Friday, March 20, 2015

They don't call it Friday the 13th for no good reason.

Cannot begin to count the number of F-Bombs I dropped one week ago today. It's not easy loading an old-school 36" 200 lb Sony Trinitron into the back of the truck, but my son, Morgan, and I did it. I've dropped other electronics off at the Buncombe County landfill's Electronics Recycling center. Open every Friday, they say:

From the Landfill website.

Looks like the 36" TV is giving a lecture to the underlings.

I took the day off of work to do this, because I had the massive TV, smaller TV, couple of old computer monitors (16" Gateway, and 20" Princeton), old computer,old printer, and an even older portable Black and White TV that was probably from the 1970s, and well, it's Friday, and according to the website they're open every Friday. I had to ratchet-strap the whole shebang down, and tarp it, because all loads to the landfill must be covered or be fined, and also because it was raining to beat the band.

I'd done everything right.

Drive to the landfill, get out to tell the guy behind the glass what I had in the truck bed, and he says:
"Electronics recycling isn't open today."
"We're only open every OTHER Friday during the Winter."
"It doesn't say that on your website. It says EVERY Friday."
"We'll, they're only open every OTHER Friday during the Winter. Here, here's a schedule," and he slides a piece of paper out through the little cash drawer under the window.
"You gotta be kidding?! I took a day off of work to haul this 200 pound TV here because your website says you're open EVERY Friday."
"Well, they're only open every OTHER Friday during the Winter. You should have called first."
I couldn't believe he said that. "MAYBE, you should update your website to say you're only open every OTHER Friday, since now I've taken a day off of work, and am going to have to turn around and come back NEXT Friday. Why would I think I have to call?"
"Sorry, Sir."

I turned my back to him and the F-Bombs started. I tried to get online with my iPhone to call up the Buncombe County Waste Disposal website and go back and show him the page, but the old 3G wasn't even getting -69G out there in the stix.

I texted my wife, Carol, to tell her what happened and dropped some more F-Bombs, much to her delight.

I went to the Handy Mart convenient store back in Weaverville to pick up a couple things, and was bitching to Sonny behind the counter about what had happened. Even asked him if he wanted a big busted TV. He wasn't having any of it. But the guy behind me in line said,
"Why don't you try the Mars Hill landfill. They take electronics every day."

He told me how to get there, since I'd never been before, and I started up I-26 the 6 miles to Mars Hill.

About 1.5 miles before the exit something in the rear-view mirror caught my eye. It was my tarp. It'd worked itself lose and was flapping like mad. More F-Bombs.

I pulled over into the breakdown lane just as it came totally lose and blew off, luckily, into the breakdown lane behind me. I got out, in the rain, and re-covered the mass of electronics and redid the straps. I crept up the road and then wound my way around 3 miles of backroad to get to the Mars Hill Landfill. Finally found the squatty little mud-covered collection of dumpsters, pulled in, got out.

The big burly Mars Hill Landfill watchdog came out:
"Can I help you?"
"Yeah, a guy down the road said you guys recycle electronics. I have a BigAss™ TV and a couple of computer monitors."
"Do you have a card?"
"A Card?"
"Yeah, a card."
"Uh, what kind of card?"
"A trash card. You can't drop off without a trash card,"
"No, I don't have a trash card. How can I get one?"
"You buy or rent?"
"Buy or rent what, the trash?"
"I OWN."
"That's Buncombe. You'll have to take it to Buncombe Country Landfill."
"Can't take Buncombe recyclin' in Madison County."

More F-Bombs as I explained Buncombe's Every Friday - Every OTHER Friday, but this man had no sympathy. I took my wet, rained-on-ass back in my truck and crept home in defeat, but not without looking for a nice deep ditch I could back up to. Don't think I wasn't tempted. But, conscience-guy that I am, I came back home, backed the truck halfway into the garage, and unloaded all that shit where it'll sit until the correct Every OTHER Friday arrives. Guess I'm parking outside the garage this week.

But I'm having a beer, now.

Happy Friday the 13th.

Friday, August 22, 2014


I hate iTunes 11...

Bring me back iTunes 10. They fooled me once - I updated to 11 when it first came out, and within 3 hours I had that sucker uninstalled and had 10 loaded on again. Until now.

Seems I needed to upgrade my mac system software up a couple notches so that I could stay Adobe CC compatible with some remote location colleagues (I am NOT on Mavericks yet - when the reviews are evenly split between 5 star and 1 star, with hardly any 4,3, or 2 stars, I know something's up). So when I updated the system software it secretly snuck that damn iTunes 11 in there, after 2 years of keeping it at bay.

I'm not 14 years old. I don't need my computer programs to look like my iPhone, only bigger and clunkier. I make a lot of mixes for people, for parties, get togethers, compilations, and the main feature was to have separate playlist windows open so that I could mix and match/make sure I had no duplications/swap songs with relative ease.  GONE.

Coverflow, GONE

I used to be able to collapse the full view window the mini viewer with the click of a button. GONE. To get the mini player now you have to hold down 3 or 4 keys to get it to appear, and then it floats around on the screen while your redundant main redundant window is redundantly still open with all the same redundant controls as the mini player.  STUPID.

That's enough bitching for now.  WTF, Apple???

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Love Is Three Months Salary

In an online forum, of which I've been a member of for roughly 19 years (Back before the Flash Player, even!), someone brought up the subject of TV ads designed to make us feel guilty - because we're not spending enough money on gifts and vacations for our family and loved ones. Disneyworld, anyone? New cars for Christmas and Valentine's Day? It brought up a memory of the De Beers diamond company and there -oh-so-rich-beautiful-people commercials back in the early 1990s. An old friend of mine, Bob, and a friend of his (can't remember the guy's name - maybe Chuck?) started this riff on the commercial when I was visiting Bob one weekend up in the High Country of Western North Carolina. I never forgot the basis for it, thought it was brilliant, and repeated/sang it often for friends afterwards. And when I finally began to write it down and make it match the commercial (thanks, YouTube!) I had to add a few elements to the ending section to make it fit the music. Hope Bob and Friend don't mind... 

Sing along if you like...

Ten Thousand Bucks
And Maybe More
Ten Thousand Bucks
And Maybe More

Ten Thousand Bucks
And Maybe More
Ten Thousand Bucks
And Not A Penny Less

Then when they get through with you
they take you in the back room and they
sit you down and make you sign your
life away and empty out your
bank account and tell you that
forever more your life and soul
belong to them and then you know you're
toast and that your now it debt for
three months salary - three months salary - three months salary - three months salary - three months salary - (fade out)

Friday, August 08, 2014

A Groundhog Day Meta-Moment

Earlier this week my wife, who normally stays up past my bedtime, stated she was tired and was going to bed around 9pm. I used the opportunity to catch up on some of my DVR'd shows. I got through one show, but then my bedtime was fast approaching, so I gave up on catching up, as I didn't want to fall asleep halfway through the next show. So for the consolation prize, I flipped through the guide and found 'Groundhog Day' had just started on The Sundance Channel. Love the movie, perfect to fade out to on the couch.

I probably got about 40 minutes into it (Murray kidnapped the Groundhog and headed out to the mine quarry in the old pickup truck - you know the scene). I dozed off.

I woke up at 1-something AM, looked up at the TV, and Murray was finishing his newscast, kidnapped the Groundhog in the pickup truck again, and drove out to the mine quarry. WTF? Was I having my own Groundhog Day?

Then I realized Sundance was just repeating the movie for a second time. Wonder if that Deja-Vu all over again happened to anyone else that night?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Icons of Extraordinary Size (IoES)

Dang, I've got to start posting more than once every three or four years.

Recently some of my work colleagues were looking at a web design that featured the biggest icon buttons I've ever seen. We laughed and derided the skills (or lack thereof) of the designer, and then went back about our work.

Few minutes later the idea of a new Big Icon meme rolled around in my head and so I used a portion of my lunch break to do some quick photoshop ideas. It was a fun throw-away idea, and my ideas for memes never get picked up anyway.

Big Icons, bitches!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Peabody, Here. Let's step in the Wayback Machine...

If you could go back 10 years in time. what would you do?

Bet on a Superbowl? Relive a great point in your life, make subtle or enormous changes, hoping to make your present life a little better?

Well, Sherman. Dr. Peabody here, let's step into the Wayback Machine and head to the year 2000 and see what this 'kicking myself in the ass for the last 10 years buffoon' would do....

I'd buy Apple stock for $7 a share.
Spend $1000 and get roughly 143 shares. Apple was hurting at the time, and had been for most of the 90s.. Steve Jobs had been ousted during the late 80s and most of the 90s, but was back at Apple trying to get them back to their roots: iNnovation.

Apple stock split in April, 2001. It was the year of the first iPod and iMac.

Apple stock split again in Feb, 2005.

Apple was back and kicking some ass. We now had multiple versions of the iPod, some that even shot video, the iPhone, and the iMacs just got better and sleeker through each model revision.

My family of 3 owns 3 iPods of various models, a big, honkin' iMac, 3 older retired macs in the basement that date as far back as 1991 (and they still work-more for nostalgia's sake "Oooh, that II-ci kicks butt with a whopping 40 MB hard drive and 32 MB of RAM" Amazing that I was running Photoshop and Quark Xpress on it and doing quite impressive work, if I do say so). I work on a Mac Pro tower at work, and it's a pleasure to use.

Today, with the introduction of the iPad, each share is worth 207.78.
If I'd have bought that initial 1000 bucks worth of stock, it would be worth $118,850.16 today.

AND, if I'd been just a bit braver, and taken out a loan for 5k I'd have started with 714 shares of stock, and would now have stock worth over half a million ($593,419.68). Crap, I could be working part time doing something less stressful and using the dividend checks to help supplement my income.

Good story on the 'Decade of Jobs' here:

I'd work on creating an ass-kicking machine right now, but someone's beaten me to that, too...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First post in almost 4 years. Class Reunion upon me. Where does the time go?

Been busy with life for awhile. The following is a quick, 8 minute stream of conscience outpouring of...I don't know what. I should do this more often.

I'm one week away from my 30th high school reunion. I only live a couple of hours away, and strangely I'm on the reunion committee. Telecommuting. The wave of the plugged-in. The other 8-10 people on the committee have been meeting for months, I get the email updates, and even skyped in on one meeting.

Ain't the same as being there. I'm looking forward to finally shaking hands and giving bear hugs to these people - most of whom I've known since I was 5 or 6 years old.

That's what happens with small towns, and small town reunions. Even though we may have been apart for the last 30 years, we're attached at the hip. One guy on the committee was born the day before me in the same hospital. We've known each other since birth. We were in scouts together, roommates in college, even (god forbid) had an entaglement with the law together when we were dumbass teenagers. I was a groomsman in his wedding, and then life intervened and we haven't laid eyes on each other since around 1985. I will enjoy seeing him again.

I could write a paragraph like that about a couple dozen people, MOST who will be there next weekend. Late weekend nights, midnight movies, pranks, FM radio, cruising, concerts, more pranks, water towers, camping, outdoor adventures, life, loves, crushes, heartache, fights, the list goes on.

A few of us aren't around anymore. Disease, accidents, Stuff happens. Denis Leary said "Life's not fair, get a helmet." and it's true. We get a lump in our throats, we think back on "I remember when he/she did so-and-so in Ms. So-in-so's class..." We thought we were invulnerable. We see ourselves at 49-47 years old at this brief moment in time and hopefully, as I do, think "NO F#%ING WAY! I still my 30s...?...please?" But all of us with kids, husbands and wives, partners, mortgages, debt, businesses, careers, these tough times, how the hell do we stay sane? God, what a knife edge. It helps when you love and respect your spouse/partner/children, and it's returned. That's the strength that can get you through the hard times. AND the ability to laugh. Never stop laughing, folks. That's when you really start to age.

It's interesting, at these reunions, to see who acts their age, and who still acts their heart. I've always acted my heart, and maybe that's why, at the 25th reunion, I was in the middle of a group of classmates trying to tie firecrackers to balloons using a cigarette fuse, and seeing how far we could get them to float over the Country Club before exploding. Other folks looked at us like we were crazy.

I hope someone brings firecrackers this year.