Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

19th Century Earworms

I Need A Short Sharp Shock!

I picked up a new copy of 'Topsy-Turvy', the Mike Leigh film about the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera 'The Mikado'.

It's one of my favorite films, mostly due to the excruciating detail that went into replicating everyday life in Victorian London, and also the excellent characters and set design.  The G&S soundtrack?  Just the icing on the cake, really...

You get a pretty good coverage of the tunes from 'Mikado', but also some lengthy snippets from other G&S works like 'The Sorceror', and 'Princess Ida'.

The downside?  I can't stop humming/singing those tunes.  It's been 4 days now...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rats, Bats & Leftover Cats

Random Bits Of Small Mammals

Wonderful weather we're having...   Cold one day, warm & rainy the next.  Typical Houston...

We've got vermin on the loose.  I was in the Wendy's drive-thru line the other evening, and while waiting for my burger to be tossed out the window, I got to watch some rodents scamper through the shrubbery outside the joint.

Seemed a bit small for rats.  Probably field mice that had taken up residence inside the bushes.  Odd to see them scampering around in broad daylight, but what are the odds of a hawk swooping down 10 yards from a busy intersection?

Next up was a bat loose in the lobby of the building I work in.  The atrium has big soaring ceilings, maybe 3 stories tall, and that gave Mr. Flappy all the room in the world to swoop around and scare the peons.

Some poor bastard from Maintenance was dispatched to try & swat it down with a "Wet Floor" sign.  Not much luck on that front.  They need to stock badminton rackets or some .410 double guns.

The next day, I had something scrabbling around up the drop ceiling in my office.  I wondered if it was the bat, but it was more likely some rat up there wandering around.

Seems odd, but you never know what kind of critter will wander in from the bayou only two blocks away.  We had a bobcat in the underground garage not too long ago...

Leftover cats?  Parts of them, anyway.  I pulled out a sweater from the back of the closet, and discovered a huge wad of cat fur attached to it.  One more cat hiding place discovered, long after the cats have passed on...

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Inappropriate Humor

"I Won't Grow Up! I Won't Grow Up!!

Remember, Christmas only comes once a year...

So, aim carefully!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another Week Already?

It's Getting Too Cold For Outdoor Cigars, Dammit!

Part of the problem with having a day off in the middle of the week is that it screws up your internal "work clock", that finely tuned device that lets you know to the second how far away you are from quittin' time on Friday.

We had Tuesday off for Veteran's Day, and it's had me off my game for the rest of the week, schedule-wise.

I got blindsided Wednesday by huge crowds of cops downtown.  I was heading to one of The Man's other facilities about noon-time, and I kept having to re-route past street blockades manned by po-leece cruisers and motorsickles with flashing lights, then some kind of motorcade went speeding by a couple of blocks over.

I thought I finally got past all that, but every intersection seemed to have cops perched on every corner, and all the highway exit overpasses on 45 South had cops waiting in the turnarounds.

Turns out the Veep was in town to give a speech to the Port of Houston organization, and that was what was tying up all the roads and costing shitloads in police overtime.

Of all the people needed that level of protection, you think Biden would be at the bottom of the list.  I mean, the guy's all dental work and hair plugs.  No substance at all.  Not worth the trouble to even put a flaming bag of poo on his doorstep...

In other news, the Westboro Baptist crew was in town, protesting at Joel Osteen's megachurch on Sunday, and at City Hall on Monday.  Apparently God still hates fags.

I posted on Facebook about my desire to shower them in raw sewage, and the next day my friend list had dropped by two.  I have no idea who de-friended me, but if they did it because they support the Phelps clan, good fuckin' riddance.

It's possible they were irked by my apparent attack on Westboro's First Amendment rights.

Oh, pshaw...  They've got every right to say whatever they want.  I also have the right to have an impromptu performance art exhibition involving a water cannon and raw sewage, entitled "Pureéd Defecation Reapplied To Assholes"...

Monday, November 10, 2014

More Mini Movie Reviews

I Watch & Watch Until I Can't Feel My Crotch...

I've been doing a powerful lot of flick-viewing over the past few weeks.  Here's a quick rundown of some of the feature flims:

55 Days At Peking (1963) - Charlton Heston & David Niven vs. a $h!tload of the Yellow Peril.  Set in the Boxer Rebellion, it's the tale of the siege of Peking, and the eventual relief by the allied powers.   Pretty good overall, with Ava Gardner as the love interest.  Lots of Marine-Fu, only with the wrong rifles...

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) (aka Live, Die, Repeat) - The latest Tom Cruise vehicle.  Simple formula, really.  Take 1/3 'Aliens', 1/3 'Starship Troopers' and 1/3 'District Nine', then divide by 'Groundhog Day'...  Can't recommend.

Chef (2014)- Vanity project from Jon Favreau that turns out to be pretty fun.  Favreau plays an almost-passé chef that has a spectacular public meltdown with an online critic, then is forced to reexamine what's important in life.  Not the most believable film, but it's got good characters and frequent laughs.

The Cruel Sea (1953) - ASW warfare in the North Atlantic, on very tiny ships.  A pretty grim look at convoy duty during WWII.  Unflinching, but not without its lighter side.  Good effort from the Brits in this war flick.  Two thumbs up!

My Name Is Nobody (1973) - Spaghetti Western with Henry Fonda and Terence Hill as "Nobody".  Not as much fun as 'They Call me Trinity' & sequel, but a sly self-referential look at the genre, with a lot of funny bits scattered throughout.  Not to be taken seriously...

The Prince (2014) - Complete POS shoot-em-up starring Bruce Willis & Jason Patric.  Low budget straight-to-video fodder.  Waste of time & money...

A Most Wanted Man (2014) - Final film from Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on a John LeCarre novel.  Engaging, though slightly tedious spy fare.  Anyone with any history with British espionage film or books will know how it's gonna end before you hit 'Play'...

And that's all for now!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Death Delivered On Corn Chips

The Joys Of Being Young & Stupid!

An old college buddy of mine posted something food-related on the Facebook, and it got me thinking about the awful crap we used to eat way back then.

If we weren't gorging at the local Golden Corral buffet, or going for plate # 15 at the Waffle House AYCE special, it was usually something pulled off the roller grill at the local 7-11, or dispensed from their Nacho Bar.

I'll admit to a certain fondness for 7-11 Jumbo Dogs.  Coated with a slime trail of alleged nacho cheese and that brownish ersatz chili, it would sit in your gut like a rock and provide a reasonable simulation of a stomach full of nutritious food for an outlay of 2-3 bucks.  Add a Super Gonzo Gulp and a jumbo frozen Snickers, and you were shittin' in tall cotton.

ConnYank's poison was something he dubbed "Nachos Del Muerto".  He'd dump the provided bag of corn chips in the little tray, then crush them into little pieces.  This would allow more room for toppings.

Then, a bath under the hot cheese dispenser and the "chili" dispenser, followed by a fistful of onions & peppers from the hot dog condiments, and he'd end up with almost 2 pounds of hot nasty tucked into the little plastic tray.

I'm really surprised none of us have succumbed to colon cancer yet...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Feedback Dilemma

California's Too Far To Drive For The Flaming Shit Sack Prank...

One of the things I dislike most about eBay is the Catch-22 of receiving feedback from a seller who waits until you post first.

Your feedback represents your reputation on eBay, so getting downchecked even once can cause people to avoid you as a buyer or seller.   I myself am extremely cautious of doing a deal with someone not in the high 90% range.

As someone who's mostly a buyer, I'm of the opinion that as soon as I pay for an auction, the seller owes me positive feedback.  10-12 years ago, I could see waiting for the money order or check to clear, but with Paypal, as soon as you hit "GO", you've done your part, and fulfilled your end of the transaction.  Positive feedback should be the ONLY option at that point.

Still, many buyers won't post Buyer Feedback until you post about their service.  And there lies the catch.  If you're not 100% happy, and decide to go Neutral or even Negative, they have the option to retaliate.

Here's my deal:  I ordered a few DVD's from a seller in California.  Got the order with no problems, and put them on my "preferred seller" list.

A month or so later, I ordered another batch of DVDs.  They fucked up the order, and sent me a repeat shipment of the 1st order.

Hey, mistakes happen.  No worries.  I contact them, and they request that I ship back the bad order, and they'll refund the shipping fee.  I agree, but ask them to expedite the correct order.

Naturally, they delay shipping until they get their order back, and then I'm stuck waiting another 10 days for these cheapskates to ship Parcel Post.

I'm kinda pissed about it.  They screwed up, not me, and they held my shipment hostage until I fixed their mistake for them.  I really want to either drop Neutral feedback on all the transactions, or post all Positive and throw in one Negative just to let them know they could have done better.

Still, with a seller as tight and self-centered as they appear to be, I don't want to get smeared in return.

Sigh.  Maybe I'll just ignore it and hope it goes away...