D’oh!

It’s only taken four decades for the light to come on, but it finally did.

It was on the occasion of my 19th birthday, and several of the friends from Tucson I’d made since coming out at the start of my second semester away at school made the trek up to Phoenix to help me celebrate.

As I was now of drinking age and could finally legally go out to the pubs, the biggest question was where to go?

The decision was unanimous—and it was to become my favorite watering hole/dance-my-ass-off venue for the next two years. It was a cavernous place on the east side of 16th Street, tucked up against the canal just south of Indian School Road that went by various names as it kept reinventing itself (or changing owners). That first night—and for probably a year or so thereafter, I believe it was going by the name Moon’s Truck. Then one night out of nowhere I arrived at the door to see it had became HisCo. Disco. (The order of those names could be reversed. Cut me some slack; it’s been nearly four decades!) All I know is that anyone who’d been going there for any length of time simply referred to it as Maggie’s and regardless of what the sign on the outside of the building said, that’s what we called it.

Anyhow, one of the great mysteries of my life had always been that name: Moon’s Truck. Never made a lick of sense to me or anyone else. Whereas The Connection (which became my preferred place to pick up men in the early 80s) had an actual Mac Truck parked within the building, Maggie’s had no such claim. And Moon? What was that all about?

Well today, while going down the Internet rabbit hole and trying to find something—anything—about the place, it finally dawned on me:

Moon’s Truck = Moonstruck

I can be so dense sometimes.

And I still couldn’t find a thing.

The Stupid, It Burns

I watch a lot of home improvement shows, and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of stupid things, but this has to take the cake.

On Raise the Roof the contractor/host/actor/model/waiter was remodeling a study as part of the project and for some reason left the owner’s couch in the room and then built a wall with a doorway too small to get it out. Yes. Seriously. And the idiot didn’t even realize it until it was time to refinish the floors.

Their solution?

Yes. They hung it from the ceiling. OMFG. What are the owners going to do when they decide to move out, or just buy new furniture?

And then there was this

And what the fuck

If I didn’t know better I’d think this was an episode of First Time Flippers…

And Of Course…

…right on cue, the petulant, cheeto-faced man-child set to assume the Presidency in 11 days had a 3 am meltdown on Twitter over Meryl’s speech last night.

In the hours after after Hair Furor disgorged his early-morning missive, the army of his sycophants chimed in, led by the always death-warmed-over Kellyanne Conway, a.k.a. das Backpfeifengesicht, who appeared on Faux News to ask if Meryl was so concerned about the disabled why she didn’t mention the mentally-challenged boy who was tortured on Facebook during her speech.

The lack of self-awareness displayed by Trump supporters complaining that celebrities like Meryl should stay out of politics when they elected a reality TV star with no political background is just fucking deafening.

More than anything, it punctuates the shitgibbon’s lack of self-esteem. And again I have to ask, if this man is so thin-skinned that he will obsess about anyone who doesn’t bow down and kiss his tiny-handed ring by spewing out insults via Twitter, how is he going to react to a real crisis?

I don’t even want to think about it.

I believe what’s at the root of this insecurity is Trump knowing in his heart of hearts that he will never be loved or admired by people in a way that Meryl (or Obama, or any number of others he’s lashed out at) are—and it’s drives him crazy. Hell, he and his administration are actually shaping up to be the most resoundingly hated group of people ever to assume power in this country, and that’s a stink that he won’t ever be able to wash off no matter how many rim jobs he gets from his Nazi followers.

 

“It Just Works!”

No it doesn’t, Apple. NO. IT. FUCKING. DOESN’T.

I got the bright idea to do some desk cleaning last night, and I ran across three file folders worth of pictures, floor plans, and miscellaneous documents that I wanted to scan. My plan was to do that first thing this morning and then move on to normal my Saturday chores.

So much for those plans.

It has been a day of Apple/Adobe/Canon ROBO-PSYCHOSIS.

I knew that Photoshop had supposedly lost the ability to use a TWAIN scanner driver somewhere between CS6 and the first iteration of CC. (Even with CS6 it required a bit of finagling to get working, but by and large it worked fine.)

I haven’t thought much about it since the arrival of CC, since all the scanning I’ve had to do since that time has been document or line-drawing based. Not exactly rocket science. Apple’s own built-in image capture worked fine for that.

So when I went to scan some magazine photos today, imagine my horror when they came out looking like crap. Apple’s built-in software has no ability to “de-screen,” so everything came out with horrible Moire patterns and no way to get rid of them. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS IN TRAFFIC.

So after doing some Googling, I discovered that there is a fix for even the latest version of Photoshop CC: a TWAIN driver supplied by Adobe themselves! Downloaded, installed where it was supposed to be and…Photoshop immediately crashed when invoking scanning directly from our Canon printer.

GODDAMNIT!

Further Googling suggested a clean reinstall of the printer/scanner drivers. But Apple, being Apple, doesn’t provide ANY mechanism for actually removing old printer drivers. (Just making them disappear from the Scanners and Printers preferences list doesn’t actually delete any files, so you’re left having to go digging all over the hard drive to to rip them out.)

Well, apparently I deleted something I shouldn’t have, because even after reinstallation, not only did TWAIN still cause Photoshop to immediately crash—the scanner option itself was only showing up in the printer configuration when it was physically connected to the laptop via USB—not while it was wireless.

I wasted a good three hours this morning trying to fix this and finally said fuck it and wiped the hard drive, knowing full well that this time I couldn’t just grab my Time Machine to do a full restore; the files had already changed on the latest capture. I could restore my profile, but all my applications would have to be manually reloaded and I was now looking at spending the entire day at this desk and not getting much of anything else accomplished.

THIS IS THE EXACT REASON I GAVE UP ON WINDOWS; THIS SORT OF ROBO-PSYCHOTIC-FUCK-YOUR-ENTIRE-DAY BULLSHIT!

And you know what? When all was said and done and I finally got everything loaded from scratch—the fucking TWAIN still didn’t work with Photoshop. Oh yeah, it worked with Canon’s own proprietary scanning software—a piece of psychedelic-colored crap that looks like it was designed by a six-year old.

And unfortunately, that is what I’m stuck using if I want to get decent scans from magazine or newspaper photos.

At least the scanning option is once again showing on both the wireless and USB versions of the printer, and I have a “clean” install of everything else on my Mac now. BUT GODDAMNIT ALL TO HELL, Apple. THIS is NOT supposed to be how APPLE works!

 

I Just Can’t

Because god knows you can’t wake up, much less leave your house without apps! I need to brush my teeth—WAIT! There’s an app for that! I want my feet massaged—WAIT! There’s an app for that! I need to take a dump—WAIT! There’s probably an app for that as well!

Future generations are going to look back at us and either laugh hysterically or recoil in horror.

 

I Think I Just Threw Up in My Mouth a Little

Ben and I noticed the other day that development has started on a long-vacant tract of land on Thomas Road at 3rd Street. This parcel has been vacant for as long as I can remember. Imagine my horror when we learned it is slated for yet another overpriced “luxury” high-rise apartment development that will sit empty. Just what Phoenix needs.

From the developer’s website:

“When creating Alta Paradise Ridge, it was important to us that we offer residents an unparalleled living experience,” said Todd Taylor, development director for Wood Partners in Arizona and Nevada. “Our internal design process has continued to create beautiful multifamily units with fully-equipped, elegant amenities attractive to young professionals, families and empty nesters.”

Each unit includes a large quartz kitchen island, stainless steel appliances and wood style flooring, creating a functionally dynamic environment for cooking and entertaining. USB outlets, gigabit internet speeds and Bluetooth speakers seamlessly connect residents and their technological devices directly to their home.

Exclusive community amenities have also been incorporated to match the lifestyles of the Alta Paradise Ridge’s targeted audiences including a 24-hour fitness center, personal training, and yoga and spin rooms. Residents are also able to enjoy a wide range of opportunities for collaboration and relaxation in inviting spaces that include a clubhouse with an 11-foot television, a beach entry pool overlooking a private reserve, private dining room, and a rooftop terrace.

“More than just a place to live, Alta Paradise Ridge connects residents to the vibrancy of Phoenix and their community,” added Taylor. “We are proud to offer a top-tier living experience with a unique sense of place and culture to our targeted renter.”

And we know exactly who your “targeted renter” is, don’t we? Urban professionals with more money than sense who don’t own a single item and only use their apartment as a fuck-pad…

Adults Are Assholes

Kids are not stupid. They know that finding the kind of person who leaves out candy for you to take without monitoring what you take is a rare deal. Most kids will try not to mess up a sweet gig like that, unless of course they’ve been taught by their parents that it’s OK to ruin a perfect world for everyone if some sugar is at stake. That’s what YouTuber InternetLasers learned when a trip out of town on Halloween meant they wouldn’t be able to hand out candy. Not wanting to disappoint the local children, InternetLasers put out full-sized candy bars on a table outside their home with the note “Help yourself, but be considerate!” A hidden camera captured who actually followed this instruction:

First of all, there is a bright side to this video: the kids are alright. Literally dozens of kids pass the test before the violator shows up. Even the Edward Scissorhands kid who jokes about making off with an armful of candy bars puts them back. Then the worst fairy princess ever shows up, and it even looks like she argues with that same Scissorhands kid before teaching her own son an important lesson: when you’re faced with something as pure and innocent as a table of free candy, you better ruin it before someone else does.

Whenever I Hear…

Kim Davis or Mat Staver or any of those yahoos flapping their jaws about how “Christians” are being “persecuted” in this country.


Honey, when they start dragging “Christians” from their homes in the dead of night and stringing them up in trees (or tying them to fence posts, beating them and leaving them to freeze to death), come see me. Until such time, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Drama Queen

From Right Wing Watch:

After warning that a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage could lead to a civil war, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson took to WorldNetDaily yesterday to warn that “barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.”

Dobson wrote that the “homosexual activist movement” is bent on “overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia” and turning the U.S. into Sodom and Gomorrah.

“Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture,” Dobson wrote. “Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.”

I do not recall a time when the institutions of marriage and the family have faced such peril, or when the forces arrayed against them were more formidable or determined. Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself. This is a time for concerted prayer, divine wisdom and greater courage than we have ever been called upon to exercise.

For more than 50 years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the destruction or redesign of the family. Many of these objectives have largely been realized, including widespread support of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of Scriptures that condemn homosexuality or sexual immorality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, inclusion of gays and lesbians in all branches of the military, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies. By promoting what is known as LGBT, we must remember that the “B” stands for bisexuality. That would include acceptance of sexual relations between both genders in groups and among every category of sexual expression outside the bonds of marriage. Now the proponents of LGBT seek to legalize gay and lesbian marriage, which could mean anything or nothing in a few years.

Admittedly, there have been various societies in history where homosexuality has flourished, including the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. None of these civilizations survived. Furthermore, even where sexual perversion was tolerated or flourished, the institution of marriage continued to be honored in law and custom. Only in the last few years has what is called “gay marriage” been given equal status with biblical male-female unions. In fact, to date only 18 countries in the world recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. America appears on the verge of becoming No. 19. God help us if we throw the divine plan for humankind on the ash heap of history.

Let’s get to the bottom line. If the U.S. Supreme Court redefines marriage to include same-sex unions, I guarantee you that it will not be the end of the matter. An avalanche of court cases will be filed on related issues that can’t even be imagined today. Here are a few that we can foresee:

1. Religious liberty will be assaulted from every side. You can be certain that conservative churches will be dragged into court by the hundreds. Their leaders will be required to hire people who don’t share the beliefs of their denominations and constituents. Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture. Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.

2. Christian businesses and ministries will be made to dance to the government’s tune. We’ve all seen examples of photographers, bakeries and florists being required to serve at gay weddings, on penalty of closure or bankruptcy. This kind of legal oppression is coming all across the nation.

3. Christian colleges may be unable to teach scriptural views of marriage. Any nonprofit Christian organization that opposes same-sex unions, including our own, will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Many will be forced to close their doors.

I’m sure the Downfall of Western Civilization will come as a surprise to Canada, Mexico, and most of Europe.

I Just Can’t

I just can’t even. Did he fall down and bang his widdle head? Is it something in the fucking water down there?

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard to Stave Off Obama Takeover

Since General Sam Houston executed his famous retreat to glory to defeat the superior forces of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Texas has been ground zero for military training. We have so many military bases in the Lone Star State we could practically attack Russia.

So when rookie Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was ordering the Texas National Guard to monitor a Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint training exercise, which was taking place in Texas and several other states, everybody here looked up from their iPhones. What?

It seems there is concern among some folks that this so-called training maneuver is just a cover story. What’s really going on? President Obama is about to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law.

Let’s walk over by the fence where nobody can hear us, and I’ll tell you the story.

You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for “renovation.” That’s what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.

Don’t take my word for it. That comes directly from a Texas Ranger, who seems pretty plugged in, if you ask me. You and I both know President Obama has been waiting a long time for this, and now it’s happening. It’s a classic false flag operation. Don’t pay any attention the mainstream media; all they’re going to do is lie and attack everyone who’s trying to tell you the truth.

Did I mention the ISIS terrorists? They’ve come across the border and are going to hit soft targets all across the Southwest. They’ve set up camp a few miles outside of El Paso.

That includes a Mexican army officer and Mexican federal police inspector. Not sure what they’re doing there, but probably nothing good. That’s why the Special Forces guys are here, get it? To wipe out ISIS and impose martial law. So now you know, whaddya say we get back to the party and grab another beer?

It’s true that the paranoid world-view of right-wing militia types has remarkable stamina. But that’s not news.

What is news is that there seem to be enough of them in Texas to influence the governor of the state to react — some might use the word pander — to them.

That started Monday when a public briefing by the Army in Bastrop County, which is just east of Austin, got raucous. The poor U.S. Army colonel probably just thought he was going to give a regular briefing, but instead 200 patriots shouted him down, told him he was a liar and grilled him about the imminent federal takeover of Texas and subsequent imposition of martial law.

“We just want to make sure our guys are trained. We want to hone our skills,” Lt. Col. Mark Listoria tried to explain in vain.

One wonders what Listoria was thinking to himself as he walked to his car after two hours of his life he’ll never get back. God bless Texas? Maybe not.

The next day Gov. Abbott decided he had to take action. He announced that he was going to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm from start to finish.

Read the rest here. And weep for our species as I do. But be forewarned: stay out of the comments section. It will make you want to bang your head on a wall until it’s bloody.

I Weep for Our Nation

To be filed under:

From iO9:

A fourth grader named Aiden Steward was suspended Friday after school officials determined he had threatened to use his magic ring to make another boy disappear.

Here are the particulars, from The Odessa American:

His father, Jason Steward, said the family had been to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” last weekend. His son brought a ring to his class at Kermit Elementary School and told another boy his magic ring could make the boy disappear.

Steward said the principal said threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated – whether magical or not. Principal Roxanne Greer declined to comment on the matter.

“All student stuff is confidential,” Greer said. She referred a call from the Odessa American to Kermit ISD Superintendent Bill Boyd, who did not return a phone call.

And we wonder why we’re the laughingstock of the rest of the world…

2015 is Off to a Fabulous Start

I took the OS X certification test this morning.

I failed…and rather spectacularly if we’re going to be honest.

So much for my quick ticket out of Hell.

I sincerely thought I had this thing in the hole. My only worry was that there would be several fill-in-the-blank questions, all of which I failed miserably on the practice tests I’d taken. (The wording needed to be exactly as it was in the course materials in order to get those right; if you so much as used an “a” when there should have been an “an,” you’d fail.) When the tests were all matching, true/false, and multiple-choice I consistently scored in the upper nineties. I figured even if a quarter of the questions on the final exam were the fill-in-the-blank variety, I could miss them all and still squeak by with with the minimum 75% passing grade.

Alas, it was not to be. And it’s just another one of the “death by a thousand cuts” that Denver has come to symbolize.

I’m not trying to make excuses, but the final test bore absolutely no resemblance to any of the so-called “official” practice tests I’d taken. It was all multiple choice, so thankfully I didn’t have to write anything out, but I still only got a score of 65% correct.

I can take it again, but this time it will cost me and not my employer. If I do decide to take it again, I will need to definitely pour over the course materials, because the test managed to focus on the least-discussed concepts that were covered in training and since they aren’t in any of the practice tests, they are not committed to memory.

To add insult to injury, there is a very good chance that Ben’s contract is not going to be renewed for the next school year.

We may be moving back to Phoenix sooner rather than later.

And I also found out I need $1000 in car repairs.

Happy Fucking New Year!

And Here I Thought It was only Jobs Who’d Taken LSD…

“There’s nothing to keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market. We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time.” ~ Steve Wozniak, obviously tripping on something

And on the Heels of that Last Post…

I found these online today. Learn to drive, morons!

I…I just can’t.

Next time take the elevator.

No, you cannot automatically ignore all traffic signs just because you’re a fucking cop. Asshole.

I would love to hear the explanation for this one.

Proof that stupidity is not limited to Americans.

There’s a reason there’s a “No Driving” rule on beaches, but apparently this driver knew better.

How? I mean, just how?

You missed the target. Next time a little more to the right and down.

She looks rather proud of herself, doesn’t she?

You could’ve just knocked.

All This Has Happened Before and Will Happen Again

A relative of Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot, which last year managed to outpace the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt on a treadmill, is now able to run outdoors untethered. Named the WildCat, the outdoor runner is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and is being developed for military use.

Of course it’s being developed for military use.

Do today’s engineers only read halfway through the warning stories of science fiction? I mean, it seems like they get to the “gee whiz that’s cool!” part of the book and then walk away to create this shit without reading the part where gee whiz technology obliterates mankind.

“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” ~ Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Dune

Waste

A few weeks ago I ordered two memory modules at work from our normal supplier. This is how they were packed.

Abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous.

What’s worse? When Xerox sent me a pinch roller assembly (an item that’s about 3 inches square) in an 18″ square box. Seriously.

Fucking Insanity

Two California teenagers were arrested on New Year’s Eve after allegedly spiking one of their parents’ milkshakes with sleeping medication. The girls did this, the local police said, because one girl felt her parents’ Internet curfew was too strict. The parents apparently restricted access to the family’s wireless Internet connection after 10pm.

“The unsuspecting parents consumed only about a quarter of their shakes thinking that they tasted very odd,” the police in Rocklin, California (22 miles northeast of the state capital, Sacramento) reported.

“However, they consumed enough of the medicine for it to take effect within an hour and fell asleep. The parents did not awake until the following morning and did not remember what had occurred.”

Police told the Sacramento Bee that after waking once during the night with headaches and grogginess that persisted until morning, the adults went to the police to get a $5 drug test kit.

“Many parents buy them and have their kids’ urine tested,” Lt. Lon Milka, a Rocklin police spokesperson, told the paper. When the parents found out they had been drugged, they alerted the police, who promptly arrested the teens on charges of conspiracy and willfully mingling a pharmaceutical with food.

The names of the 15- and 16-year-old girls—who were booked in Placer County Juvenile Hall on December 31, 2012—are being withheld as they are minors.

“The girls wanted to use the Internet, and they’d go to whatever means they had to,” Milka added. “If they were adults, they could be facing prison time.”

Clusterfucked, Part Two

This trip just keeps getting better and better.

After grabbing breakfast yesterday, I headed back over to Dad’s to continue the process of clearing out the years of trash and garbage that had accumulated in his mobile home.

Several hours later, after using up an entire box of yard-size garbage bags, and getting a very clear idea of whom my father had become, I had to take a break.

Grabbed lunch and stopped at a grocery store on the way pack to pick up a small laundry basket.

When I came out, the car wouldn’t start.

Annoyed because I’d just replaced the battery less than 48 hours earlier, but not worried, I pulled out my portable battery pack, hooked it up to the terminals and attempted to start the car.

Nothing.

I called Geico Roadside Assistance. About twenty minutes later a couple guys showed up and attempted to jump start the car.

Still nothing.

“It’s probably your starter,” they matter-of-factly announced.

After arranging for an actual tow (they hadn’t arrived in a tow truck), I called the Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance line to get a claim started. (Being out of warranty by several years, it’s the best $15 a month I spend.) I then called North Scottsdale MINI to tell them I’d be arriving within the hour on a tow truck. I explained I was from out of state and really needed to be back on the road home on Sunday. “We should be able to get you up and running by then,” they said.

Well, that’s not happening.

I got a call from Geico this morning and the rep told me that he’d spoken to the service advisor at MINI and was told that it was the starter motor that had gone and that they didn’t have one in stock; furthermore, it would be Tuesday before they (Geico) could get out to inspect the car.

Inspect?

Well apparently because I’d chosen to ignore a leaking thermostat by simply topping off the coolant when needed, they need to inspect the car and see if the two are related.

This has pushed my departure date to Wednesday, not putting me back home until Thursday afternoon, losing almost two complete weeks of work; in other word, an entire pay check because I don’t have much PTO accumulated.

I immediately called my boss to inform him of the change of plans and verify that I would still have a job upon my return. “It’s family stuff. I understand and will work with HR to get you covered for as many days pay as I can.”

I’m not expecting miracles.

I called Ben and broke the news. “Don’t worry, we’ll get by. The most important thing is for you to get home safely.” He suggested I get the hell out of the mobile home and go somewhere to relax for the rest of the day. It’s not like I’m now not going to have any more time to work on Hoarders Central.

Ben suggested Copper Star, our once-favorite local coffee house in Phoenix:

And this brings me to the next point. Even if it weren’t for all the familial and automotive drama, Phoenix is no longer home. I get the same feeling here that I used to get when I visited after moving to California. The only way to describe it is “Ick. I don’t want to be here. This reeks of the past, and I’ve moved on.” I can’t fully say I am yet a Coloradan, but I can definitely say I’m no longer an Arizonan.

For the longest time after I first moved to California years ago, whenever I came back to Phoenix I had a totally irrational fear of being trapped here. Then I realized that was crazy. My life, my job, and everything I owned in the world was in San Francisco. That was where I called home, and nothing would prevent me from going back.

That’s why the events of the past couple days have been so frustrating and psychologically unnerving. This is the first time I’ve been back to Phoenix since we moved to Denver, and on the drive down I was experiencing a lot of those same emotions. I had to remind myself that my life—my love—was in Denver now.

And NOTHING would prevent us from reuniting.

NOTHING.

(To be continued, I’m sure. After all, I’m here for several more days…)