Coffee and cigarettes…

December 18, 2008

strange luck, stranger fate…

Filed under: we need... a purpose — techrat @ 11:48 am

Long-time readers of my random scribblings will recognize this from back in 2000, when I originally scrawled it out in a fit of insomnia-powered rambling and posted it to a couple of the writing groups I was involved with at the time as sort of a “holy crap, dude, life just kicked me in the ass” thing.

For the rest of you… I present one of the few reasons I’m willing to tolerate this time of year. It reaffirms my belief in real magic, fate, luck and the fact that little things often have bigger results than anyone’s biggest or best efforts.


December 17, 2008

on the mend… but only just so

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 11:50 am

Went and saw my father last night, down at Bay Pines. As it was a Tuesday, I had Miss Kidd along with me. I have no idea how much or how detailed this will be, so I’ll stick most of it behind the cut here.


December 15, 2008

the hellidays have begun…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:21 am

Got the annual “are you coming for Christmas?” call from my grandmother, and during our chat she shared that my dad was once again in the hospital. Ignoring the fit of pique I got from finding this out from her and not my mother (who you’d expect would call to let me know these things, right?), she drops the bomb that this time, it’s another Christmas amputation.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the doctors decided that the only way to keep my dad alive was to take one leg off just below the knee. His having diabetes, and not taking all that good care of himself, has done the same thing to the remaining leg that led to the original one being amputated.

The worst part of it all? I feel like hell because my first thought was hoping, just a little, that perhaps he’d fade away under anesthesia this time and not hurt anymore. Not “will he be ok?” or “this must be awful for him to face” but just “hasn’t he suffered enough already?”

I feel like I’m the most horrible son a father could have. And given his and my history, that’s saying something.

December 11, 2008

time for the monthly rah-rah

Filed under: things we hates — techrat @ 10:10 am

Came in this morning to find the monthly “state of the company” address was about to start.

Our bonus structure is tied to several things – profitability, naturally, but also things like safety, on-time delivery and such. Thanks to a few ‘incidents’ including a recent one where someone put his hand through a table sander, we’ve lost the safety points. We’re on track to get about half of the overall bonus allocation percentage, though, if we can maintain through the end of the month.

Other than that… we’re in as good of shape as one might expect given the economy. Lots of future business is now in a nebulous state, as financing (specific to our industry, financing for construction) has, obviously, taken a huge hit of late. We’re usually booked solid 2-3 months in advance… so far, January is only 90-something percent booked.

Am I worried? No more than usual. This company’s been around for 30 years – it survived Carter’s recession as a startup. (Part of the rah-rah was service awards – this month, one gal hit 29 years.) But all the same, I’m still keeping an ear to the ground. Survival traits die hard…

December 2, 2008

Why, yes, I’d like some cheese to go with this whine…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 1:28 pm

I don’t wanna go to Missouri in January! That’s just… evil.

The Fun Factory is shipping me off to a place about an hour outside KCMO for training on the new system we’ll be using to control job creation and parts pattern files for the giant arm-eating machinery. It’ll be a fun-filled week, I’m quite sure.

But, at least, it did settle one thing that’s been on my mind. I dropped both registered classes for the spring term… missing a week that early in the term tends to become unrecoverable, especially in as intense a subject as Statistics (where I will likely have to actually work, as opposed to the achieve-without-effort Tao effect I’ve been working with to date).

So we now will be diverting that tuition funding toward certification testing instead. I need to add some letters after my name so I can find something that pays a lot better than the Fun Factory does. This being broke crap sucks.

December 1, 2008

my ipod hates me

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 5:55 pm

I almost got thrown out of my exam tonight, because of my ipod.

They’re allowed during this prof’s tests. But it made me laugh my ass off rather disruptively.

I got RickRolled by my ipod.

Bonus: tonight’s test? On the endocrine system, circulatory system, and the heart.

Which Rick is never gonna break.

November 26, 2008

found on craigslist…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 3:22 pm

Originally from

OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o’clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn’t meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that’s what your Prius is for. If that’s the kind of car you’re looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn’t even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don’t get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn’t let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don’t even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It’s got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you’re operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you’re being chased by Libyan terrorists, you’ll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It’s saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There’s a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I’ll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don’t walk up and tell me you’ll give me $5,000 for it. That’s liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let’s just say you won’t be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There’s only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it’s a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I’ll get back to you. And when I do, we’ll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I’m throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can’t fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on.

November 20, 2008

hey, florida! this is how it’s supposed to work!

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 9:59 am

Small Oregon Town Elects Openly-Transgendered Mayor

First off… said mayor isn’t exactly handsome. Or pretty. So consider yourself warned that you may want some eye bleach handy.

But what I find most awesome about this story is this: A small town where, literally, everyone knows everyone else – which is usually the sort of town that is fearful and hateful of things extra-ordinary – has basically shrugged its collective shoulders and said, “Who cares what s/he looks like? S/he does a good job and is a good person.”

We need many more towns like this. Then maybe, just maybe, equality will be real.

November 19, 2008

just a wee bauble…

Filed under: brain candy — techrat @ 10:39 pm

Every once in a while, I find something so extremely nifty and appropriate for someone in my life, it just has this way of making its way into their hands.

This is one such case.

Sheer, unadulterated niftyness

Sheer, unadulterated niftyness

November 18, 2008

overachiever’s anonymous

Filed under: brain candy,we need... a purpose — techrat @ 5:25 am

We’re in the homestretch for the fall term, and three out of four tests are complete in my Biology class. Through the miracle of extra credit, I present the following test results:

Test 1: 102 (not much extra pointage available on this one)
Test 2: 114 (highest in the class, due to scoring a couple of bonus EC points beyond the usual available amount by writing a blurb in the margins on the way fingerprints are made in the dermis)
Test 3: 117 (Curse you, trochlear nerve, for eluding me at test time and depriving me of a perfect-including-EC score. Curse you!)

Combine those with the 100% for the lab portion of the class (aka the “participant ribbon”, since you basically just have to show up to get this one), and I have a grand sum of 433 points, out of 450 necessary to get an A for the term.

So, apparently, for the final exam I basically just need to show up, have a pulse, and spell my name correctly… statistically speaking, I could Christmas tree the test itself and get enough points to get the A.

On the one hand… woohoo, the GPA remains unthreatened. It also remains ever so slightly imperfect… {shakes tiny fist in rage at the lone B on the transcript, a leftover from high school dual-enrollment classes}

On the other hand, it’s somewhat amusing that this isn’t my best result. Last year in Advanced Crime Scene Tech, I managed to garner enough extra credit throughout the term to take a Mulligan on the final and still walk with the A.

And on the gripping hand, I’m so not the type to do this. It just tickles me to know that I can.

From the study guide for this test, it looks like there’s about 15 extra points possible. Given the last test is on the endocrine and circulatory systems (and also given my somewhat pathological obsession with blood’s interesting properties and my fascination with the glandular systems), I think most of these will be mine.

It’s really a pity they can’t put plusses on transcripts. They wouldn’t need to buff the GPA… they’d just look awesome.

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