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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    Currently at 4:54 AM 57°

    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD

    Entries in This Day In Nonsense (15)


    All Hail The Orb!


    Our president, a 70-year old orange toddler, has stayed up way past his bedtime during his first foreign trip as the leader of the free world. (since you put it that way, it's time to jump off a bridge. - ed At least wait for the midterms.) During this trip, he has said dumb things, coddled dictators, and has reshaped America's foreign policy to comport with the thing the last person he spoke to told him. In other words, the trip was going as expected, until he encountered The Orb.

    Was The Orb part of some elaborate stagecraft by the Saudi king to open the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, or something more nefarious, as portrayed on Twitter? Maybe it was something else entirely...

    Your pal,

    - bob

    Absolutely Everybody Is Talking About It!


    Yesterday, the fine folks at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (an obviously overwrought name designed to create the too cute by half acronym, SCAQMD) issued a No-Burn Notice for Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties due to anticipated high levels of particulates in the air. This means that you'll need to put out the tire inferno still blazing in your backyard (no, seriously, you should get right on that), but more importantly, it means that the fireplaces and wood stoves heating a touch under a third of California homes must stay cold this evening. You'll notice that our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam says that it's 27° outside right now, but overnight lows tonight are predicted to be at or a little above freezing. In other words, despite this steep warming trend, it's going to be pretty chilly tonight and for a lot of people, particularly in the mountain communities, a fireplace may be the only source of heat in their homes.

    I'm lucky in that even though my furnace has been broken for a couple years, I have several different sources of heat for my house. They're inadequate on their own, but when combined can make the Damp Dog Lodge a pretty cozy place.

    The notice went up on Facebook and my neighbors lost their minds trying to figure out how they'll stay warm tonight. If you simply went to http://www.aqmd.gov/ and put in the ZIP code of an affected region, or use Idyllwild's 92549, you'll see that burning is banned today. If you read further down into the press release linked on that page, you'll see that residents living 3,000-feet above sea level or higher, like our friends in my mile-high burg, are exempt from the order. You'll see lots of exceptions, some economic, some born of necessity, so why did people freak out? Was it because their way of life was threatened by an arbitrary governmental agency but they didn't want to take the time to do simple research, like clicking a link, on exactly how the order might affect them personally?



    Your pal,

    - bob



    That's Exciting!


    I was driving home this sunny and comfortable afternoon with the windows rolled down and was passed by a rough looking Mercury Villager minivan. A minivan held together with duct tape and drywall screws. A minivan that smelled like taco grease and farts.

    I changed lanes and pulled up alongside at the red light when I caught the driver's eye. He grimaced a little, his eyes narrowed, and he started revving the bag of broken hammers under his imaginary race car's hood. So this was going to be a race then?

    Not sure I want to know what I would have received for winning. Fare thee well, fart van man. Fare thee well.

    Your pal,

    - bob


    New Feature: The Destruction of Time!

    My office desk.

    View of my office featuring state of the art high tech equipment.


    My work schedule has been changed to what amounts to a trip to the Central time zone and back again every week, or starting and ending Daylight Savings Time twice a week. This is the first week of this and if I don't get another cup of coffee in me very soon, there's a very real risk that I'll fall asleep at my desk and my head will land on the red button.

    Did you hear me? The RED BUTTON, PEOPLE!

    - bob


    Happy Halloween!

    Guess who dressed up as Ernest Borgnine.

    Here's a little snapshot of the office Halloween party here at Jaunty Central we thought you'd enjoy. The Idyllwild Weather Clam and I thought it'd be fun to dress up as Roy Clark and Buck Owens, but the girly dog insisted on dressing up as Ernest Borgnine.

    I don't get it either.

    - bob

    Urgent News Update


    It's been a while since we've checked in with the Riverside Press-Enterprise's breaking news blog. In this, one of California's geographically largest counties, hardest hit by the recession, the editors and journalists at the region's local newspaper must be pulling their hair out looking for the stories that can make sense of it all...

    RIVERSIDE: Rain water floods gym floor Rain water leaking through newly installed light fixtures flooded the gym floor at La Sierra University this morning.

    Keith Gustafson, owner of the Inland Empire Volleyball League, said he had to cancel his organization's practices today because of the water on the gym floor. Once he heard about the flooding, he started at 8 a.m. calling and texting parents of the 200 players involved in the league to tell them of the cancellation.

    "We didn't expect this at all," said Gustafson, noting that he's never had to cancel an event because of the weather in the 12 years he's run the year-round program.


    Water polo is kinda like volleyball,

    - bob

    UPDATE: I've changed the picture to puppy pads. I trust Arm and Hammer won't mind.


    Small Stories About Disappointing Things

    Don't look away.

    As the tags indicate, I think these things are related to each other in some way. I'm not sure you'll agree, but let's throw this stuff in the pot and see if we end up with stew...

    • There were a couple little automobile races on Sunday, starting with the American classic — the Indianapolis 500. My houseguests and I didn't care so much, but we watched the thing anyway and towards the end, fell in love with the pluck of rookie JR Hildebrand. What a clever fuel strategy! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! Look! It's the white flag and this kid's in front! And then he crashed on Turn Four, right before the finish line. On to our next story...
    • Nascar certainly can't let Indy Car have all the fun, so they decided to run a longer race on the same day. Again, we didn't care until the very end, but what's this? Dale Earnhardt Jr. is winning in the last lap! What skill staying out of trouble and holding his line! What a clever fuel strategy! Then he ran out of gas and some other guy won. Now for weasels.
    • My dear friend called this evening with a story that gives sharks and bastards a bad name. Her father is struggling with Alzheimer's Disease, but lawyers would like to depose him to testify in a dispute over a land deal from the 80s. His lawyers protested that he was too ill to travel and sit and speak under oath for hours, but the opposition hired an investigator to prove this wrong. Video camera at the ready, the investigator ignited an M80 outside his front door and recorded him ambling to the window to determine the source of the commotion. See? He can move around just fine, your honor. One more...
    • As long-time followers of this mess surely know, my hours at the Far Eastern Outpost of San Diego's Omnipresent Charitable Organization have been cut in half. In fact, my Wednesdays are literally cut in half to make the timing work. This knowledge did not prevent one of the bosses from getting huffy that I was not available to solve problems with his personal home computer not receiving company email in a timely manner. Allow me to clarify — one of the people who got together and decided to send me halfway out into the dodgy financial wilderness has the gall to protest that I'm not there often enough? Really? Seriously? I find this behavior stunning.

    So, how was your Wednesday?

    - bob


    The 25th Anniversary of Amiga



    On this day in 1985, the Commodore Amiga 1000 was first introduced to the public (although some say it was actually on the 24th, who are we to pick nits?). As personal computers go, it represented simultaneously a stunning a achievement with its multitasking operating system and custom chips while also being pretty low rent with its whopping 64 kilobytes of RAM.


    I had a long and mostly happy time with my Amiga 1200, incompatibilities and slow development from Commodore and later the subsequent flaky owners of the brand aside. I even convinced my friend to purchase an Amiga 2000 for some R&D work many moons ago. With the custom chips Denise, Agnes and Paula serving up sweet for the time video, seeming unlimited memory, and eight bit audio; there was nothing these machines couldn't do.

    Except connect to cheap PC hard drives, or this world wide web thing. Or send decent output to a laser printer.

    Thankfully, there are still weirdos out there selling parts and software for the old girl. There are even folks willing to, for nostalgia's sake, invest a little time to open up the case to peek inside.

    I still have my old 1200 stored in a place of prominence in a milk crate in the garage. It's a great idea, of course, because you never know when the hackers will bring down your internets and your shiny multi-core ordenadors. Maybe we'll fire up the Amigas and our 14.4k modems to get it all put back together again. And we'll call our new service Delphi...

    - bob


    Happy Saint Patrick's Day


    Today is Saint Patrick's Day, when people put food coloring in beer and rivers to celebrate the death of a guy who used a shamrock to illustrate a religious principle to 5th Century Irish people. Your coworkers might insist that you wear something green today, to celebrate the snakes that weren't likely to even be in Ireland that Saint Patrick most probably didn't drive anywhere. Because you're not wearing green, they might give you a little pinch. This is an important tradition which, according to the Annals of Ulster, allows you to punch that person in the throat. It's not very nice, of course, but that's the tradition and you have to stick with it.

    And what better way to cure a bruised throat than a nice room temperature pint of Guinness!

    - bob


    Happy Marmot Day!

    Yes Henry, the LA Times has made this political.

    As you know, I've been railing against the idiocy of Groundhog Day for years and years (forty four of them? -ed Not quite, but nice plug.), but now that Alaska has got into the act of rodent-based Winter weather prediction festivals, I think we should just place a moratorium on the whole practice. After all, those kleine vrachtwagens vol van hondsdolheid as the Dutch might say, aren't slaving over a hot weather map every day like our dear Idyllwild Weather Clam. What do they know?

    - bob


    And Tar and Feathers May Encourage The Chicken Dance

    Ladas fit in very small spaces, after all.

    Our state legislature and the capitol building that houses their bizarre efforts, should clearly be cordoned off from the rest of society. We can instantly rename the facility the Al Lowenthal Center for Severe Mental Health Disorders if you like, or just paint the whole thing black and turn our backs on it. Either way, these cats never fail to amaze (and depress). Here's today's story from the L.A. Times (they still print that thing? -ed Yup, but you better hurry.) that details the State Senator's idea to convince cities to reduce or remove free parking. As you know, parking encourages driving, and driving encourages buying and burning fuel, and that encourages THE DESTRUCTION OF EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR! OMG!!!1!!one!!

    Big Al's premise is simple...

    State lawmakers are taking aim at what some of them see as a menace to California's environment: free parking.

    There is too much of it, the legislators say, and it encourages people to drive instead of taking the bus, walking or riding a bike. All that motoring is contributing to traffic jams and pollution, according to state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), and on Thursday he won Senate approval of a proposal he hopes will prompt cities and businesses to reduce the availability of free parking

    So if you're not following the crazy, this proposal contends that driving also causes traffic, which is a lot like saying that combining bread, peanut butter and jelly causes sandwiches.

    Tune your brain caps to 20 and please be seated. Al's not done...

    "Free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs," Lowenthal said. "It increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."

    But wait, here's the kook graf:

    "It's nice that we've been treated to this luxury," Lowenthal said. "The problem with free parking is it's not free."

    Just like freedom!

    - bob


    An Upbeat Little Ditty


    On this day in 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in Lake Superior, along with her crew of 29. This led to Gordon Lightfoot writing and performing one of the most annoying and hated songs in the history of all recorded music (more annoying than the monster mash? - ed That's a tough call.)

    - bob


    I Got Yer Diplomacy!

    Comrade Chairman, I'll go down to Walgreen's for Odor Eaters. It's no trouble at all...

    On this day in 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev stuck a blow for striking blows and disrupted a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly by striking his desk with his shoe. Prompting this wanton display of percussive footwear was the delegate from the Philippines, who dared accuse the Soviets of hypocrisy. This single event marked the end of the Comprehensive Shoe Banging Ban of 1958 as well as the beginning of the great Race To Make A Lot Of Noise. That campaign seems to have ended with a whimper with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the United States turning its attention to the destruction of the moon.


    - bob


    American Business Is Eating Itself: Exhibits 1 & 2

    Middle management is terrorizing the city! What will we do!

    Today I arrived at work and found that the niggling negligible nabobs of network negativity had decided that the company's web filters needed to block bobtherieau.com as a "Personal or Social Networking" site. Under this logic, isn't every site personal? Doesn't somebody own or operate everything? Isn't whitehouse.gov a personal site? You know, if you think about it. It's certainly become a social networking site, hasn't it? But I digress.

    I have theories, of course, about why this stifling of admittedly stale content has occurred. Either my cohorts in the IT Department thought it would be a laugh. Maybe they're trying to be "fair" and block everybody's personal site equally. As far as I know, that number equals zero, plus one. The final exciting supposition is that I've finally been noticed by the pinhead websurfers at Websense, Inc. LLC. WTF. F-U. Maybe I really am somebody! (to be blocked. -ed Yeah, that.) As always, crackpot theories are welcome in the comments.

    Welcome to Verizon Wireless. Can I help you?In other brain-dead idiocy news, I spent some quality time at a Verizon Wireless store to get a phone fixed today. Monica immediately threw open the battery cover and condemned the phone as wet, out of warranty, and not replaceable. Oh, unless I'd like to pay $300 for a similar phone (not a replacement, which I found a curious distinction) or enter into a new two-year contract on behalf of the company for a free-ish new phone. It was at this point where I mentioned that she might as well be speaking Mandarin while I could only understand Cantonese. She's surely writing about this exchange on her Myspace page right now, mentioning that I'm the biggest jackass in the history of her limited contact with humans.

    Her third option was to bring an old Verizon phone in and have the service transferred for free. This, being cheaper than $300 by about $300, I bit and rushed back to the office to retrieve some old clunker.

    On my return, one of the store managers took my case. He cloned the phone giving trouble, then tried "one more thing," and fixed it. For free. That's it. Ms. Wage Slave's answers involved money for Verizon. The manager spent his time with customer service. It seems to me that if people aren't persistent, they're gonna end up with a much lighter wallet when the walk out of that place. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest some training for all of their staff.

    Yeah, it's nutso.

    - bob


    When The Moon Was Made Of Cheese


    It was on this day ten years ago when a massive explosion in the nuclear waste dump on the moon caused it to break away from orbit and hurtle out into space. Sadly, the brave crew on Moonbase Alpha were never to be heard from again...

    Happy birthday Barbara Bain. You don't look a day over 77.
    When the initial shock over this cataclysmic event subsided and the damaging effects on Earth's tidal currents fully realized, the government contacted the aliens to construct an artificial moon and sent it into orbit. I never agreed with the policy undertaken by the United Nations withhold the news of this project from the stupider people to avoid spreading panic, but that's all water under the bridge now, I guess.

    Your pal,