Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keeping UPS In Business

Just Add Water!

'Tis the season for hurricanes!

Mostly through sloth & negligence, I'd let my supply of emergency food either expire or, in most cases, I ate it instead of going to the store.  It's not hard to do.  A can of soup here, a bag of jerky there, and pretty soon all that's left is a couple of cans of tuna and a jar of instant coffee.

So, time to re-up.  This time I decided to splurge on some serious long-term-storage food.  The kind that you'd just as soon NOT eat, but will keep you alive in times of civil disturbance.

So, water first.   Got 12 gallons of spring water in sealed cartons, and 6 flats of bottled water.  Add to that a half-dozen water coolers and three 5 gal. jerrycans that get filled up at the last minute, and I'm set for H2O.  Reminder to self - pick up a ceramic filter and one of those disposable bathtub blivets!!

As for the food, I got a serious assortment of Mountain House dehydrated chow for 30-45 days.  A bit of everything, from beef stew to chicken teriyaki.  It all tastes kinda like ass, but better that that trying to eat the neighbor's Maltese.

Also, a #10 can of pilot bread, aka hardtack.  I'll try to remember to order a can every month to stock up.  The trick with this stuff is to line the bottom of your meal dish with a disc or two, and let it soak up the juice while you eat.  Chewing it dry will lose you a bicuspid for sure.

Just for giggles, I got 2 dozen packets of MRE fruit.  Stewed apples & peaches, mostly.  If you spend two weeks on dehydrated food (As I have, hiking in New Mexico), you'll kill for a taste of something sweet.

This stuff is supposedly good for 25 years.  My goal is to never find out, and give it to someone in my will.

Stock up, kiddies!  It's cheaper than your car insurance, and beats the hell out of cannibalism!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"What We Have Here Is... Failure To Communicate!"

Some Printers Just Can't Be Reached!

Every once in a while, I really miss the 1990's.

See, in the 1990's my folks have this old POS Win 3.1 computer hooked up to a rackety old HP 820c inkjet printer via that huge LPT port cable, and it just ran & ran.  You'd stuff in more paper, and every 3 months you'd go get some more ink cartridges, but it was just about bulletproof.

Well, can't have that.  You don't sell enough printers & ink that way.  Since that one got retired, I can't seem to get my parents set up with a reliable printer.

I'm half convinced they're doing something nefarious to screw them up. No other way could they have so much trouble...

They've had inkjets, lasers, all-in-one printer/fax/copiers, Brother, HP, Lexmark, you name it.  They all print for about a month, then never print again.

Those got-damn POS ink cartridges account for most of the trouble.   When the cartridge was the size of a deck of cards, it ran well, and lasted forever.  Then they separated the colors, shrunk 'em, to the size of matchbooks, each one cost $30 and they last about a week before they dry out.  The printer company engineers and execs are gonna burn in hell for that idea...

I got summoned last night to try and fix the latest goof. Multiple drivers installed on both Mom's login and on Dad's.  Locked files, undeletable files, and of course, the diagnostic software says everything's A-OK!!

Screw it.  I told 'em to put the files on a thumb drive and go to Kinko's.  I'm tired of messing with it.

I'm gonna make them some clay tablets and give 'em a cuneiform reed and let them print that way...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's Like Living In A Bottle Of Hot Sauce

June = Serrano, July = Cayenne, August = Habanero

Getting hotter.  Nowhere near as bad as it's gonna get, though.

Walked out the other afternoon from work, it was right at 97 degrees.  That's just painful, I'm here to tell ya.

Add to it the mo-skeeters and the other bitey bugs, and it gets just about unpleasant.

Sigh.  Another summer of intravenous air conditioning.  If I could just get a cool breeze in the evening, I could still sit outside and unwind with a cigar.  Sweating & smoking isn't a fun mix, though.

Maybe I'll build a smoke shack in the back yard...  Get a cheap tool shed just big enough for a chair & ashtray, and a $100 110v AC unit, and a shitload of insulation.  Yeah, that might work...

Anybody ever have a pet rabbit?  I'm curious about the ratio of bunny kibble to hay to fresh veggies.  Cats are great, 'cause a big bag of premium dried food, a case of canned wet food and 20 lbs of litter got you through a month or so.  Bunnies are cute, but I don't want to have to go shopping more than once a week, if that.

Aaaaand...  Some random funny pix!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Judge Not!

Except At Annual Review Time...

Well, it's that time again.  Got the annual review from my boss.

No pay raise attached to the review, but there never is.  That's the down side for working for The Man.  Either everyone gets one, or no one does.

Fortunately, we do.  Supposed to be a 3% bump that hits in July.  Not a lot of money, but it beats a sharp stick in the eye.

As for the review, it was OK.  I got dinged for a couple of items.  I'm not the most punctual person in the world when I don't need to be, and now that I'm officed with the rest of the crew instead of by myself on a separate floor, it's been "officially noticed" that I come drag-assing in at 10:00 or later.

Look, I see it as a trade-off.  They want me to be able to be anywhere in The Man's far-flung realm for meetings/training/whatever, and I am.  15 minutes early.  1st, 2nd or 3rd shift, every got-damn time.  No exception.

So, on days where I'm doing nothing but shagging phone calls and answering emails?  I could give a damn what time I get in the door, 'cause I don't take a lunch, and don't leave until after 6 pm.

As I said, a trade-off.

It's also been "noticed" that I don't participate in the departmental reindeer games.  I've been avoiding the social whoop-tee-do committee and the community do-gooder committee and the happy fun-fun spirit committee.  Far be it from me to ever make a sexist comment, but if this was a department with 100% men, none of this silly shit would exist, and we could get some work done.

Anyway, got a 4.22 out of possible 5.0.   I can live with it...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mental Calibration

Attitude Check?  Check!

One of my "other duties as assigned" for The Man is serving on one of the numerous boards & commissions that address issues that arise here in Sweat City.  There's no lack of these boards, and some are more useful than others.  Most of 'em are strictly advisory in nature, which lets them root up trouble without actually being able to levy taxes/fines/etc.

Anyway, I digress...

This particular board meets monthly at one of The Man's facilities designed for the disabled community.  Most of the programs there are aimed at citizens with disabilities, and it's one of the few 100% accessible buildings in the City.

So, I'm sitting there in the parking lot, just killing time before the meeting starts, running the truck's A/C and pumping carbon into the atmosphere, and I'm dreading this meeting.  9 years I've been attending, and as an ex-officio member, I'm there to show the flag.  I don't really participate in the debates, and I don't have a vote.  Mostly I just try to stay alert and field any policy questions.  Some months I get lucky and one of the contracted ASL interpreters is there, the really hot one that looks like a Angelina Jolie/Megan Fox hybrid, but without the inherent skank.  Mmmm.  Those are good months.

I'm fussing with myself about the hot day, the long walk, the two hours in a hard plastic chair, etc. etc, then the door to the facility spews out a crowd.  The 3:00pm class must be over.

It's about a baker's dozen kids with their parents.  Each of the kids is in the 4-6 year old range, and each one's swinging a white cane.  Huh.  Blind kids learning to use the cane. Imagine that...

Next out is an older couple, pushing a thirtyish woman in a wheelchair.  They get to an SUV, then unload this huge engine hoist contraption out of the back to sling the daughter up and out of the chair and into the SUV.  This guy does it like he's done it 8 times a day for the past dozen years.  And perhaps he has...

Heading into the facility is one of the local activists.  His crusade is raising money to provide low-income paras and quads with sufficient catheters.  Just like a junkie can spread disease with a used needle, folks that can't afford new catheters re-use the old ones with insufficient cleaning, and the resulting infections have hospitalized many and killed more than a few.

A bit of a reality check drifted down on me.  I bitch and moan a lot about being obese, and the resulting issues that arise from that, but by & large I've got no problems at all.

Anyway, just a thought.  You may think the world's got it in for you, but I guarantee there's plenty of people lower in the shitpile than you...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In The Doldrums

Bitch Moan Whine Complain

Alas, the dog days of summer have set in early.  It's getting harder to stay motivated about any sort of online presence...

The best I can do most days is some sort of random snark, usually as a reply to someone else's post.  Coming up with some original blog content?  Damn, that's harder than crapping out a prizewinning porcelain pig.

Had me some tremulous dreams lately.  I rarely have driving dreams, and this is the first time I can remember dreaming about a collision.  Clear as day, man.  Driving down I-10, just past the 610-W split, when the panel van in front of me suddenly jogs to the left, leaving me barreling into the rear of a parked dump truck at about 60 mph.  I had enough time to get a foot on the brake, say "Well, shit..." and BOOM!  Woke up in a tangle of blankets.  Freaked me out, it did...

Work is progressing at the usual pace.  Got a call from one of the Nazgul the other day.  It's nice to know you're known as the go-to guy for certain matters, but OTO, it's less of a good thing that you're on their Rolodex.  Never, ever trust a politician!

Sigh.  I need a week off.   Maybe two.   Perhaps I'll pick a tiny town off the map and relocate to a comfy inn with a stack of books & DVDs.  Mayhap a bottle of popskull.

That idea has promise!!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A Rant A Day Keeps The Doctor At Bay

Just Blowing Off Some Steam...

OK, Rant #1:

If you're going to interrupt my day to stop and ask me directions, do both of us a favor and reach across and punch your fucking harridan wife in the face so she shuts up!  Nothing pisses me off more than trying to tell you how to get from Point A to Point B than some clueless bint arguing with me, and basically calling me a liar.  Look, you clueless cow, if you knew how to get there, you'd be there by now.

Rant #2:

The got-damn bikers are now even more insufferable.  Aside from the usual  practice of wearing spandex ass-pirate pants and poofter helmets as they tie up the roadways, they've managed to get an ordinance passed making them virtually untouchable.  That means no more SuperSoakers out the passenger window and honking at them when they drop your evening commute down to 20 mph.  Fuck you, bikers.  Go run on the velodrome, not the city streets.  It's why they built the damn thing.

Rant #3:

You know why you didn't get the job?  It's not because The Man is hating on your particular race.  It's because when you call up, you whine incessantly and order us around like peons, never say thank you, and that chip on your shoulder makes it too hard to fit through the Personnel office door.  Word gets around, and your resume and application just sorta migrates over to the circular file.

It's not because you're (Insert Race Here).  It's because you're an asshole.

Rant #4:

Fuck You, Amazon!!!  You know got-damn good & well that they're not going to release Season Four of 'Justified' on DVD until effin' JANUARY 2014, but you keep teasing me with ads for it.  It's not until you click on the link that you see (in teensy print) "Available for pre-order".  BLOW ME!!!

Monday, June 03, 2013

For There Was No Joy In Gunville...

No News Is Bad News

...Mighty Capitan had struck out.

No new boomsticks to report on.   Both my primary and secondary choices were snapped up by some nasty creature before I could slap down some cash.

I've been told numerous times to just call 'em up and put down a credit card number.  I could, but that's kinda like cheating the system.  Half the fun is the hunt.  You gotta stalk your prey, and every so often they get away.

Not that I'm completely immune to unsportsmanlike conduct.  If I see a sub-$600 Smith 1917 or a sub-$500 Winchester Model 12 in good shape, they'll get a phone call lickety-damn-split.  Some fish I don't mind shooting in a barrel...

Mercurial critter that I am, I'm now intrigued by the Ruger LCR.  I'll be looking for the .357 version, but the .38+P ought to be sufficient.  No lasers, though.  The $300 upcharge for the little red light is absurd...