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  • and now for something completely....immature!

    In the military, as in life, you meet a lot of people. Some of them will have strange or ironic names. For instance, the Sailor named "Frost," or an Airman named "Seaman," or that 4'10" lady driving the ginormous SUV named "Midgette."

    Today, I was out with one of the younglings and noticed this name on a soldier: Fuchtman.

    Yeah, I giggled.

    while my piano* gently weeps

    *I don't play the guitar

    I was at the supermarket this morning. At the checkout, my eyes roamed the covers of the various star-stalker magazines and tabloids posted there. One magazine in particular caught my eye, because yet again this magazine is hyper-focused on the family of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They are so often focused on this family, they really ought to change their name from "Star" to "Brangelina."

    On the cover is a darling child with a headline indicating that this child has finally "met" its birth siblings. Never mind that the two celebrities have adopted a herd of munchkins, the only kids of theirs that the magazine really cares about are the ones they spawned. There are sidelines as well, including one that indicates that brad hugged his newborn twins to his bare chest.

    You know what's pathetic about that last line? I practically quoted that.

    Why is it important to know such intimate details about anyone's family life? Mister hugged his babies, with and without a shirt on. One was also a scary birth. I don't see any magazine giving a flying damn about that.

    I can't help but feel sorry for celebrities on the one hand, because everyone deserves a little privacy. On the other hand, I know that in most cases, these celebrities made the choice to become famous, and that loss of privacy was something they were aware was a side effect.

    However, I feel most sorry for the poor saps who buy the rags that delve so deeply into the personal lives of celebrities. Get your own life, people.

    Who's your daddy?

    Just to prove that how you feel at any given moment can skew the results of any one-off survey, I take the Superhero personality quiz every few months or so. My first result set me as Mystique, which was rather interesting, since she's technically a baddie. The only redemption from that particular survey was that Wonder Woman was my #5.

    I've taken it a couple of times since, transforming from Mystique to Spiderman to Green Lantern. Once again, the only thing that kept me from slapping my monitor was that Wonder Woman was in the top 5 for each event. Granted, any female superhero would have done just fine, but there's something special about Wonder Woman. Maybe it's the boots. I dunno.

    Anyhoo, I just completed the test one more time. I'm feeling pretty good right now, even though money is especially tight and the oven is broken (I'm desperate for some cake, you know). Here are the latest results:

    You are Superman

    Wonder Woman
    The Flash
    Green Lantern
    Iron Man
    You are mild-mannered, good,
    strong and you love to help others.

    Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

    All I have to say is that thank god Wonder Woman is still in the top 5, or I'd start worrying about the direction in which my personality is heading. Oh, and about that "mild-mannered" thing: it's just a fluke. There's very little "mild" about me!

    And after that.... Spank me!

    The oddities of life are pretty darn interesting.

    You think you live in an okay, family-friendly 'hood. You've got a sheriff's deputy and his family living on your street. That same police force patrols your street every day on its way to do a security check on the nearby elementary school. It's generally quiet during the day and almost silent during the night.

    And then your satellite installation technician gets propositioned by a bored local teen looking, um, a "job."

    Yes, you read that correctly. I had to call the police to report that the [male] satellite technician who was installing my ultra-fancy dishes and lines was propositioned by a teenage boy who offered to perform oral sex for some cash.

    The entire conversation began about 20 minutes before when the boy appeared to be casing the tech's van, so the tech asked the boy what he was up to. The boy responded that he was, um, looking for a job. The tech pointed out he was nearly done, but that the boy might talk to The Homeowner about digging a shallow trench for the satellite cables to be buried in. The teen replies that he wasn't really interested in work, he was thinking instead about a, um, well, "there's a word for it..."

    The tech asks the boy what he's talking about, and so he finally explains. The tech tells the boy to get lost before he calls the police. The boy just sits down on the curb like he's waiting for the guy to change his mind. And so that's where I come in: alerted by the tech, I call the police.

    Strange days.

    PS: the deputy who arrived to my house seemed surprised to see me, and well-pleased when I mentioned that I had just moved in. He was very obvious in his taking in every detail--the different car, the better-kept lawn, me. I really, really hate my ex-tenant more than ever now.

    The continuing story of a quack who's gone to the dogs

    So I've complained before about our horrible ex-tenant, the one who's caused us so much financial pain and who has helped us to learn the evil side of our property insurance company.

    To date, she and her juvenile delinquents are responsible for destroying nine window blinds, an entry door, and a metal shed by shooting them with pellet guns, damaging the lower lawn with vehicles, letting the upper lawn go to waste (it'll take all fall and most of the winter to remove the creeping vines and trash), creating a haz-mat situation resulting in the loss of a perfectly functional refrigerator to mold, ruining an entire house of carpet, damaging bathtub tiles and the attic ladder, damaging several interior doors by kicking them off the hinges, spraying drinks onto the ceiling, losing nearly every overhead light fixture cover, allowing a pest infestation, somehow causing most of the oven range to fail, and causing mass havoc in the neighborhood which resulted in the sheriff being well-acquainted with our address, and not because he lives next door.

    Last night, however, I had a most sinister laugh at her expense.

    I was up late last night doing some sewing when the doorbell rang at 1 am. I located my softball bat and then walked up to the door for a peek out the window. Two guys were standing there, one with a clipboard, the other about the size of a Mack truck with arms like I've never seen. I turn on the light and ask through the door if I can help, and they proceed to explain to me (through the door) that they're looking for so-and-so. I don't recognize the name, so I point them in the direction of the house nearby which has about 12 adults and 5+ preschoolers living there. They say, no, they are supposed to meet this person here at my house, and show me the paperwork.

    Then it hits me--the person they're looking for is my ex-tenant, and they are here to repossess her car. Naturally, I tell them everything I know about her, including the fact that she's a skank and that her kids will most likely try to shoot them. They seemed like nice guys; I wouldn't want to see them get hurt.

    For quite some time after that, I couldn't sleep because of the strangeness of it all. I've never had a car repossessed, but I had heard that if it did happen to you, most often you would wake up one morning and your car would be gone.

    I guess in this case, it's a good thing Mister and I don't drive silver import sedans, or have our cars registered in this state, or they just might have taken the wrong car.


    I am a tree-hugging eco-freak. I'm not ashamed. Next spring, I'll be planting my own organic garden, our house is kitted out with compact fluorescent light bulbs, our appliances are being replaced with "energy star" rated ones or ones offering the lowest possible energy consumption. We're beginning to discuss the using a solar panel to run the new heat pump/central air unit we're installing in the spring to replace the natural gas furnace and the 30-year old a/c unit that runs on banned freon.

    One of my favorite commercials of all time is the new song routine on Discovery channel. It's so awesome. I really do love the whole world, just not always the humans who've overtaken it.

    My favorite cartoon, XKCD, also loves that commercial:

    Yes, I know it's technically old, but I haven't been online as often as I'd like. I've only got something like 250 boxes/containers to empty, you know. Right now, I'm off to the DIY store to buy tiles and grout to fix the tub and to price a new oven range, since that dozy cow we evicted appears to have broken those as well. For those keeping count, we're up to $3k in repairs, and we haven't replaced the doors yet.

    What's mine say?

    Warning: Not Safe For Work
    *but still pretty darn funny, if you're into that sort of thing

    Found this little gem courtesy of Fark, in the midst of an insanely geeky thread which was debating which would prevail in a fight: the Star Trek USS Enterprise or the Death Star. Hope you enjoy.

    This was posted to youtube by Minniver, and he credits Voltaire's cd "Banned on Vulcan" with the inspiration.

    IT blues

    I moved to another state and had to switch ISP providers. Not wanting to go back to cable ISP because the cable providers which service my 'hood suck to the nth degree, I took on DSL for the first time.

    It's actually working pretty well, at least it will until they shut it off because I haven't paid the bill.

    Why haven't I paid it? Because I opted for online billing, and can't log in to pay the damn bill. I can't seem to recall my username, and misplaced the paperwork on which I wrote it. I am up to my elbows in boxes and papers; I think I can be forgiven. The email I used to register the DSL isn't being accepted by the billpay website, even though other parts of their website (including my ISP email site) accepts the email addy as legit.

    I've called their tech support and eventually got to a human on the third call (and after I tried the online chat feature). Eventually they connected me to "billing," which turned out to be an automated voice which told me to go to their website, log on, and pay the bill there, and then the call ended without warning.

    Go to their website to pay the bill? How novel! I wish I'd thought of that myself!

    The funny thing is, while I was on the phone with a human, she actually told me she could see on my account that I had in fact registered, had in fact completed the bevy of security questions, and do in fact have a user name and password. Can you give me my user name and password, I ask. No. What if you ask me the security questions, I ask. Sorry, I'm not authorized... All she could give me was my new email addy at their ISP--which didn't help me solve my problem.

    Exactly how does one get through this? It appears I'm going to have to telephone the company's collections dept, the one that services delinquent accounts, every month until I give up the will to live and cancel their account.

    And no, this is not some small-potatoes operation. I chose a nationwide service. Perhaps that's where I went wrong in the first place.

    Any ideas, dearest readers?

    No, really.

    So I've moved house. I'm now no longer in Virginia, where the rain only makes it hotter--I'm in Georgia, where it's so hot it can't seem to rain at all.


    On the plus side, we've got a wickedly low mortgage on a rather tiny house with an overgrown lawn that will require a vast amount of sweat equity to return to normal, and we're surrounded by medieval festivals, pow-wows and comi-cons. Now, if only George Strait would return for another concert, I'll be all right, I guess.

    I'll be unpackaging my house and so I may not be online for a few days or even a week. If you need me, well, you'll just have to wait. I will check my email every day, so leave me a call-back if it's necessary.