October 5th, 2005

Party Guy

Dorky Morning!

In my inbox this morning...

From: Athanasios Lovering (Who?)
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 5:54 AM
To: Hipolito Hutsell (Who???)
Subject: Re: The stylist

Good days, Do you  end less On you  s?  
 want to sp r Meddication 

Yes? Peace of cake!

V iiag
aali ra $
is $
um $ 3.33

plus 200 other

Get more infoormatioon 

Have a good day

What am I, getting spam from The Swedish Chef?

Also, neverwench hurt my brain by posting Collapse )

Gonna be hard to concentrate on my work today. 0.o

-Hipolito Hutsell
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Poor Brucey

As some of you undoubtedly know, I have a '96 Subaru Outback, which laurie_robey and I affectionately named "Bruce." He was bought new, the next-to-last '96 model year on the lot, chosen because the other one had leather seats (which we didn't want) and Bruce had a sunroof (which we did).

Bruce -- aside from his unfortunate habit of drinking high-test gasoline like it was chocolate milk -- has been a real trooper over the years, including surviving one particularly nasty accident which ended up with deployed airbags and Bruce's frame knocked all out of whack. Due to the Highly Screwed Up nature of insurance laws in Virginia, it was a major fight for us to keep him and get him repaired at that time. (The insurance companies have basically got it rigged so that if any car is ever so much as dinged, they can basically say, "The car's totalled, here's your $500 to go buy a new one." Saves them tons of money in the long run over actually paying for repairs and such.)

However, as of late, Bruce has been developing a more and more pronounced oil leak ... to the point where I didn't want to turn on the engine any more because he smelled of smoke and I was worried about finding myself in a "carbeque" situation. So on camstone's recommendation from sometime in the dim dark past, we took Bruce over to Reston Automotive, with the instructions to go do that voodoo that they do so well.

Well, they hoisted him up on a lift, pulled out his oil pan, pumped him full of dye, and discovered basically that the stuff was spewing out of every corner. While they were poking around in his innards, they also noticed that the brake pads were worn down, almost to the point of being hot metal-on-metal action, which (besides leaky oilpans) is another affliction common to Subaru Legacy variants.

Bruce has had both oil leak and brake pad repairs before, both from reputable places and from con artists; the only thing that makes this occurrence notable is that they both hit at the same time. (I'm not convinced that the current oil leak isn't actually just an extension of the previous oil leak, and that the bastards at the dealership just hadn't done the job properly.) The total cost is going to come to somewhere around $1,100 or so, which is a lot to drop at once, but is still a lot cheaper than buying a new car. Bruce has been paid off for three years now, and I intend to keep him (and keep him maintained) for many years to come.

The good news is that laurie_robey and I are finally in the relatively comfortable position of being able to just sigh and plunk down that kind of money when we need to, as opposed to many times in our past when this kind of thing would have meant either more revolving debt, or eating ramen for two months.

So chin up, Bruce! At least hopefully now you'll be back in top form! The next step will be to take you to the body shop, so we can get those leaky windows re-sealed. But that'll happen ... later.

-They Call Me Heat Miser
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Archie do


"Holy--!" said Greg, staring at the screen of his laptop.

"Eh?" said Brigid, looking over from the muted television. "What was that?"

"I got an e-mail from Wenton Delaney," said Greg, with quiet awe.

"Wenton Delaney? Isn't he the guy who writes all those mystery books you like so much?"

"That's him!" said Greg, looking like he might fall over. "He says Davis sent him a copy of Retrograde Maneuvers to get a back-cover blurb for the second printing, that he loved it, and that he wants to have lunch next time I'm in Boulder or he's here in town."

"Heh!" said Brigid. "Cool."

"Cool?" said Greg. "This isn't 'cool,' this is ... well ... the man's a genius! This is like having Rex Stout phone up and say, 'Nice job!'"

"Well, considering that Rex Stout has been dead for thirty years, that would be a little more amazing."

"Well yeah," said Greg. "But still! Wenton Delaney ... holy wow." He blinked a few times, then suddenly shouted like George C. Scott, "You magnificent bastard! You read my book!!!"

-Crampwell Barhostage

(PS: Still using fake names today.)

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Mad Red

Ghost of Cereals Past

Tonight I found the "Monster Three Pack" at BJs ... consisting of a bag of Count Chocula, a bag of Franken Berry, and a bag of that rarest of things, Boo Berry!

To give you an idea of the significance of this, the last time I ate Boo Berry, I think it was the Ford Administration. Although it might have been Jimmy Carter by that point.

Y'see, I was allergic to chocolate as a child -- which is a rotten trick for Mother Nature to play on anybody, if you ask me. So I became intimately acquainted with all of the cereals (and or powdered milk drinks) that were in some way fruit flavored -- which mostly meant strawberry.

Strawberry milk. Strawberry candy. Strawberry cereal. Strawberry ice cream. If it was something that should have been chocolate, and it was available in strawberry, I had strawberry.

I came to hate strawberry with a loathing that sometimes frightens me even today.

But Boo Berry was different! Boo Berry, as clearly indicated by the pale blue countenance of the vaguely-squashed looking ghost on the box, was blueberry! Something -- anything -- not strawberry! Saints be praised!

But then, suddenly, Boo Berry started disappearing from store shelves. By sometime in the mid '70s, Boo Berry had been withdrawn to a handful of stores -- none of which were the single Safeway or the occasional A&P that made up my parents' grocery-shopping world. (Or the so-called "health stores" where my mom would buy nasty runny peanut butter, carob which she swore up and down tasted just like chocolate but actually tasted like sand with sugar in it, and more vitamin pills than you'd need to choke a horse. But I digress.)

So you can imagine my glee at discovering Boo Berry, alive and well and haunting the local BJs. :)

Now if only they could resurrect that victim of misguided Political Correctness, "Buckwheats." That was possibly the single greatest breakfast cereal ever made.

Here's a clue, ya bastiges: the "Our Gang" character that gets people's panties in a bunch was named after the grain, not the other way around! Grrrrr! >.< Talk about a witch hunt.

-Penelope Throckmorton*

*Still using fake names today.
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