?” I swear to fucking god, I’ve gotten so much grief from this ungrateful motherfucker that I will never ever ever do him a favor again.

**

I’m watching IKE: Countdown to D-Day as I finish the den. Decently writing, maybe a bit overly dreamy … Tom Selleck’s dialogue is a bit preachy, but he makes for a good Ike. Anyway.

I'm so stupid at computers

Case in point on my complete and total lack of knowledge regararding computers — I moved mine today while rearranging my den. I just spent half an hour on the phone trying to figure out why I was getting a “Monitor on Safety Mode” message when I rebooted — the tech support guy had me take the side off the unit, and unplug and replug some chips, and as I’m going through his list of tasks to perform …

… I realized I’d plugged the monitor into the wrong port.

Whooops.

he's a freak

A buddy is, sometime this fall, giving me his old TV, which is bigger than my current TV. So I’m making preparations to house this bigger TV with a new TV stand, and a new DVD player so I can move my old TV, old stand, and old DVD player into my bedroom. I bought this TV stand from IKEA (breaking my vow to never ever ever buy anything from IKEA with doors on it) and I bought this DVD player from Best Buy.

When I came home tonight, Guy was stretched out atop the new DVD player snoozin’ quite contently. He was also snoozin’ on it when I woke up this morning, went to bed last night, and so on and so forth for the last week or so. I swear, some cats like cushions or towels or even the carpet, but this fuckin’ animal isn’t happy if he isn’t sleeping on a broken down box or something which most felines would probably construe as “uncomfortable.”

(I have yet to find him sleeping on the pile of Lego in my living room, my living room having become the temporary home of every plastic brick I own destined for that massive castle i.e. gignormous waste of time).

Whatever, Guy’s a freak. I can hear him right now arguing with Tippy about where to sleep, “… the sofa? Honey, that’s for feminine felines. I’m a guy cat — yes, a guy cat without balls — and dammit, I’m going to act like a guy cat should. By sleeping on hard stuff. My name is Guy so I remember I’m a guy. Yes, without balls, how long have we co-inhabited?”

Freakin’ cat.

I'm just going to reset the battery

Oxygen sensors are the most worthless stupid pieces of shit in the fucking world.

I’m going to unplug my battery right before I get my car emission tested – that’ll reset the “check engine” light and should enable me to pass. Hey, that’s what I did last time.

I’d like to send out a quick kudos to Ken and Billy at Brooks-Huff in Cockeysville. They went above and beyond the call of duty in attempting to locate the problem between the oxygen sensor and the check engine light, and although I had to get my ass in there at 7:30 am and didn’t get the car back until two, the amount of work put into locating and fixing the problem probably exceeded the cost of the oxygen sensor to begin with. Also a kudos to them for not charging me a dime — this might have had something to do with the fact that the tech who installed the sensors last week then “fixed” them on Friday apparently misled his employers on his level of knowledge to the point where he possibly misread the check-engine light code on the operability of the rear oxygen sensor.

As things are, the check engine light popped back on about five minutes after I left the shop, and I really have to admit I’m just at the point where I will continue to live with the ‘check engine’ light. Hell, it’s been on for the last year or so, nothing new.

Her Clothes Were Still There

On the dryer, I mean.

Do you know how frustrating it is to wait an hour for one of your neighbors to take their effin’ laundry out of the dryer, and they don’t? And yours is, all the while, turning moldy in the washer. I hate taking my neighbor’s clothing out of the dryer, but I gotta be up bone-fuckin’ early tomorrow to take my car back in to try to get these fucking sensors working right and I don’t have time to do it then.

My biggest wish was that she wouldn’t come down as I’m piling her panties and bras and socks ontop of the dryer. That she wouldn’t come down until I’d sent my clothes through the full cycle of the machine and retreated to the safety of my apartment, which I have. Her clothes are still atop the dryer.

I’ve no right to complain — I’ve done the same many times, and thankfully, the building has two each of washer and dryer, so its not the biggest problem in the world (particularly during the week).

**

I’ve also noticed that when I’m in public with friends, one strong ale is enough to render me drunk. At home, folding laundry, hell, I’ve had four Yuenglings and still am able to type. Yeah, okay, the a/c is on and I’m sweatin’ a ton, and I’ve got like four versions of this monitor in front of me, but I’m nowhere as near effed up as I was at the happy hour.

And I was drinking coke then!

I swear, I’m a social drunk. Not that I drink in the company of friends, just that regardless of what I’m drinking when I’m with friends, I get drunk. As someone once put it: “Oh my god, someone cut him off on that water, ‘cuz he’s drunker than I am and he’s effin’ sober!”

Meh.

Rockin' the Isuzu

I was discussing surround-sound systems on a bulletin-board I frequent, when I was reprimanded by another member who said, “Think what you could do with that money! Hookers, man, hookers!” and I was reminded of an event that occured when I was assistant-managing a pizza shop in Hampden a little over a year ago.

One of my drivers was this crazy Egyptian dude named Mohammed, who was in his mid-forties and crazy as all get out. His nickname was “Mo-Mo”, given to him by the GM and the senior AM. He hated this name, and another Egyptian, Sammy, explained that “Mo-Mo” either sounded close or was exactly the Egyptian phrase for “mother fucker.”

So Mohammed was never happy because every time he walked in the door, much like Norm at Cheers, he’d be greeted by everyone shouting “mother-fucker!” at him.

Mo-Mo loved to describe his experiences with Hampden’s hookers. He’d show up and take out a towel from his Amigo, “Look man! Best head, $10! From the corner! Came in the rag!” He never seemed to understand that, y’know, y’want a hooker? Fine. Do you have to do it on the Papa’s dime? There’d be deliveries on the rack in the store waiting to get out and he’d be out some where having some crackhead give him a $5 blowjob. (To top everything off – at the end of the night he’d complain about making zero tips, and you’d have to go down everything with him, “You said you spent $5 for a blowjob on the hooker at Elm, then $25 in gas, you bought Indian food for dinner and told me it was $10, then you were ranting about being overcharged for a blowjob by a hooker on University…”)

It was one of those situations that seems to plague most pizza shops — yeah, you’d like to fire Mo-Mo, you just never have enough staff to actually do it. Hooker this, hooker that, he’d tell you who would do what for how much and what street corner to find them on, regardless of how many times you asked them to please, for the love of god, shut the hell up, or regardless of whether or not you were the type of person to enjoy the company of a hooker (i.e., the engaged female GM, who made it quite clear that she was certain she didn’t want the best head of her life from the crackhead down on 38th street, thank you very much).

“Crazy Mo-Mo,” we called him, because, really, this guy was really really really fuckin’ nuts.

Anyway, we had this little shit sixteen-year-old insider working on the makeline. He’d been there for a few months — typical Hampden yo-boy spending his entire paycheck on Wal-Mart brand clothes and used DVDs from Blockbuster. He was eventually fired for screaming “fuck!” into the phone when he was taking a customer’s order, but that was long after I’d left. Mike was a weird kid – he’d always talk about how his ultimate ambition was to be a pizza shop manager, but he never seemed to understand that attaining that goal would mean giving up his marijuana habits. He’d come in high, get high on his breaks, and mention often how when he managed a pizza shop, he’d offer the weed as a pizza topping. He always ran away from the counter when the police showed up — I loved my police customers, cool as hell, especially when some drugged-out shithead was trying to display an aquarium set in the store lobby.

Mike was, to say the least, not the sharpest bulb in the drawer. He insulted customers and coworkers alike, and I’m not certain he was always doing it on purpose. One of the other insiders, a wonderful girl who went to Western, spent some atrocious amount of money on a new hairstyle, and Mike’s comment was “Gosh, that looks like crap.” When she refused to speak to him for the rest of the night, his only question was, “What’d I say…?”

One incident of rather glaring idiocy sticks to my mind like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth. One night everyone was staying late to do a super-good cleaning for the anticipated arrival of the company’s founder. He didn’t show, but one of the execs did. Anyway, this 30-ish year-old black woman named Cheryl was scrubbing the wall behind the sink (doing a good job), and Mike walked past, saw her, and taunted her with, “Scrub negro, scrub!” I was up front and by the time I thought to yell, “Stop!” she’d thrown half of the (previously clean) dishes at him and he was scrambling for shelter behind a stack of boxes. Like I said: not the sharpest bulb in the drawer.

Mike had this super flashy bike that looked like a cross between a bicycle and a crotch-rocket. I really can’t describe it except it looked really expensive and it was super bright green. He’d keep it in the back when he was working. He showed up late one shift, minus the bike, explaining it had been stolen and he was getting a ride home from his aunt at the end of the shift.

As the dinner rush came to a close and I was putting away the recently-arrived commissary order, I overhead snipits of a conversation between Mike and Mo-Mo. Mike was breaking down and cleaning the make-line, and Mo-Mo was starting his late-driver sweep. The snipits were along the lines of “Oh my god, I didn’t know you could put anything in there …” “… all over her face?” “…she real cheap, discount for multiple visits…” On and on for half an hour. This wasn’t the first time they’d discussed Hampden’s hos, and trying to shut Mo-Mo up about his favorite subject inevitably led to a headache, so, what the fuck ever.

So I got the commissary put away and I was up front counting out the tills when Mike’s aunt knocked on the door. She’d stopped in before so I knew who she was, and Mike let out his typical little, “Yo, good night, eh? Later!” and went out the door just as Mo-Mo was walking back into the store from a delivery.

“I don’t believe it!” Mo-Mo said.

“Hmm?” I muttered trying to get the stupid little dollar calculator to, y’know, calculate.

“He picked up that whore I was telling him about!”

I looked at him. “Huh?”

“That woman he left with! Man, she suck dick, fuck, in ass, cheap! What … why are you laughing? You not believe me?”

When I explained to Mo-Mo that his favorite prostitute was Mike’s aunt, he too laughed with glee. “Wait until I tell him!”

I tried to disuade him when his eyes suddenly lit up. The bulb missing from Mike? Yeah. In Mo-Mo. “No! I will bribe her! I will get for free so I do not tell him!”

I haven’t seen Mo-Mo for quite some time, but every now and then I look up at the stars and imagine that, somewhere in Hampden, Mo-Mo is fucking Mike’s aunt up her ass in the back of his crappy old Isuzu parked in some desolate alley.

Impulse Control

The poster child for “poor impulse control” at the franchise continues to be Frank who, walking into the store Friday night, called loudly to Greg — mind you, probably two dozen or so customers waiting for their food, half of those children — “Hey, man, you shoulda seen the MILF at that house I just went to!”

where not to pass out

Every year, Gary’s buddy, waaay up in the boonies of Hereford, throws a big-bash for all his friends.

Last year, Gary got drunk, then stayed behind when his wife took their kids home. Getting tired of waiting for her to come back for his drunk ass he decided to walk home. Halfway home he got tired and lay himself on the ground and passed out.

In a patch of poison ivy.

BSG 2×7 "Home Pt. II"

Spoilers, bitches. Just so you know.

This episode essentially wraps up the open plotlines left over from the first season’s finale. In that episode, “Kobol’s Last Gleaming pt. II“, Roslin convinced Starbuck to disobey Bill Adama and take the captured Cylon raider to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo; a three-Raptor scouting party including Dr. Baltar, Chief Tyrol, Callie, and Crashdown was shot down over Kobol and stranded; ordered to relieve Roslin of her authority, Lee pulled a weapon on Col. Tigh and was arrested by Colonial Marines; Roslin found herself in the Galactica brig; on a successful mission to destroy the Cylon basestar over Kobol, Boomer M1 (who had earlier botched her suicide) learned for certain that she was a Cylon, and later put two rounds into Bill Adama’s chest.

This led to a situation known as “fucked beyond all recognition”, and considering it took roughly two-hundred and eighty minutes of episode time to “repair” what went wrong in 1/7th of that time, the assessment was quite correct. Things of course didn’t improve with the 2nd season premier — actually, they got a lot worse. And then worse. And then even worse. First, the Galactica inadvertently lost the fleet. Then found the fleet, but got boarded by Cylons. Then Tigh declared martial law and Marines shot up a bunch of civilians and Lee led a rather low-key mutiny on the ship to free Roslin.

There will still be repurcussions from this arc for episodes to come, but I misted when Roslin’s party on Kobol, anticipating a Cylon attack, sent Lee out as a scount, and he stepped around the tree, and aimed his handgun right at …

… his dad.

And there’s Lee, all ready to be disowned for his insurbordination, his mutiny, and instead he gets a big gracious hug and a “Y’know, I never knew until now what my dad meant when he would say ‘psh, these kids today’.” And there’s Starbuck, looking more contrite then when she told Bill it was her fault (indirectly, anyway) his younger son was dead, and Bill Adama’s all like “Aw, aren’t you cute when you’re not smokin’ a cigar and slugging my XO. Shit girl, all’s forgiven. Don’t go stealin’ no more ships now …”

And there’s also Roslin’s reunion with Billy, who you’ll remember, refused to accompany her on her secretive flight away from Galactica, unwilling to take further part in an action that could result in massive bloodshed. The real-world explanation is that Paul Campbell had to audition for a pilot and was unavailable — it played well, this way, with Billy coming with Bill Adama as his emissary. I wonder if Roslin had kids — killed on Caprica — and I wonder if, in the wake of the Cylon attacks and the flight for Earth, has come to view Billy as she would her own son.

Bill Adama’s reaction to seeing Boomer M2 is, uh, not unsurprising. “You bitch! I’m going to smash your skull in! Bitch! Oh – oh – my heart! Arrrrr…!”

Boomer M2 is a sly, cunning little con who plays back when bad people try to play her. Too bad for James Remar, who going against Zarek’s orders, plots the double-assassination of the Adamas and tries to enlist Boomer M2 to his cause by telling her Boomer M1 was murdered at the sanction of Galactica‘s crew. She’s all like, “Yeah, totally, I’ll take Bill, you take Lee.” Then when he’s like “Now!” she’s like “Eat lead Remar, you motherfrakker!” The lesson contained herein — never try to play a Cylon.

Turns out Baltar doesn’t have a chip in his head which allows him to see Six — so, is it a chip invisible to Cottle’s CAT machine, or is Baltar just out of his friggin’ mind? Or is Six, as she claims, really an angel from The One True God? Looking at the evidence, he can’t be crazy — Six has said way too much accurate (if sometimes cryptic) stuff about what later transpired. The mystery deepens … in any case, it was good to see the Julian Bashir lookalike get a bit more screentime this episode, as the last few he’s been stuck in the background doin’ not much of anything.

Oh, yeah – Six? With her hair pulled back into a ponytail? Hottest she’s been.

So we finally see the Tomb of Athena we’ve been hearing so much about. It’s a big grassy field. “So where were we before?” someone asks. “The lobby?” Roslin says. See, they were in this big cave-chamber with statues, and Starbuck put the Arrow of Apollo on the statue of Apollo’s drawn bow, and suddenly she, Roslin, Billy, and the Adamas are standing on a big grassy field.

On Earth.

See, it’s complicated, but essentially Earth is located — well, we all know where its located, but the characters don’t — so they figure Earth is located where the twelve constellations which mark the twelve colonies can all be seen. Also, Lee recognizes a nebula which he figures can serve as a directional guide. “That’s a far way out,” Bill Adama observes. On the other hand, now they actually know where they’re going.

Best Scene:

The flight pod, with a ton of Galactica crew and fleet dignitaries present. The deck is scuffed and dirty — interesting to compare with the miniseries when it was polished and clean, y’know? Anyway, Bill Adama introduces Roslin to scattered applause. Before she can speak, he begins forcefully clapping his hands, and the assembled crowd follows his lead. It’s rythmic at first, and then the dam breaks and everyone seems to recognize that things are going to get a lot better and it becomes all freeflowin’ and “Woohoo! The Red Sox Win The World Series!”

Things I would have liked to see:

Someone — someone! — be surprised that Helo is still alive. Apollo last episode (granted, he’d only just met Helo before all the shit went down in the miniseries) didn’t say “Oh, wow, Helo, you aren’t Cylon food.” And in this episode, neither the Chief, nor Commander Adama acknowledged Helo in like regards. Also missing: Col. Tigh’s “You gotta be frakkin’ kidding me!” when he sees Starbuck. Might’ve been a bit much to pack into the episode … go figure.

Next Week …

What is Sci-Fi doing next Friday that they’re prempting Battlestar Galactica for? I suppose I could check the schedule but … meh … lazy. Anyway, what this means is that it’ll be two weeks to see Xena: Warrior Princess do her “Mean Liberal-Leaning Reporter Demands to Know Why Tigh Ordered Marines to Fire on Innocent Hippies” impersonation, and a month until Michelle Forbes does her guest stint. She’s got her own Battlestar. It’s bigger.

The FUCKING Oxygen Sensors

I’d tell you the long story but I’m still seething about unrelated work matters regarding Silent Fucking Bob that I might relate later, after I don’t feel the overwhelming urge to implant a blunt object in Gary’s fucking skull.

Short story:

Show up at the shop at 7:30. They get the car in the garage right away. I get the car back at 9:30. Check engine light is off and oxygen sensors working normally. By noon, the check engine light is back on.

So I’m fucking taking the fucking car fucking back in on fucking Monday at fucking seven fucking thirty in the fucking morning.

I want oxygen sensors that fucking work. Why is this so fucking difficult?

I don’t know, I’m not a mechanic, maybe it is difficult, but I swear, maybe they need to call Toyota and say “Hey, those sensors you sent us are fucking defective. Give us different ones.”