Sign Me Up For Tammerdammerung

The Adventures Of Roberta X explains that Tammerdammerung is

“…a version of the dreadful dark end of the Norse gods and all the world in which, just as things are at their very bleakest of bleak, all is lost and it’s all headed ineluctably downhill to rack, ruin and oblivion, The Tamara shows up, scolds the whole lot of ’em for ‘grabastic faffing about’, kicks every combatant’s backside, tames the Fenris wolf with a pat on the head and nice collar and leash, tempts and soothes the world-girdling serpent with a fat mouse, grabs Loki by the ear and adjusts his attitude permanently, does the same squared to the Frost Giants and puts ’em all back to work, straightening up the mess and puttin’ the world to rights. There’s a lot of grumbling by bigawd it gets done and in jig time. Then she hauls them out to the range so’s they can start to learn instead of being whining posers. Which is exactly as things should turn out. It’s a lovely story and it otta be a warnin’ to us all.”

I for one am all for it! I’ve had about enough “grabastic faffing about”. Really haven’t we all? The Tamara has my full support and I ought to spend more time at the range anyway.

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Quote Of The Day

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Hat tip to Lawyer with a Gun.

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Tech Support

Cell phones invaded everyone’s life. Eventually that included me. It’s a major personal failure as far as I’m concerned. Eventually my old dumb phone it was replaced by a “smart” phone (i.e. a revolting abomination of bloated software and marketing hype). Where I formerly had ten buttons and an antenna now I have a GPS tracker in my pocket that reports to the NSA. This is progress?

Like every smart phone everywhere, mine glitched. Why? Because it’s a shitty phone that’s why! It’s also a shitty GPS and a shitty web surfer and a shitty camera and so on. Apparently there are people who use them to watch TV. As far as I’m concerned anyone who’ll watch video on a 2″ screen needs to be hit upside the head with a damn book.

Alas there’s no fighting it. We as a society traded good phones for a blob of shitty compromises that are the front end for a monthly payment and I’m going along for the ride. Here’s how it went down:

Me: [Texting to Mrs. Curmudgeon] “I’m going to be home late. It has been a long day. I had to slay a dragon, the truck got death wobble, Ross Perot sexually propositioned me, and I think the squirrels have unionised. Don’t hold dinner.” [Send]

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Me: [Send]

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Me: [Send][Send][Send][Send][Send]

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Me: [Screaming at the phone.] “Did I ask for Google to search? No I did not! Enough with the proctology! Sent the damn message!”

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Other guy at gas pumps: “Let me guess; Verizon?”

Me: “Tracfone.”

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Other guy at gas pumps: “They all suck.”

Me: “Screw this. I’ll just use a pay phone.”

Other guy at gas pumps: “Ha ha ha… and which way will you drive to get to 1980?”

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

After a hearty wave to the other guy at the pumps I drove off. My phone alerted me once every 30 seconds that Google was screwing the pooch. Finally I pulled over, ripped off the back cover, yanked the battery, and threw it all on the dash. I was at peace.

The next day I was sipping coffee when an e-mail arrived.

Client: “Where the heck are you?”

Me: “Here.”

Client: “Why haven’t you answered the phone?”

I glanced at the phone. It was bolted to the wall. Yes, I have a landline that’s literally wall mounted. (I find the kids are a lot better at replacing the handset when it’s on a cord.) I looked at the phone. Then I looked at the dog. The dog looked at me. We were both confused.

Me: “Because it didn’t ring?”

Client: “Why aren’t you answering now?”

Sighing, I picked up my phone and called him. Eventually we got to the root of the matter. He has the unfortunate situation of working with a fellow who will Skype, e-mail, chat, talk on a landline, use semaphore, key the mic on a HAM, and probably would be happy with carrier pigeons but will break a cell phone into pieces when it pisses him off. I have the situation of working with someone who is literally grossed out by a landline. Ironically he doesn’t actually know which numbers go to landlines and which go to cell phones but he really really really hates the idea of landlines. I suppose I can live with that. I feel the same way about yoga.

So I was forced to reassemble the cell phone.

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”


Soon I was on hold with Tracfone tech support. I understand their business model. Virtually no support and dirt cheap. But I do expect a pulse and an actual human being once or twice a decade. After a few rounds I was getting frustrated:

Support Drone: “OK turn the phone off.”

Me: “It was off all night, with the battery removed, under the full moon.”

Support Drone: “So turning the phone off didn’t help. Can you turn it off and remove the battery.”

Me: “It is off. I have removed the battery. I am holding the battery in my left hand and the phone in my right. I think the squirrels are spying on me.”

Support Drone: “Put the battery in and restart. What does the phone say.”

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

Me: “It says ‘Unfortunately Google search has stopped working’. My cat’s breath smells like catfood.”

Support Drone: “Then the problem is with Google. You’ll have to call Google.”

Me: [Suddenly serious] “You want me to call Google? You think Google is down? Like everywhere? You mean what you just said?”

Support Drone: “Yes you’ll have to call Google.”

Me: “You’re saying you lack the capacity to fix this problem?”

Support Drone: “We’ve been getting lots of reports. It’s Google.”

Me: “You cannot fix this problem?”

Support Drone: “It’s Google. I’m sure they’re working on it. Just wait a few hours.”

Me: “Go ahead and say it. Say ‘I can’t fix this problem’.”

sam kinison in back to school

If you can’t fix the phone say ‘I can’t fix the phone’. Say it! Say it!

Support Drone: “It’s Google. It’ll be working by the end of the day for sure.”

Me: “I will hang up and go away if you say ‘I can’t fix this problem’.”

Support Drone: “. . .”

Me: “Your silence speaks wonders. Please, just to make the world reality based say ‘I can’t fix this problem’.”

Support Drone: “It’s Google.”

I hung up.

I left the phone in pieces a few more days. Then, while at a coffee shop I reassembled it.

Phone: “Unfortunately Google search has stopped working.”

The internet didn’t help. I started clicking through menus. My phone is set to have damn near everything off. There must be something that I’d missed. Some place where NSA’s tendrils are crawling up my ass. Where was it?

I deleted some stuff. Then deleted more. The I uninstalled some shit. I found stuff I can’t remember installing and I can’t imagine I’d even need. (A magazine player? Really? Who the hell wants that?) Eventually I found Google search. One click and BAM… everything was fixed.

I was estatic! I starting shouting at the phone in my best Sam Kinison voice. “I fixed you! I fixed you! I’m the boss you’re a damn phone. I rule! Tracfone tech support is all whiny little bitches! They can’t fix shit! But I can! Say it! SAY IT!”

Then I realized I was in a coffee shop. Embarrassing.

Oh well. The phone works. For now.


P.S. Here’s the whole speech… it’s a miracle of the big screen and yes I recited most of it in a coffee shop.

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Admirable Stupidity

Some stupidity is so overboard that it crosses the lunacy event horizon and becomes epic. Money quote:

“…but the raccoon became unconscious from being squeezed and was discarded on the floorboard of the vehicle until a short time later when… “

If that quote doesn’t make you want to read the rest you’re not human. Also I want to meet this man in person.

Hat tip to Bayou Renaissance Man: A raccoon as a breathalyzer deception device???

Other stupidity is less epic but highly photogenic and caught on camera. I present for your entertainment “man sets gas station on fire trying to kill a spider”.

Hat tip to Borepatch: Dumbass of the week.

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Tagline To Reflect The Election Cycle

Most recently my tagline has been a reminder by George Orwell:

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

It comes from a 1946 essay called “In Front Of Your Nose“. Orwell wasn’t an optimistic sort but that doesn’t make him wrong. Perhaps it has always been so or perhaps these things ebb and flow but recently his observations seem to hit the nail on the head. It’s wise to grok Orwell.

Right now we’re gearing up for a presidential election or, as I like to call it, the season of stupid. To help us as we wade through the BS I’ve updated my tagline:

“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”

That’s from a Greek fellow by the name of Epictetus (AD 55 – 135). (Hat tip to Ryan Holiday for pointing me to the quote. Read his article at the Observer; The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings.)

That’s good counsel. Remember folks, freedom comes from the inside. It is not granted by either party. It cannot be gifted to you. You become free by acting and thinking as a free man. Many interests will try to distract you. Their game is to nudge you into creating the walls of your own cage. Don’t fall for it.

Good luck.

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Lunar Eclipse

Last night’s lunar eclipse was incredible. All the conditions were right; clear sky, not too cold, bugs were mostly froze out, not much light pollution (a dark night sky is one of the nicest parts of living in the hinterlands), etc…

The Curmudgeon Household happily sat in lawn chairs enjoying the show. Nice way to say goodbye to summer as it winds down.

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It’s a funny song and all. I was humming along. Then around 52 seconds into it there’s a hydraulic wood splitter and… ouch! My ego just took a hit.

Hat tip to Free Thinker.

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