Come and take them! (I misplaced them last week anyway and I could sure use the help locating them)

A pretty good solution….

door to the far right

Ok, I have read quite a few articles and seen a bunch of clever little picture blurbs describing what will happen when “they come for your guns.” There seems to be a failure to understand who “they” might be, and what methods “they” would employ.

Chances are “they” will show up with no fewer than half-a-dozen well armed, well trained, well armored individuals highly motivated to survive the ordeal. As the tear gas begins to spread throughout the room you may begin to have second thoughts about the decisions you made to get to that point. “This is bad” you think.
“How did I get to this point?” Cough,cough.
“Wouldn’t there have been some kind of indicator that this was about to happen?” The hypothetical you inquires as your front door shatters and (maybe it’s the CS gas) but ninja turtles with M-4s rush through the doorframe.

Funny you should…

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Now I know why my satellite service took three installs before they got it right.

The flamethrower is positive proof that sometime, somewhere, someone said, “You know, I’d really like to set those people over there on fire, I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”

People basically suck. Some people. Well, a few…

eBay started their business with the idea that people are basically good. eBay depends on this. You win an auction, you send the seller a check (well, they force paypal on you now…) and they send your item. eBay HAS to depend on people being basically good. Because if people are basically bad, then the whole online auction thing fails. You send me the money, I laugh and go to the mall. That doesn’t work well after an auction or two.

It’s that time of year again – dance recital time. And unlike eBay, I’m not convinced that all people are basically good. Quite a lot of people are basically selfish.

Take for instance, the instructions:

“Please don’t text, and no flash photography”.

What is it about the phones that people just can’t give up? I know watching other people’s kids for two hours while you wait on yours, isn’t always the most interesting thing, but have some respect! After all, the people next to you probably have kids on stage at some point. Either that or they are just pedophiles come to watch the show… And the people behind you, whom you are blinding with the light from the phone, probably also have kids they want to see. Put the damn phone away. And if your non-dancing offspring need entertainment, a babysitter may work out better for you than bringing a tablet loaded with video games and movies. Again, the people around you don’t want the light in their faces. It’s just plain rude. Give it a rest, Game of Thrones will wait until you get home. At least turn the brightness down until you can just barely see it, and hold the texting for between acts. We can all agree that will work just fine… after all, isn’t the whole point of a text that you don’t have to answer it RIGHT NOW. It’s not a phone call… it’s a text. It will be there when you get around to it.

As far as the flash goes, learn to use your camera. First of all, unless you are sitting in the first few rows, your flash is useless. It’s just not going to light the whole stage. Its going to light up the heads of the people in front of you, and it’s going to mess with the performers’ eyes. Second, its a stage show. It’s not in the dark. There are thousands of watts of lights pointing at them already. There is more light on them on that stage than if they were outside at the beach on a sunny day. People with degrees in stage design and years of experience in lighting shows have spent hours on the show, getting it to look just right. Your $12 camera-mounted flash isn’t going to improve anything. And if you’re using a cell phone, turn off the little LED light. If someone is more than 5 feet from you, that thing isn’t going to do shit. People that say, “well if I can’t use my flash, I can’t take a good picture!” just don’t know how their camera works.

Selfishness rises to a new level when we talk about saving seats. How much of an ass are you, that you can come in to a theater, plant your behind in a chair, plant your husband at the other end, and claim “these eight seats are for us!” If you tried that at a movie theater you would get your ass kicked, and thoroughly deserve it. I don’t understand why otherwise reasonable people would think they could come into a public area and treat it like a junior high lunch room. You didn’t reserve the seats, you’re not at the Outback with the crowd from work, you’re in a theater, for FSM’s sake! And people will lie to your face. Those are the worst. Little self righteous a-holes that think they are smug and want to get away with something. “Oh these are for my wife and child who are in the restroom”, only to have grandma and grandpa show up fifteen minutes later and take those seats. You want to sit together? Arrive together, get in line together, and walk into the place together.

I’m thankful that recital time only happens once per year. It takes me a year to get over the desperate desire to choke the living crap out of these self righteous, stingy, insufferable boobs that think only of themselves and no one else. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to get behind someone, take them under the arms, drag them over the back of the seat, down the stairs, and out the front door. That feeling is just so rewarding, it gives me a warm happiness for hours. Not everyone is a selfish pain, mind you, there are even some great people out there that are willing to help out when the need is there. But; there are enough that it dampens my spirit over the whole event. I’m not working another recital, ever.

 

Until next May.

Wonderful Spam, Marvelous Spam!

Search YouTube for Monty Python’s SPAM skit…

 

In case you are wondering where I have been, I have now fully recovered from Gatlinburg. The most interesting thing about Gatlinburg was NOT in fact the free moonshine, although that was incredibly nice. Nor was it the collections of hikers in various states of hiker-funk (also known as “swamp ass”). Nope, the most interesting part of the trip was the return home.

GPS units will never cease to amaze me. You have to figure if it takes you somewhere one way, that it will return you in much the same fashion. However, routinely they pick a completely DIFFERENT route for the return trip. So, on the way THERE we go up I40 into Tennessee, then along Hwy 339, the foothills parkway. Its a fun road, very much like the Blue Ridge Parkway, albeit shorter. Coming home the crazy crackhead tells us to turn early. Only having been this way once in 20 years, I followed her directions, ASSUMING that she knows what the hell she is talking about. If you want to follow along on the google maps, we turned onto highway 32, NOT 339. So we wind up up up the side of some mountain, going through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. At one point she says “turn left here”, and we look down the side of the damn mountain at the gravelly forest service road I would only attempt with a bulldozer. so we travelled onward, eventually running out onto gravel roads (although somewhat flat), and then finally we are suddenly dumped into civilization, cross a river, and we’re on the interstate. Going up the ramp I see a lone hiker taking the Appalachian Trail route under the highway, gave him a honk and a “whoop”, and watched him raise his hiking pole in acknowledgment.

I wondered for a long time what sort of adventures he was off to, where he had come from, and how long he had been at it. Then I was sad and depressed, as I haven’t been anywhere in a little while, and my out of shape self hadn’t exercised in a week, except walking up and down the two block hill to my hotel. My diet had even suffered. Try sitting all day and eating three meals at chain restaurants. I felt bloated as a pus-filled boil, ready to pop and spew foul smelling viscous…never mind, that metaphor was getting gross.

So, any way, back to reality and checking 178 emails at work, and then I got this little doozy at home. I had a mysterious offer for “a second job” from someone I’ve never heard from or met. Obviously some scam, but hey, why not have some fun with it?

letter1

Okay, so I established that sure, I WOULD like a second job. And of course, what job would anyone want? Porn director! The funny thing was, they didn’t recognize the joke. They didn’t bat an EYE.

So, they wrote back, strangely enough from a completely DIFFERENT email:

letter2

Oooh – $4200 a month processing payments? Well now I know its a scam, but they didn’t break stride at all. Unfortunately, I didn’t carry on with it. I could have gone back and forth a few times more, probably. “What, you don’t have ANYTHING involving naked people? What about me, can I work naked?” And on et merda.

But, I let it go. Spam is fun, however, and I encourage anyone to give a go at screwing with these people. Why not make their lives a bit more interesting?

Impressions of Gatlinburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The workplace sent me to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to a conference. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent any time in Gatlinburg. The last time I was here was in 1986, and except for the mall/ski slope up the hill, I remember it being a quiet mountain touristy place, mostly a few stores downtown surrounded by hotels and resorts. I had been told that time and money had destoryed the quiet mountain town, and I was not dissappointed.

 

 

 

 

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The hotel we stayed at was adequate for 85 bucks a night. The pool was very nice, even though I forgot to bring swim trunks and couldnt use it. I have been told there was a bear in here once, many years ago. Someone left a back door open and the bear wandered in. I dont know if he enjoyed a swim or not.

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On the first full day of our conference I had some time alone to do some geocaching, and found this little park, only because of geocaching. Otherwise there’s not really much cause to go there. It would be a good place to camp if that was allowed. I highly doubt that is legal in here.

 

 

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Gatlinburg has a nice camping store, the Natahala Outdoor Center, at the west end of town right outside the national park. Try as I might, I couldn’t find anything I needed to purchase.

 

 

 

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Gatlinburg is the home of the “Old Smoky Moonshine Distillery”, the first legal distillery in Tennessee. We took a tour of the place, and tried some free samples of different flavors. Down the street was “Sugarland Distillery”, and we got a tour of the actual distilling room, from ginding corn through mashing and distilling. It was an interesting process on small scale. I’ve seen a rum distillery, but the equipment was so big there that it was hard to get a good feel of it. I bought a few shirts, but that was it. I promise!

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Gatlinburg was sort of a disappointment over all. Its sort of like the old Myrtle Beach pavillion area. There are a few shops with old time craft stuff, but a lot of useless crap souvenier shops. There are two lingerie/”novelty” shops, at least four martial arts weapons/airsoft guns shops, and flourescent t-shirts galore. The old school glass blowing and home crafts type stuff seems all but gone. Even the really cool sock making store is closed and gone. Its all touristy… full of chain restaurants like Bubba Gump and TGIFridays. We walked to the east end one day, and to the west end the next, and pretty much saw everything.

Its nice to see I guess, but I can’t imagine spending a week or so here, unless I was hanging out in the national park. The Great Smokey Mountains park is bordering the town, and I can see this being a nice base camp for some hikes and day trips. There are plenty of places to raft and zipline and hike right around here, but the town itself doesnt seem to have much to offer in entertainment.

The one thing I can say I have liked is seeing all the hikers coming in and out of town. They are everywhere. Some scruffy-looking thru-hiker types fresh off the trail, and some fresh and clean hikers ready to go out on adventures. It was nice to see them going about their thing. I was a bit jealous, and hope to have some more of those adventures sooner or later.