Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I can dream, can't I?

I found out from Thing Two that a job I applied for last year (and was shunted out of the application process) has been reposted.

Pro's:  location (Las Cruces, which means living in my condo, so no rent on top of my mortgage, and just one set of utility bills), salary (more than enough to live on and replace my fridge, then rebuild my financial cushion and save for other home repairs), proximity to friends and family, weather.

Con's:  guilt (about leaving this job less than a year after being hired), disappointing the employees who have come to like me, displacing my friend Gimpy (who is renting my condo), moving all my stuff yet again, making room in my condo for some of my new stuff and somehow disbursing the rest.

Based on those lists, I'd be stupid if I didn't apply again.  Besides, I don't even have to warn my boss unless I make it to the second stage of interviews.

In the meantime, I'll dream of seeing my friends again, visiting my mom more frequently and helping clear extraneous matter from her house, and not living paycheck to paycheck (I think I have enough to pay November's rent, but that means doing without groceries, at least until next Thursday's payday, but I'd rather starve with a roof over my head than starve outside).  I even had a little fantasy, on my walk back from the library tonight, that I could afford cable TV, even if I don't watch it, just so I could have a green chile cheeseburger and Dr. Pepper on Friday evenings then go home and watch Doctor Who.  (Betty, if I am seriously considered for the job, it will be imperative to have our DW marathon, so I can catch up on all the "old" Matt Smith episodes before falling even farther behind with the "new" ones.)

Sunday, October 27, 2013


As I readjust to life with a computer, and as I proceed through all the notes and to-do items I had set aside until I had a computer again, and as I restore as much as my lost data as I can, I'll be finding little blog ideas I had set aside for later.  Today's post is one example. I thought of a couple of bon mots to share.  (Incidentally, if you can help me figure out a horticulture-related pun on the French phrase, I'd appreciate it.)

You know how you pass by a house or business or school or someplace, and the look of it strikes you as kind of blah?  Maybe it's nothing but grass (or rocks, for those of you in dry climates), not even a tree.  Maybe it's just the same durned look as every other building around it.  Maybe the design is different but all the plant species are the same.  I've coined a word to describe that:  blandscaping.

I strive to curse as little as possible.  I am generally successful, except when I am driving alone.  (I tend to behave if I have a passenger.)  It surprises me that I haven't thought of this plant-related cuss until just recently:  son of a birch.

Friday, October 25, 2013

On... and Off

Well, my new computer is set up, and I've managed to get this far to make a post.  However, the computer guy said my hard drive is kaput, so much so that he can't recover any of my data.  It looks like I have to hunt for my most recent backup CD's and try updating from there.  (It looks like I know what I'll be doing with my weekend.)

Tell me again:  why is is better to get rid of floppy disks and save everything to my hard drive?

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon...

The maintenance guy stopped by my apartment yesterday afternoon and said he installed the new part on my furnace and tested it.  The left side was fine, but the right side took ten seconds before "Bwoosh!" again.  He called another guy (not sure if it was an HVAC professional or another apartment guy who knows more about furnaces), and that guy said the combustion chamber was rusted out.  So, they're going to replace my whole furnace.  And, while they're doing that, they'll replace my air conditioning unit, as well!

I'm tempted to go by the office and point out to the manager that I didn't ask for any of this, so don't start thinking of me as one of the "needy" residents.

The maintenance guy left a space heater with me, in case it gets too cold for me before the furnace arrives.  My apartment temp. dropped from 71 degrees to 68 degrees overnight, so I was okay, but if it gets much colder, I'll need to plug in the heater.

Another "maybe" is that the computer guy might come by tonight and set up my new machine and transfer files from the old to the new.  He asked if Friday would be all right, and I told him any time after 3:30 p.m., but he never replied to confirm.

So, I might be toasty warm and surfing the web again this weekend, or I might be shivering and reading more books.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I think you'll agree with the apartment maintenance man and me that that's not a sound you'll want to hear your furnace make.  "I don't want any more fires here!" he added.  (Naturally, I agreed.)

It cooled down enough this weekend that my indoor temperature dropped below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, so I pushed my thermostat control to "heat".  Well, I felt blowing air periodically, but it was cold air.  The temperature dropped four more degrees.  So, I asked the apartment manager on Monday if I had to do anything special to get my furnace to work, and she told me that she'd have the maintenance guy light the pilot light.  (Um, yeah, that might make a difference.)

He told me, after I got home from work yesterday, about the "bwoosh" and said that he'd buy a new regulator valve and install it today.  Otherwise, I'll have to bring in a politician to spew some hot air in my apartment.  (Too bad they don't come with individual mute buttons.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog.

This post was supposed to be about my further adventures in computer replacement, but it seems like Blogger changed its entire login and posting process without warning.  I don't recognize any of the pages that came up, so we'll see if this post goes through.

As usual, thanks for "improving" things without user feedback -- or even warning us -- Google.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Now what?

This bump (about 1 cm diameter) appeared on my the inside of my left arm, right near my elbow crease, sometime between 6:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. today.
I don't think it's from poison ivy, since I had my jacket on all morning, and I rarely got out of the truck.  Maybe I'm just allergic to work.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

You've come a long way, baby!

I've just finished a Victorian-period book called Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder.  It blends actual events (based on the journals of Oscar Wilde and Robert Sherard) with a healthy dose of fiction (such as Wilde likening himself to Sherlock Holmes -- although Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle actually were great friends, and Doyle is a regular character in the book series, too).

In one scene, Wilde's wife hosts a fundraising party for the Rational Dress Society.  According to the book, "The Society believed that no woman should be forced to endure the discomfort and risk to health of overly tight-laced and restrictive corsetry, nor be obliged to wear, in total, more than seven pounds of undergarments."

The next time you hear a woman say she wants to lose weight, tell her to take off her underwear. ;)

Toward More Precise Speech

I just finished a book which includes a semi-fictional depiction of the first public boxing match to follow Queensberry rules.  I thought of something that I'm surprised I hadn't pondered years ago.  If gloves allow all five fingers to move independently, shouldn't they be called "boxing mittens"?

Breakfast Humor

In stage productions, it is not good luck to wish performers good luck.  I wonder if it holds true for other forms of entertainment.  For example, in the green room of a cooking show, does someone tell the cook to "break an egg"?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

My friend Gimpy gave me suggestions for my tech. problems, so I ventured to a "big box" store last night.

The store website said that Gimpy's computer recommendation wasn't in stock but could be ordered.  He suggested a second computer, but the website said that one couldn't even be ordered.  At the store, I approached the customer service desk to order the first computer Gimpy recommended.  After some rigamarole about setting up an account for me then discovering that I already have an account (but with my Noog address and phone number), the clerk discovered that that machine couldn't be ordered, either.  (So, then, why does the store include items on its website that aren't available in-store or online?)

Customer service then directed me to a young assistant in the computer department.  I showed him the printout of the machine Gimpy recommended, and the young man asked if I wanted to use the machine for things I'd never heard of or "for gaming".  Well, I know enough to realize that I'm not a gamer, so I explained that I play old games on it and surf the web.  "Like Tetris?  I love Tetris."  (Hey, if he's heard of Tetris, he understands exactly what I mean by "old games".)  He showed me two in-stock computers very similar to each other and close to Gimpy's suggestions.  I wrote down the product information and will send it to Gimpy, along with a request for backup-backup suggestions.  (Speaking of "backup-backup", the saga of no truck for me to use at work is no closer to ending.)

Gimpy also recommended a particular brand and model of external hard drive, so I can back up my files more easily than burning CD's.  The store's website said it was in stock in that particular store (not, alas, the one just three blocks from my apartment).  The item on the shelf (which I managed to find without assistance) was the right brand, offered the same features, and was the same price, but it lacked one word in the product name, and both the model number and SKU number differed from the one Gimpy recommended.  Still, I bought it, figuring that, if it's the wrong one, I can return it unopened -- plus yesterday was the last day of the sale.

I then went to the mobile phone department to see if they could advise me about my phone's battery.  (The past few weeks, it runs down on charge in a day, even if it's not used.  I wanted to see if it's because the phone is about a year old, or if the battery should last longer than that.)  After I loitered in the area for several minutes, an employee (even younger than the young computer guy) showed up and proceeded to ignore me.  I asked if he was available.  Huh?  I asked if he was available to help me.  "With a phone?"  Well, duh.  Why else would I be in the mobile phone department?  "What kind of phone is it?" - and he said some things that sounded like English but didn't make sense to me.  I knew enough to say it's not a "smart" phone and mentioned my concern about the battery.  "We don't sell batteries here.  We sell chargers, though."  He recommended I ask for a battery at Radio Shack.

I left the store almost entirely unsatisfied.  When I complete the online survey about my shopping experience, I won't mention the hassle of driving to the store, but I'll definitely question why the website includes merchandise that the company doesn't sell, and why the store employs youngsters with poor customer service skills.

The next time I go to that store, I'll ask first if they have anyone on staff who is older than 25.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

An Unpaid, Political Announcement

Why is he or she called the Speaker of the House when he or she is merely a mouthpiece for his or her political party, not for the body which he or she heads?

Why are they called Representatives when they do whatever their political party says, rather than the people whom they were elected to represent?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Now what does the "E" stand for?

While driving to work today, a franchise restaurant's sign read WAFF E HOUSE.  I pondered for what name would "Waff" be a diminutive.  Wafferstein?  Waffelangelo?

Yes, that must be it, and I've even come up with the restaurant's slogan.  "You've eaten at Aretha Frankenstein's.  Now try Waffelangelo's!"

Monday, October 07, 2013


Finally got word from my computer tech this weekend.  "It looks like it is the main board.  The cost of a new main board, CPU, and memory is not cost effective.  I'd tell you to look at a new PC and we can move your data to it."

Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

And you thought crabgrass was bad!

Lost in all the pucker talk, mistletoe is sometimes called the "vampire" plant because that's what it is.  Mistletoe attaches itself to a tree or shrub and sucks the life out of it.  Think about that the next time some cute tomato gives you the come-hither standing under the twig.  (The Fat Man:  A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon)