Quote Of The Day

“Go with the decision that will make for a good story. “

I found a list of 45 fatherly words of wisdom at RECCE ROOM and that one is my favorite. It ties into something I’ve personally said in many dire and unpleasant moments:

“This is going to be a really funny story… later.”

Glad to know I’m not the only one.

There are a few other classics in the list:

“No matter their job or status, everyone deserves your respect.”
“A man does what needs to be done without complaining.”
“Never stop learning.”
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
“Luck favors the prepared.”

And the most undeniably true of all:

“Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.”

Words to live by.

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Small Observations

I was in my truck and bored. My solution, which never works, was to turn on my radio. I had a choice between the same playlist they’ve been pounding into the ground since 1984, a hyperventilating nitwit on AM, another playlist they’ve been pounding into the ground but with enough “yee-haw” inserted to call it “country”, a couple muscleheads who think football is an urgent thing, and America’s Pravda.

I chose NPR. What can I say? I’m tired of the songs currently on my MP3 player.

So NPR chooses to spend it’s time with a breathy yahoo interviewing some generic “expert” about… get this… food.

homer simpson boringThey sounded like a paired clone experiment in how alike can two college educated white chicks get in both tone and thinking. Diversity? Yah! One has a blue Subaru and the other has a green one and they shop at different branches of “Whole Foods” and have different versions of iPhones. Want diversity on radio? Book me and Pyjama boy for a cage match discussion about economic policy… I guaran-damn-tee that you’ll see two sides of the issue (and possibly the gutted insides of Pyjama boy). But I digress.

The clones were talking about the eighth revision to the Dietary Guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is based on the work of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Holy shit, I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. (I’m not making this up.)

Of course it’s not really news that it exists. We all remember this kind of crap from the health classes we slept through in High School. Like all red blooded Americans I’m aware that there are recommendations and, as God intended, I ignore them.

Meanwhile breathless interviewer chick feels the need to explain this fact to the six human beings who haven’t been exposed to dietary nattering bullshit. The quote (from memory) is something like this:

“This document is the Government’s advice on what people should eat.”

Then I have an epiphany. We have Governmental advice on what you should eat.

What’s more fascinating is that there are apparently people who pay attention to such things. (Who these people are is something of a mystery but I accept that they exist.)

What turned the dial to eleven was that there is a radio station run by and catering to people who consult the Government about whether it’s better to dine on a carrot and tea or cram your face with Pringles and Vodka. They live among us.

OK fine. I’m well aware that this is just a nannyish cascading feature. It’s a second order driver of school lunches, SNAP benefits, cafeterias in VA hospitals, and possibly explains what the hell happens to you if you eat one of those five pound blocks of Government cheese. (Do they still make those? Man, I’ve got stories about Government cheese!)

The vat raised NPR drones were presenting this information as if normal human beings might just stand in front of the fridge in confusion until they starve. Like maybe I need guidance to know a McRib is sub-optimal. (Note: I love McRibs and I don’t care what the hell is in them, but I’m not dumb enough to pretend they’re healthy.)

I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Let me repeat it because just typing it makes me laugh: We have a list of foods to eat and people who write the list and people who discuss the list and presumably someone somewhere who follows it. I spent all day wondering who needs that list as part of their actual day to day life.

UPDATE: The world is not as stupid as it first appears! Not long after I posted the text below someone sent a link to Snopes indicating that it’s False. On the bad side I fell for it. On the good side we can safely say we live in a world that’s marginally more sane than one where a dude would gold plate his balls. And for that, I’m thankful.

To whomever sent me the link; you’re a ray of sunshine. Thanks!

I found him:

Oklahoma Jackpot Winner Dies After Gold Plating His Testicles.

You don’t have to click on the link. It is exactly what it sounds like.

This is the man that needs the food list! Luckily I’m here to help. I’m a team player and all that. In the interest of the health and general welfare of American people, whom I love and care about, I’m offering this public service announcement:

“It is the considered opinion of the writer of this blog that gold plating your balls is a bad idea. Also, if you’re the sort that might consider the idea, get someone smart to read to you the dietary guidelines. In fact just let them pick your food for you. Otherwise you’re likely to eat fifty three tacos and wash it down with four liters of Dr. Pepper and a tub of margarine. Then you and your nuts will wind up dead in the shitter at WalMart. Please don’t do that.”

That concludes today’s public service announcement. I’m glad I could help.


P.S. Hat tip to IowaDawg.

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Pyjama Boy and The Curmudgeon

As shocking as it may seem, yours truly has friends and relatives. You probably thought I was raised by wolves? I was recently fortunate enough to spend time with kith and kin. Despite being cuddly as a porcupine and a bit of a loner; I love them.

We all benefit when ties of friendship (or blood) are strong and I hope to foster them. Sadly, the last few years the media has hammered the idea of family (love?) over politics. Thanksgiving and Christmas invariably lead to abhorrent bullshit media articles:

  • From CNN*: “Breaking News, How To Withstand Insufferable Nitwits At Thanksgiving Dinner.”
  • From Slate*: “Everyone Else Is Stupid. Make Sure To Explain This To Them.”
  • From Hot Air*: “Your New Year’s Resolution To Tell Everyone About Benghazi.”
  • From FOX News*: “Ten Ways to Verbally Pile Drive Your Elitist Douchebag Cousin Who Bought A Prius With The Student Loan Money He’ll Never Repay.”
  • From People Magazine*: “Why It’s Your Duty To Discuss Bruce Jenner’s Genitalia On Christmas Eve.”
  • From The New York Times*: “Talking Points To Fling At The Retrograde Bitter Clingers Who Live In The Wasteland Between Manhattan and LA.”

It seemed to peak with this simpering eunuch:

Dear God! Kill it before it reproduces.

Dear God! Kill it before it reproduces.

I set out to spend my holidays as politics free as humanly possible. Should Pyjama Boy go on the offensive I’d change the subject to index funds, double my whiskey intake, and smile. I can do that on Jesus’ birthday of all days! I’d do it for the good of humanity. I’d be strong. I meant well.

It almost worked but I made a miscalculation. I failed to understand that I’m Pyjama Boy’s diametrically opposed reflection. Like him, I speak volumes simply by existing. Damn!

Look at Pyjama Boy up there. Don’t you just want to beat him with a frying pan? Even without the text you’d still smell blood in the water. For one side of the political spectrum he’s a human version of a red flag in front of a bull. Can you imagine a conversation with that flake about a neutral, non-political, interest? You could propose a discussion of… anything and it would be boring to him. Imagine trying and rejecting topics alphabetically; apples, aardvarks, the Apollo program, beer, bacon, boobs, cars, Carthaginian civilization, cats, dogs, dingos, Dio, elves, Eggos, farts, frogs, fornication… need I go through the alphabet? By the time I’d gotten to Led Zepplin, Ziplock bags, and zero point energy I think we’d all agree the man-boy in the picture would struggle to talk about non-politics.

Luckily I’m not him. But I’m the polar opposite of Pyjama Boy and that brings its own baggage.

I’m into liberty. I radiate it. I think about it. I breathe it. I see it. I feel it. I care about it. Liberty has seeped into my pores and it shows. Just as the twit up there simply enrages us; I might do the same to him. Despite my best intentions I’m a walking beacon of personal liberty… and I can’t lower the wattage.

I tried, I really did. But I’m a human steamroller of “don’t tread on me”. It surfaced in whatever I did.

When I helpfully took out the trash I discovered that clear plastic bags were required by regulation and just about hyperventilated. Some folks must use clear garbage bags to verify their compliance with recycling or something similar (I wasn’t clear on the details). They think it’s normal. I think anyone who examines my trash is fixin’ to get it shoved up their ass. Yet who am I to question their world view? I tried to ignore it and was only mildly successful.

There was a swear jar in a tavern. WTF! I pre-paid a buck and opined that if there’s a time and place to swear it’s at the bar. Seriously, folks you gotta’ help me with this. What kind of Stalinist shithead wants us to talk like children at a motherfucking bar?

Whoops. Not very mellow of me was it? Was my thinking akin to Pyjama Boy who’d demand a fruit smoothie of the same tavern?

I lurched from one confusing or non (anti?) freedom moment to the next. My bacon raising, gun toting, wood splitting, bearded, backwoods, redneck internals couldn’t self calibrate.

We went shopping. I bought ammo and lit the “gun control” fuse. Silly me. Who doesn’t think ammo is a great stocking stuffer? People who don’t like guns; duh! Lesson learned.

My computer runs Linux. Why? I have nothing to hide so why not let it all hang out on Facebook? After all the NSA people are surely nice people who are keeping us safe. Alas my laptop is encrypted and has a skull placard on  top. It radiates menace to the trusting.

I was not in my natural habitat and wasn’t good at blending in. So I apologize to the universe… and kith and kin. I tried to be neutral but I’m as subtle as a hurricane. They looked across the dinner table and saw this:

I am smiling.

Perhaps next time I’ll be more mellow. Possibly sedated. At least sufficiently so folks on the opposite side of the political spectrum don’t look like they’re about to burst into flames. I’m trying. I swear I am.


* Like many references on the internet, these are made up.

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UPDATE: It was NOT a Trap!

Mrs. Curmudgeon here. I am setting the record straight. Despite your doubts it was NOT a trap. Curmudgeon gave me the best gift ever, by not shopping for gifts. I got the electronics, pistol, and jewelry I wanted instead of obscure documentaries or magazine subscriptions, hot sauces that put real human beings in the hospital, outdoor equipment I couldn’t fathom how (or why) I would use or in what situation, another antique tractor for the door yard, strange kitchen accoutrements that don’t belong in my kitchen but might fit in at a backwoods garage or in a mad scientist’s laboratory, live animals that give me the willies (it’s never a cat or a dog or a cute little bunny rabbit), alcoholic beverages that knock you on your ass just by getting a wiff of the fumes, or crazy clothing that does not match and does not fit, but always has a surprising element to be demonstrated (often destroying the article of clothing in the process) such as glowing in the dark, exploding, sending radio signals, repelling flame, detecting radiation, fighting off insects, or withstanding sub zero temperatures. However, even if choosing gifts is not his god-given talent he can ALWAYS be counted on for bricks of ammo in the correct calibers every year. Keep up the good work A.C. – I sure do love you. Even when your Christmas gift wrecks the kitchen, destroys half the garage or “accidentally” kills that cat you despised… But thankfully not this year! Thank you for NOT doing your normal creative Christmas shopping. My hero.

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The Pi Lives… With Caveats

As you know, Mrs. Curmudgeon bought an iSlab like a normal American. She loves it. She’s happily twitterbooking or facechatting or whatever it is people do these days.

I chose the path less traveled… then wandered around in the woods and got lost. My Linux laptop was insufficiently weird so I “built” a Raspberry Pi. I endeavor to run it with a smart phone accessory (lapdock). A man who talks to trees is the sort of fellow who would desire an “improvised” laptop. (Call me “adaptive”.) I have no regrets. Incidentally I have my “real” laptop stashed in the truck’s tool box but refuse to use it. (Call me “curmudgeon”.)

Like all things in life, and most that I inflict on myself, the devil is in the details. I’ve hit a snag on the lapdock boot process. The Pi (actually a Pi2) works flawlessly. A chimp could assemble one and I’m apparenlty just the chimp for the job. The lapdock accessory also worked flawlessly during a few test runs. Then I hit the road and it refused to boot to the Pi. Works during testing and craps out at “go time”? That’s why we prepare in advance for the zombies.

I think it’s no big deal but I haven’t yet figured it out. Maybe the lapdock has performance anxiety? I’ll give it a gentle supportive pep talk and then blister it’s paint with a string of profanity. One of the two will do the trick. (Plus there are more logical approaches like tweaking the Pi’s configuration… I’ll report on that later.)

So you’re reading a post that was typed on a $35 toy the size of a cigarette pack but viewed through one of those huge oversized TVs I like to mock.I’m using the computational brains of a peanut to display my pointless text on what looks like a billboard. Could I be a better representation of the election process?

Posting may be light because it’s Christmas and I’m lazy. Also the hotel TV has cable and cable means cartoons and I’m only human. I think I saw Pinky and the Brain on a different channel. I’m about to tune out. Bye.


P.S. If you took my word for it that the lapdock worked flawlessly and are now being ridiculed by your loved ones and their iDevices take heart. I’m pulling for ya’ and this is just a hiccup. All I can say for sure is that it worked before and adding hdmi_force_hotplug=1 to /boot/config.txt wasn’t the silver bullet I hoped but it sounds way impressively technical and who wouldn’t want to sound way impressive? (Actually I suspect all of this is somehow the duck’s fault.)


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Merry Christmas

Christmas is about giving. My gift to you is to shut my yap. No need to thank me. I’ll show up again some other time. Feel free to buy a t-shirt in the lobby and have a safe drive home.

We’re all lucky. I had a post in mind about The Trumpening. Like the world needs more of that. Fortunately, Bowling Pin Chicken was unavailable for consultation and my dog is too noble to discuss such matters. Lurch the cat wanted to talk but I think we can all agree he’s brain damaged. I got the point. It’s Christmas Eve.

No politics this day.

Merry Christmas.

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Young Men’s Fashion Advice From A Woodsman: Rectifying An Oversight

I committed an omission in Young Men’s Fashion Advice From A Woodsman. I’m adding a lucky thirteenth pointer:

13. Unless you are seven or an on duty bodyguard who expects violence within the hour, it is never acceptable to wear a clip on tie. In fact, it is not even acceptable to own a clip on tie.

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