Which means I'm working this weekend. Thanks, dummies, thanks for nothin'.
Anyway, it does give me a chance to blog. The sad fact is that I don't have any particular thing very compelling to blog about. So you'll have to make do with my meandering about. Feel free to give me a slap upside the head in the comments if this pisses you off in a particular way. So, in no particular order, here's what I've been up to/thinking about lately.
Well, I pulled out all the racks and turned on the self-cleaning setting and was fairly irked to find tha next morning that the damn thing was still filthy. Which was explained when I pulled on the baking coil and it came apart in my hand. Apparently whilst the Sonderbackenprojekt was an abject failure as baked good it worked like a charm as a corrosive on the coil.
Well. Fuckadoodledoo. Fortunately these heating elements are all plug-in and out, so I reached in, undid the two little self-tapping screws that held the element in place and pulled it out.
And arced electricity right across the live wire at the back to the interior of the oven casing; immediately the clock display on the control panel went dark.
As it turns out, the particular type of Frigidaire oven does NOT have plug-in-and-out heating coils, and I now had not just a broken coil but a fried microchip that controlled the whole magilla. I had effectively toasted $500 worth of oven/range.
This meant a week of take-out Mexican, Chinese, and Thai, and a trip to the local appliance warehouse store. The new stove arrives tomorrow, and the old one is going off in the appliance dead-cart to whatever sad plague-pit appliances that have been short-circuited by idiot homeowners go. We are $500 poorer and I feel like a total fucking nimrod.
(And for the record, the basic problem isn't about cops or soldiers but race; Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station said it first and better than I ever could, so I'll just link to him and leave with the observation that unlike Jim, I have no problem being cynical and pessimistic about our country. We've spend 300 years whistling past that graveyard, what in hell would make anyone think we're going to change now? Us white folks are still the boss and we'd have to invest an immense amount of cash, time, and lives in making the United States a different place for our black citizens, and if there's one thing people are good at it's avoiding things that take time and effort and thought and doing the easy pleasant things even if the long-term results are very, very bad. That's why we miss our prostate exams. That's why we choose to have sex even if it means fucking crazy people. That's why we buy cheap shit off the Internet. Good luck getting those kinds of people to solve a 300-year-old race problem.)Or is it the fact that as an old soldier, it pisses me off to see the coppers doing such a shitty job playing soldier? Having a flak vest and a K-pot doesn't make you a GI, dumbfuck. If these negroes really were as badass as your faux-Army outfits suggest they are? They'd mop the damn floor with you, all bunched up and standing around exposed to gunfire. It's like half of these so-called "SWAT teams" that seem to be thrown at everything from serving a summons to busting a loud party; just having a bunch of neat-o GI gear and two days a year "tactical training" doesn't make you actually good at soldiering.
Speaking of civilians, sod this for a game of soldiers;
"When Smedinghoff and the others walked through the base’s south gate that morning of April 6, 2013, they turned left and headed to where they thought the school was. But a guard at the compound door where they knocked said they needed to go to another door, so the group turned around and headed back the way they came, the report states.It sounds like this entire day was a complete and utter goatscrew from before the get-go:
They were caught in the initial blast at about 11 a.m., when a remote-controlled bomb hidden under a pallet that was leaned up against the base’s southern wall detonated.
Five to 10 seconds after that initial blast, a man driving a blue Toyota — who the report states had been shooed away from the gate when the group was leaving the base — drove within the formation of soldiers and civilians and blew up his car, gravely injuring Smedinghoff, the interpreter and the three soldiers, among others.
Smedinghoff suffered a pelvic fracture, an open wound on her right lower leg and a severe hip injury but was “awake and alert” during the medic chopper flight to a nearby larger base, according to the report. But her blood pressure plummeted due to internal bleeding, and she died at 1:02 p.m."
“Planning for the mission failed to provide enough detail for an operation that included a “Senior Civilian Representative” such as Addleton, according to the report. The pre-mission activities did not have the proper focus because the routine nature of this patrol led to a sense of complacency by the civilians and military leadership,” the report states. The report says State Department officials shared a lot of information with Afghan government officials regarding precise departure times from the base that morning and Addleton’s VIP inclusion. The military did not share such information with the Afghans, the report states.""The military did not share such information with the Afghans."
No shit, Sherlock. And all so the Scholastic, Inc. book people could get some happy snaps?
It looks like our Portland Thorns FC may end their season early, and largely because they were unable to put away the bottom-feeders in the NWSL this year. I've had fun as the Thorns "beat writer" for Slide Rule Pass this season and I will be disappointed if the team's year ends this Sunday. The Thorns have been the consensus pick for the past two years of women's pro soccer and both years have seen much more difficulty and drama than they should have. Portland loves this team; we routinely draw ten thousand or more in a league where four or five thousand is a huge crowd; hopefully the front office will recognize that as special as it is and move to address the difficulties in the off-season.
Speaking of soccer players, I was reading something about one of our Portland players and the article noted that she wore size five soccer cleats.
She's not a small woman, and it reminded me of stopping off at the old Adidas store, back when it was in MLK, and they had a pair of Tiffany Milbrett's boots and I'd swear they were like a size four. Tiny. Now, admittedly, Milbrett was a dinky thing, five-two or thereabouts, but I couldn't get over how tiny her feet were; her cleats were like kid's shoes.
And it seems to me that in general we American and European guys typically have a thing about women being small and dainty. Back in the day ol' John Suckling described his ideal babe this way:
"Her feet beneath her petticoat
Like little mice stole in and out,
As if they feared the light..."
Bob Herrick (the "gather ye rosebuds while ye may" guy, a contemporary of Suckling's) said:
"Her pretty feet, like snails, did creep
A little out, and then,
As if they played at bo-peep,
Did soon draw in again"
Leaving out the kind of gross image of snail-feet, we're obviously talking teensy little size threes here. These gals aren't clomping around in some boondockers.
And it occurred to me that I totally don't get the whole "tiny feet" thing.
I mean, I like women, and I generally like women's feet. They're usually pretty, especially since you typically tend them better than we do and keep them neat and groomed. But a full-size woman with teeny-tiny little feet? She'd seem...well, unfinished, to me, anyway.
I just don't see women as something decorative. They're nice to look at, yes. But more than half the fun in life is doing things, right? And who wants to do them alone and then come back and tell your inamorata about your adventure? Isn't it more fun to adventure together? A big, strong, adventurous woman needs big, strong arms and legs with big, strong hands and feet to go adventuring...or play soccer, or hike, or swim. Well, maybe not soccer; Milbrett did pretty damn well in her tiny size fours.
But in general, give me a woman built for comfort and for speed, rather than for daintiness. And that includes the shoe size.
The crap we take from computers never fails to astound me. At the moment it's another fine Microsoft product, the calendar widget that goes with the Office e-mail application, "Outlook".
Or, in this case, doesn't go. My company "upgraded" to Office 365 in the spring. It's a kludgy mess, slow and buggy, and I try and avoid using the 365 apps whenever possible.
But I can't avoid using the e-mail, and with three offices in two states in order to schedule anything we have to depend on an on-line gimmick. The problem being that within a month or so of "upgrading" Outlook lost the shared calendar. Literally; when I opened the damn thing the folders just weren't there.
Our IT guy, who is sort of a maroon, spent an entire month dicking around with various Microsoft IT people supposedly fixing the thing. He finally came trotting proudly in with this "fix" this week which required about eleven restarts of Outlook. After the twelfth, though, there they were. We had our calendars back.
While I could see them again, I could actually do anything with them; couldn't add an item to the schedule, couldn't delete or change one. The "fix" was completely worthless other than finding the shared calendar folder and retrieving it, like a dead field mouse to lay on the bedspread. Gah.
Since we were talking about women's bodies - okay, well, their feet - I ran across this picture the other day:
That's Gary Player. Guy has to be, what, about 97? Kidding, no, he's probably in his seventies. Still...damn, I'd like to be in that kind of shape in my seventies.
As it is I'm finding it hard to just keep my shape. The bad hip means it's hard to do any sort of aerobic exercise. So I have to rely on diet, and dieting pretty much sucks; it's kind of like starvation, only with food. But, still, even with good diet and exercise it gets more difficult to keep in shape the older I get.
I think I've mentioned this before, but perhaps the single most irritating part of aging is finding things that my body no longer wants to do willingly, or, worse, wants to do at all. Physical activities that I took for granted, from just getting out of bed to getting in and out of a vehicle, are no longer simple. For example, I have a very hard time entering and leaving a small car from the passenger side. My right leg bends so slowly, and so little, that I have actually had to use my arms to lift and turn it to get inside.
Have you any idea how irking that is? Rrrrrrr.
Oh, one last thing I almost forgot; Mojo went to a timber carnival last weekend.
Do you have those where you are?
They're definitely a Northwest (and upper Midwest) sort of thing, a combination of small-town festival and logging field day. With the end of hand-logging they are also a sort of historical celebration of the old skills that once earned a living in the woods; buck-sawing, climbing and topping, axe-work such as springboard and block chopping, and choker-setting.
And as for me?
Well, Friday has turned to Saturday, my Proctors are done, and so is this post.
I have another ready to go, though. So I'll be back most quick smart.