I have a substantial amount of paid time-off I need to use before the end o’ the year. We can carryover (that’s one word? weird) 40 hours, but I’m still having to burn a bunch of days. Woe is me… And so, I was off on Friday and don’t have to return until Wednesday. And I have additional days-off sprinkled throughout the rest of November, and December. I don’t think I have a single five-day workweek (another one?? WTF?) left in 2017. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
On Monday the younger hooligan and I are going to Philly. Friday was his birthday, and I’m going to spend a day with him, just eating junk and perusing record/comic book stores. We’ll see how it goes. It’s not a slam-dunk that it will be a successful outing. He’s a curmudgeon at 19. Not sure where he gets that.
By the way, Thursday was also Toney’s birthday. And here’s how I played it… On Thursday I told her “happy birthday.” And on Friday I told the youngling the same thing. It’s a system that works for me. I didn’t feel the need to go on Facebook and write a couple of rambling, sappy-ass tributes. “Nineteen years ago today our family was made complete…” and “Happy birthday sweetie! I feel so lucky to be sharing this journey with you” etc. Blecch! Will somebody pass me the vomit bucket? No, I live in the same house as they do, and see them from time to time. So, I just tell them. You know, in the kitchen or whatever. It’s wild, I know.
Last week I thought my two month-old desktop computer had completely shit the credenza. It would power-up, but nothing more. The monitor wouldn’t come out of sleep-mode, and it didn’t even sound like the machine was fully booting up. Great! I just bought the thing. And I could imagine arguments with people at the store, and then the Lenovo customer service reps. ‘Cause, I knew for a fact the store wasn’t going to do anything for me. I mean, seriously.
So, I paced around the house like a dementia patient at dusk, muttering obscenities and getting more and more fired up about the upcoming interactions I could envision inside my head. “Just call the store!” Toney kept telling me. Finally, out of a sense of exasperation, she called herself.
The guy said they’d be happy to diagnose the problem for free, but exchanges or returns have to happen within the first 14 days. “Could you hear his neck beard scratching against the receiver?” I asked her. “I bet he’s morbidly obese, and has a full neck beard. No facial hair whatsoever, just a big wraparound beard on his bulbous neck. Asshole! They’re going to pass the buck, or try to charge me hundreds of dollars to fix it. This is bullshit!”
And the next day I took the tower over there, ready to do battle. Oh, I was prepared. I knew I’d ultimately lose, but would get in a few good licks before it was over. That’s for goddamn sure. So, let’s get to it, big boy.
Yeah, and he was super nice and figured out the problem in less than five minutes. The cable running from the monitor to the computer was bad. The replacement cost $20. Everything is now fixed, and working great. I was ecstatic. The man’s a genius, and a credit to the human race. He could’ve easily sold me a new monitor, and my dumb ass wouldn’t have known any better. But he was a good guy, as well as impressively knowledgeable. Who could’ve predicted such a thing??
He did have a magnificent neck beard, though. So, at least I was right about one thing.
For the past week or so there’s been a single firecracker beside the sink in the upstairs bathroom. I keep meaning to ask about it, but never remember. The only thing I can come up with is that somebody in the family is experiencing a severe case of constipation, and they’re fixin’ to blast it loose. Right? There can be no other explanation.
Also, I mentioned this at Facebook… But on Friday we had dinner in a local restaurant, and I ordered a Founders All-Day IPA. And the rim of the glass was coated with Old Bay seasoning. What in the star-spangled shit?! Why?? I have never, in all my ludicrous days, encountered such a thing. I attempted to wipe it off with a napkin, but it was still burning my lips like fire. I don’t understand, I really don’t. Have you ever encountered a baffling beer delivery system that bordered on insanity, like that? Please tell us about it.
I finished watching the second season of Stranger Things last night. It was good, even better than the first season, I think. However, it’s set in 1984 and I noticed a few inauthentic moments. For instance, a character made reference to KFC in one of the early episodes. Um… it was Kentucky Fried Chicken until 1991. NOBODY called it KFC in 1984. So, that was absolute bullshit. Also, there was a scene where high school boys were playing basketball, and one of them shouted, “Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about!!” In ’84? I don’t think so. And everybody uses “chill” all the time, as well. Please. That’s NOT period-accurate.
How could these kinds of things make it past the QC crew? They need to hire me to serve in that capacity. I’m both old and mildly insane about that kind of shit. I was also picking apart Stephen King’s 11/22/63 while reading it. I don’t know about stuff like specific models of flashlights that weren’t produced until 1990, or whatever. But I’m zeroed in on the language, like a sumbitch. There was some terrible program on Showtime recently, about standup comedians in 1973 Los Angeles, that was so awful I couldn’t make it past the second episode. People were talking about their dogs being “a rescue,” etc. In 1973! My brain nearly exploded.
I want to be a highly-paid period-accuracy Nazi. Wonder how one might go about making that happen?
For a Question, let’s stick with 1984. People are always talking about how much better it was back then, or before. What are some things that were worse, far worse? Please tell us about it in the comments.
And I’m calling it a day, my friends.
I know I’m off-schedule again. Sorry. I’m going to Philly tomorrow, so I’ll tell you about that adventure next time. Maybe Wednesday, but probably Thursday.
See ya next time!
Now playing in the bunker
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1984. I grew up in England. There was no cable TV there then. Until 1982 there were 3 (three) TV channels, then in 1982 it went batshit crazy and there were 4. So that was pretty bad. I have to admit that the (imaginatively named) Channel 4 used to broadcast some damn quirky cinema that my 10+ year old self would watch rather than going to sleep, especially the Italian horror movies, nudity and gore, what’s not to love.
Worse in 1984: Beer choices, hairstyles, shopportunities, teevee choices.
Worse now: me.
Graduated college in 84. That was the low point for cars, just prior to the renaissance of the later 80s. Try finding a car with more than 200hp in 84. A Camry made today would blow away anything from 84.
Smoking was allowed in cafes and bars,..it was a lousy habit but it was tolerated. There was no internet, no blogs, no one bitched their opinions as news…that was for professional print and TV journalists. Very few folks were politically batshit. Network TV was more entertaining, e.g., shows we watched then would probably not be tolerated now…cable TV didn’t exist. Cell phones were not yet invented so most people paid attention while walking and driving. Cars were awful, interest rates were very high and politics was a cesspool, yet people didn’t seem to be as dissatisfied or angry as now.
I have about 11 days of leave I have to use before I lose it at the end of the year. So I have to find out when my fellow technicians are scheduling time off. We can’t all be gone at once , for obvious reasons. Somebody has to fix the stuff that breaks during regular work hours. But I’m not about to let them have days I didn’t use, so I’ll probably have some short weeks in the near future. Next weekend, for instance, is my older granddaughter’s birthday dinner. And the younger daughter and my great grandson will be in town for it, so I’ll be sure to be there.
In 1984 I was living on a biker commune. Three houses on about a half acre, I had just moved out of the smallest house, (2 bedroom and $85 a month, with no heat) into the 3 bedroom $150 a month house with a wood stove. Between those 2 houses and the original $400 a month 5 bedroom 1 bath farm house there were probably 10 or 12 of us, plus assorted wives and girlfriends who lived out there. All of us spent as much time as possible unemployed, laying around drinking or going to one party or another on our motorcycles. My current wife of over 15 years tells me once in a while she wished she lived on a commune. Been there. done that. None of us, do to lack of any kind of work ethic, had anything newer than our motorcycles, and my 1968 model was among the newest one out there. That was before owning a Harley Davidson became a yuppy fad, when motorcycles were still cheap transportation for reprobates. Easy to romanticize those days, but I don’t particularly want to go back to that full time. Maybe, in the not too distant future, a small farm in Idaho with some extended family living on the place. Mostly to get all of us out of the insufferable idiocy of the 3 west coast states.
To get porn I had to rent a vcr from the same place (adult bookstore) I rented the porn from – all so I could watch it on my 12-inch black & white. For about $25 (meaning about $60 in today’s dollars).
That is all.
I got my license in the early 80’s, so I mostly remember the good things. Gas being cheap, cruising around at ungodly hours and having tons o fun participating in the stop light drags.
Root 66 says
1984–that was the year I graduated high school. To put that era’s technology in perspective, my Commodore 64 (k) computer back then cost more than the Lenovo desktop I bought last year which has 500 GB! The Commodore was top-of-the-line, though…it even had a cassette tape drive and a 256-color monitor!
And yes, nobody said “chill” back then. Maybe “rad”, “gnarly”, or “tubular” but never “chill!”
Your Commodore had 64KB of memory, your desktop does not have 500GB of memory. You might be thinking of the hard drive.
My computer in 1984 had 32KB of memory and it’s the one I really started to get my coding chops on. My first computer had 1KB of memory and usually crashed from the static discharge when touched 🙂
I remember the fax machines from 1984. That waxy paper that would curl and have the pink strip down the side of it as you got to the end of the roll! God, how I hated the end of the fax roll. You had to smooth out the fax, praying the lettering didn’t rub off.
In the job I have now, there is MAJOR faxing. Which totally baffles me as I find faxing to have gone the way of the dodo bird in my last job.
Then again, we also have vendors who give us hand printed invoices. Sweet mother of all that’s holy, I sometimes feel I’m in a time warp.
I also graduated in 1984. And I am glad we did not have video cameras on the outside of buildings, cell phones, Facebook, etc.
We got rid of our Fax Machine a few years ago. I think the only thing that came out of it were pizza menus, scam faxes, and things of that nature.
In 1984 I was in the middle of my broadcasting career. I also got married that year, which was awesome at first but deteriorated over time, like fresh produce. 1984 was also the year I bought my first-ever brand new car: a Honda CRX with the big 1.5 liter engine and a 5-speed.
Also: I was alive in 1973, and I know that at that time ‘rescue’ was a verb. That sort of anachronism chaps my ass, as the kids say.
1984 I was 2 years into my radio career. Worst thing I remember is ” Can you play some Duran Duran”? I asked Hubster his worst memory of ’84? Having an MBA and couldn’t find a job.
Chill, my dad used to say ” That (insert noun) gripes my butt” As a little kid that was funny as hell. About ’86 I had a coworker that used Chaps my ass quite often. Which is worse, a griped butt or a chapped ass?
Wow, griped butt vs. chapped ass? That’s a tough call; I guess it depends on the severity.
I’ve never had an MBA, but in 1984 I did have an engineering degree and was working night shift at a TV station. I do miss the 1980s hair, though, as well as the B-52’s and Devo and Yaz(oo).
’80s hair and headphones were problematic but I’d do it again in a heartbeat All three of those artists are on my old pod in my old wagon.
Root 66 says
Heh–I keep getting a pop-up ad for KFC on this page…how radical is that, dude?!? 🙂
One of the worst things about 1984 was getting off work at the pizza shop at 10pm on a Friday/Saturday night and not being able to locate your group of friends after driving around to at least a dozen of the places we’d typically hang out. Ugh.
Best thing was the women’s swimsuits and the big hair. Still a great look, in my opinion.
Worst things about 1984 – Women’s clothes. I am not frail thing and every jacket had giant shoulder pads. I always looked like I should have been playing for the Packers. Blouses also had shoulder pads. I spent more time figuring out how to remove them than wearing them. When shirts didn’t have shoulder pads they had puffy shoulders. Apparently some genius decided that big shoulders made your waist look smaller. But I looked like Larry Csonka sans Mustache
Other fashion forward fails- Asian characters on tee shirts. This was a stupid trend. Also collarless unfinished tee shirts and sweatshirts This came out of Flashdance paying good money for basically ruined clothes
Baggy jeans. so I wear stupid should pads to make my waist look smaller and then wear baggy jeans that make my hips and thighs look like they match my faux shoulders
I don’t know how you’d go about getting paid as an Accuracy Nazi but I think that calls for some business cards…
Nothing is worse now than 1984. In 1984, I had pimples, no boyfriend, lactose intolerance but zero awareness, no car, a shitty job babysitting monsters I watched swim while they blasted me with water guns, and delivered fucking phone books for more side cash. Oh, and unwittingly befriended a girl who ended up turning the entire high school against me when her sister snitched. (It wasn’t me, but I never got to explain myself). Life is awesome now!
Regarding “KFC”, some people did use that nomenclature before the chain officially changed it name. I can’t day what year, since there were no Kentucky Fried Chicken shops near me at that time. Just as Friendly’s used to call itself Friendly, but lots of people referred to it as “Friendly’s” in the 1970s even so. Also see Kroger’s, Wal-Mart’s, etc.
I need to proofread. You know what I meant.
Christ, you don’t know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy.
How do we do it? How do we do it?
Volume, volume, turn up the volume,
Don’t be caught with your drawers down.
I hesitate to admit it, but there was a time (1977) when I knew the lyrics to all 11 songs on Small Change. Tom is two months older than me — we grew up together in different places — and I spent my late 20s and early 30s wearing out his first five albums.
BTW, the stripper on the album cover is Cassandra Peterson, known to many as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. It was a dark and drunken time for Waits, but an incredibly productive time.
Your observation about the firecracker is funny as hell.
Maybe the bartender can’t read for shit and thought the beer was Flounder’s Day, thus the Old Bay.
I think you deserve lots of credit for being a really good — and sometimes masterful — short form prose writer, for being a dedicated and usually patient, loving family man, and even for being a man of broad musical tastes. But I’m not entirely sure you get extra credit for not writing romance book-style glop about Toney and H2 on Facebook for their birthdays — any more than you get credit for not walking down the street slapping yourself in the face and extinguishing wooden matches on your open palm. It’s nice that you don’t do those things, but we expect rational behavior from rational people. It’s sort of the barrier of entry for cultural participation.
It’s even possible that if you drank a little more (it’s bourbon season) and read Facebook a lot less, you’d be a happier person. Sort of like trading a brain for a liver: we can’t live without either, but we can enjoy the Ramones with part of a liver and a whole brain. OK, bad example: fifteen two minute songs that are essentially the same might destroy both, but you get the idea.