Friday Crap Roundup XVIII

It’s Friday. I’m still sore and north of 275 pounds. Still, any day I manage to stay out of Jackson’s is a good day.

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Especially recently.

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Rewards Are Relative

For several months Beachy and others have been after me to get my computer set up for Skype video calls. While I certainly have the know-how to make this happen, I haven’t had the right equipment. Specifically, I didn’t have a webcam. Yes, I know they’re inexpensive and easy to find. I just hadn’t got around to doing it.

Well, today I have one, sort of.

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No more sprockets for me!
Image credit: Frank Gosebruch

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At the Risk of Trying Too Hard

This is supposed to be a funny blog. It’s also supposed to be a blog about what’s on my mind at the moment. Most of the time I can reconcile the two fairly easily. Not today.

For me, Memorial Day is a source of depression going back decades. This has nothing to do with military service, and I certainly don’t mean to belittle the holiday’s meaning by dwelling on myself. Still, personal history weighs heavy on my mind.

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And as with any other artistic endeavor, trying too hard at humor often leads to disaster.
Image credit: ponyboy-draws

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Spring Cleaning, SB Style!

With the notable exception of laundry, I’m about as domestic as the Bhagavad Gita (or, if you’re reading this in India, Omaha Steaks). When cleaning is done around here, it’s on a piecemeal basis.

I’ve written in the past about my allergies. Possibly because this is the first spring in several years I’ve lived with multiple cats, they’ve been brutal. There are days when they’re utterly incapacitating. Curiously, Boise is ostensibly one of the best cities for allergies in the country. You know what I think about that?

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You’re supposed to measure the allergens, not smoke them.

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A Message From the Cats

Hi there. This is Djoser. Lane isn’t back from Wyoming yet, so I’m writing today’s post for him. Yeah, I know I don’t have opposable thumbs and all, but I found this feline voice recognition software on The Pirate Bay which allows me to blog. It’s pretty sweet, and who the hell is going to sue a cat?

Sneferu and I have been chilling this weekend. He even took time out of his busy schedule of dropping things in the toilet to help me clean up around here. I hope Lane appreciates all the work we did.

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I think we did a good job.

Last night we got on Netflix and checked out this movie called Cats & Dogs. Disgusting. Kids’ movie my furry, tabby ass! I can’t believe they let kittens watch this speciesist, canine supremacist filth. Once I’m done here I’m sending a big, nasty hiss to Netflix. If any dogs out there are reading this, you should do the same if you have any sense of shame whatsoever.

This morning we got up early to play some Blinx on Lane’s old Xbox. Sneferu is really, really good at this game. It’s those fast reflexes he has. He made a point to take a picture of my shame after he humiliated me. “Hey, where did you get that camera?” I asked.

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“Don’t worry about it, D. Don’t worry about it.”

I hope Lane gets home soon. The food bowl is almost empty, and Sneferu is not fun to be around when that happens. Frankly the box needs changed too. We’ll definitely bring that to Lane’s attention when he gets in.

I’m starting to get hoarse from all this meowing, trilling and purring, so I’d better wrap this up. Why can’t humans communicate by smell and expression like we do? Oh well. Peace out to all Toms and Mollies worldwide!

– 🐾 Mau Djoser

Those Damn Ads

I’ve been on the Internet in some form for nearly 20 years. Back then the World Wide Web looked like this:

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“Graphics? Are you mad? You’ll crash the entire campus with those!”
Image credit: Russell Boltz

I often miss those days. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) was in ASCII text. Social networking? That’s what a Telnet-based BBS was for. I still have an account at one. You should go visit them. They’re lonely.

Before 1996 or so there was a definite Wild West feel to being online, especially if you didn’t tie yourself down to some heinous monstrosity like AOL. If you knew what you were doing there were plenty of ways to interact with interesting people worldwide on a completely noncommercial basis.

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And you were never, ever short on coasters.
Image credit: techfun

Sadly, those days are long gone. While I’m all for making a buck online, I find it amazing that corporate America is still so bloody clueless about it all these years later. Banner ads? No one looks at those anymore. Pop-ups? Just about any decent web browser can block those. Video spots? Better keep those under 15 seconds, or we’re outta there.

Take YouTube as an example. Given that approximately 99.97 percent of the population clicks that “Skip Ad” button as soon as they see it, I wonder why people bother paying to put up ads upwards of two minutes long, knowing damn well virtually no one will watch more than the first five seconds.

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“What were they selling? Who knows? Who cares? Play ‘Gangnam Style’ dammit!”

Some advertisers have grown wise to this and (I assume) plunk down more cash so YouTube will run their entire 15-second ad without a skip option. To YouTube’s credit I haven’t seen them force anything longer, at least not yet. Fifteen seconds is at the upper end of my tolerance, I’ll say that.

If you want something really irritating, check out those sites linked at Cracked and elsewhere which feature articles such as “15 Celebrities Who Are Living with Serious Medical Conditions.” You know, those sites so chock full of ads they take forever to load only to provide you with an absolute bare minimum of content? I had to sit through an entire Wendy’s commercial today, just to find out Kim Kardashian has psoriasis.

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Sneferu has more fulfilling moments when he’s licking my hair out of the bathtub.
Image credit: David Shankbone

I keep hoping technology will eventually allow us live in more enlightened times and that we’re just in a state of transition now. But damn, it’s a painful transition.

Friday Crap Roundup XII

For the 12th FCR Mau Djoser gave to me, a clawing and a case of TB!

OK, not really, but I often wake up with scratches on my hands. Sneferu does it too. They’re brutal.

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“I know you’ll do the honorable thing.”

A’ Junketing I Will Go

I’ve made references to it over the past month or so, but now it’s really gonna happen. Next weekend SB goes on the road to visit the teeming metropolis of Thermopolis, Wyoming! Why? Because Daffy Duck told me to, that’s why.

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“You will do my bidding, you despicable persimmon!”

So what will I do there? Who knows? Who cares? Remote blogging might be a challenge though, as my laptop has no WiFi capability and a battery life of approximately 38 seconds. I guess I’ll work on those logistics as I go.

An Important Announcement

Mother of crap! This is absolutely shocking. Switch to hydrogen peroxide before it’s too late!

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Rocket fuel? You fiends!

Track of the Week

Spike Jones merited a comment here this week. Although he and his City Slickers are long gone, they left us plenty of atrocities against the classics.

“Beetle Bomb!”

Friday Crap Roundup XI

It’s another Friday in the 2T, so it’s time to pollute the Internet with another Friday Crap Roundup. Beachy is in a foul mood because some kid trashed a killdeer nest at school today. As for me, it was yet another boring-ass drive down here. At least I got to use the air conditioner today.

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But come Monday, bullies goin’ down.
Image credit: Вasil

This Here’s a Union Blog Now

In terms of finding stuff that’s funny and/or stupid, this week sucked. Maybe I should try harder, or maybe people should try to be funnier and/or stupider.

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Well, this guy opened a library, but who gives a rat’s ass?

Anyway, for lack of material the week’s highlight is that I officially became a union thug. That’s right, I’m now a member of the National Writers Union, which is a local of the United Auto Workers. I figure it’s high time I went out and shopped my skills for income, or something like that. So if you wanna hire me, you know where to find me.

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And no, I don’t get the juxtaposition either. Just go with it.

And Now, a Shameless Plug

Hey! In case you hadn’t heard, you can like me on Facebook. You can even like Djoser and Sneferu now!

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Cute kitties! You can friend cute kitties on Facebook, or something ….

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter as well! Pinterest too, I guess. Can someone explain the appeal of Pinterest to me?

Track of the Week

Ah, what the hell. Let’s take it down another notch to finish the week.

Smooth.

Bits for Vanity

There are two types of people in this world: people who occasionally Google themselves, and damn liars. Last night I felt that self-congratulatory urge.

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Wait, Myspace is still around?

I’ve been on the Internet for some time. It’ll be 20 years in October as a matter of fact. As a result there’s a lot miscellaneous electronic flotsam related to me. For example, a Google search might lead you to incorrectly assume I’m still an insurance agent or even running for Governor of Idaho. Sadly, neither has been the case for years. You might also notice I edited a book many moons ago. That remains true.

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Pictured: Hardcore writer’s narcissism.

I admit I have an easier time finding information about myself on Google than some. “Lane Startin” is a fairly distinctive name, much more so than, say, a “John Smith” or a “Jennifer Jones.” That means I can reasonably assume anything that turns up is about me.

Which makes results such as this all the more perplexing:

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Flabbergasting.

I suppose when and if this blog becomes an integral part of society they’ll let me have a Wikipedia article again. But knowing Wikipedia as I do, probably not.

More Facebook Crap

Hey! Did you know SB’s staff cats Djoser and Sneferu have Facebook pages now? Click on their names to “like” them. They’ll be eternally grateful, I think ….

Oh yeah, I have a Facebook page to “like” as well. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

My Festering Feline Fracas

There are advantages to having cats. Once they realize you’re not a threat, they’re very loyal. They pretty much take care of themselves, so leaving them alone for a couple days is no big deal. I haven’t had a dog since I was 10, so at this point I’m just used to having them around.

They’re also royal pains in the ass. Especially my cats. Especially lately.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned my allergies and the havoc they cause to my upper respiratory system. A primary cause of this is the Pyramid Brothers, who both revel in such things as waking me up by sticking their faces into mine, as well as giving the sheets a nice, thick coat of cat hair.

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“You’re welcome.”

Because of the way the Command Center is laid out, I have to keep my bedroom door open to allow them access to the cat box. There’s simply no other place to put it. However, I have a second bedroom which is strictly off-limits to the Pyramid Brothers. It’s the room Beachy uses when she’s here. When she’s not here it’s simply left vacant. Until recently, that is.

A few days ago I got the bright idea to sleep in there to alleviate my allergy problems. I can close the door, and kitty cats can’t get inside to irritate me in every sense of the word. Brilliant! Why the hell didn’t I think of this earlier?

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Nothing but clear skies, chirping birds and shit like that now!
Image credit: David Benbennick

Well, you’d think that, but no. Both cats, Djoser in particular, have become particularly clingy and codependent since I made the switch. I can barely go 10 minutes on the computer anymore without him nosing my hand in a blatant attempt to be petted. He’s done so once already during this writing.

Periodically during the night, they try to break into the room. When I wake up in the morning, they’re both sitting in the doorway. When I go to the bathroom, I always have company. During the few moments they’re not in my face, they’re chasing each other, tearing ass all through the Command Center. Yeah, they did that before, but not to this extent or ferocity. They run as fast as they can, claws fully extended, back and forth, over and over again. I’m surprised they haven’t torn a hole in the carpet yet.

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They didn’t exactly install high-end Berber in here.

Feline behavior modification techniques have proven futile. Neither one likes cat treats. Neither one responds to being sprayed with water (hell, Sneferu actually LIKES it). At this point I merely hope they mellow out as they age, as the late, great Loki did.

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He didn’t give a rat’s ass about much of anything.

Problem children they are, they’re still my buddies. I guess I’ll keep them around for awhile.