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Topics - Doktor Howl

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1
Suu pointed out that New Hampshire (!) had some riots, so I went looking.

VERY interesting article on the comparisons between Black and White rioters.  Don't stop when you get to various pics.  It keeps going.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/living/keene-pumpkinfest-riot-ferguson/index.html

2
...Guys who post shit like THIS:



Always look like THIS:




6
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / SOOOOO...
« on: October 17, 2014, 04:00:38 pm »
The unused room next to my office is being remodeled into an extra conference room.  Problem is, there's a short hallway leading from that room to the outside and to the bathroom the crew uses.  To make the room "even", the powers that be have decided to remove the hallway.  This means that my guys can't use the bathroom if there's a meeting going on.

I was told this was okay, because if the guys need to use the bathroom, they can just go to one of the other buildings.

My protests have been overruled.

SO:  We're going to jam k-wool into the sewer's breather pipe, and let the sewer gasses back up into the conference room when it is in use.  Then we'll remove the k-wool.  Each and every time there is a meeting.  Forever.


7
Shut up.

Seriously, shut the fuck up.  I know you enjoy what we do.  I enjoy what we do.  But you have to face facts...People who DON'T enjoy what we do don't want to hear about it.  Why?  Because when you talk to people about this "sport" (it's not a sport, it's exercise), one of two things are happening:

1.  You're bragging about how much you managed to get off the ground or off the rack or whatever, and boasting is BORING, or

2.  You're spewing incomprehensible jargon at them and making them hate you.

Jabbering about lifting to non-lifters is to them what listening to crossfit cultists is to us.  Or the 420/smoke every day crowd.  Or Doctor Who fans.  Or Star Wars cosplayers.  Or the guy who just HAS to tell you about his awesome D&D character.

No shit, that's really what it's like.  Hell, I got into this DESPITE hearing about it, not BECAUSE I heard about it.  In fact, I put it off for MONTHS because people I know do it and WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

Now, when we are talking to each other about what we do, that's different.  We are enthusiasts.  We enjoy it. 

But we have to remember that boring tons of people with the minutia of what we do isn't going to bring people it; it will actually drive them away.

9
Okay, so we have this poor deity, and according to many, the room for him in our universe shrinks every time somebody learns something about how said universe operates.  This is a possible error, as we are inferring an unknown quantity by its absence, without knowing for sure if there is any said absence.

A Deist would say that God set up the rules of the universe and then absented Himself from it (or, for that matter, He IS it, and cannot be detected because He is the system itself).  Therefore there are no "gaps" in the first place, just rules we haven't yet learned, none of which conceal God because he isn't there to conceal.  He's not real with respect to the universe, because if he was, he'd have to follow the universe's rules him/herself, which would imply that God isn't really a god at all, but rather just some very powerful natural critter.  This argument assumes that this hypothetical God is actually a deity and not a natural critter.

A Universalist would add to that; saying that not only did God set up the rules and then bugger off, but that His/Her intent seems to be that we learn the rules that God set up...In fact, that learning said rules (physics, chemistry, etc) are the highest form of worship and/or devotion.  The claim that "there are things man was not meant to know" is to them sacrilege.  Lastly and perhaps most importantly, it is blasphemy to claim that physical evidence should be disregarded in favor of scripture, because that's basically calling God a liar.  And to imply that said evidence are "lies of the devil" is Manicheaism, a heresy that no follower of ANY Abrahamic religion will tolerate (as it implies that "the devil" is at least as powerful as God).

(Universalists also don't believe that anyone goes to hell, because people were made the way they are by God for reasons that God hasn't chosen to communicate.  Needless to say, this pisses off every other religion, as they feel that they are God's chosen deputies at the very least, and can say who gets to go to hell.  A universalist would counter with "You don't get to tell God what to do".  I am rather fond of universalists.)


10
Bill had made an ass out of himself in less time than even we had expected.  Four drinks in, and he'd started hitting on the blonde.  She wasn't having it, of course, because her job is "waitress/conversational companion" and not "prostitute"...And she certainly wasn't going to lay him for free.

When it finally penetrated his whiskey-stunned mind that she wasn't interested, he began to "neg" her, clumsily.  For those of you who don't expose yourselves to sociopaths, "negging" is the art of giving backhanded, demeaning "compliments" in order to dent the self-esteem of a woman, in order to make you look "out of her league", which is supposed to make her chase you.  It doesn't work, but "Pick-Up Artist" gurus make $5000 a week, per head, showing chumps how it's done...With the women involved being just as hired as the women we spoke to in LA.

The blonde was a pro.  She smiled at his increasingly offensive "compliments".  With her mouth, anyway.  Her eyes said something very different.  Later, as he began to drunkenly whimper about "the friend zone", her smile got a little more razor-edged, and she began prompting him.  Within minutes, he was more or less bellowing out shit about how "bitches don't know a nice guy when they see one".  Blondie was trying very hard not to laugh out loud, and kept prodding him to expand on these ideas.

Tim was, of course, recording all over this into a flash drive, for possible later use.

Eventually, his behavior became so bad that the Brunette signaled me that he had to go.  Staggering outside, we got back in the car.  Tim was more or less sober, so he drove.  I was half-tanked, and sat in the passenger seat...Bill, on the other hand, was shit-faced and sort of took up the whole back seat. 

"I do not believe that we have enough," Tim said, "We will need more."

Misunderstanding (as intended), Bill hollered, "HELL NO.  WE NEED MORE."

Hours went by.  We stopped at a faux biker bar, where Bill managed to get fake bikers to take a swing at him.  Tim settled them down for a nap, but not before his suit jacket got ruined.  We hit a club, where Bill threw up on the dance floor.  Finally, we were back at the hotel.  We slung Bill's passed-out ass on the bed, and I jumped on my laptop and spoke to a friend for a while, while Tim went to get a new jacket.

While I was online, Bill rather noisily shat himself.  When Tim returned, we carried him Weekend At Bernie's-style, and left him on the street outside, with his shitty britches around his knees, and then we called the cops on him and went to our own rooms to get some sleep.

The next day, we bailed him out of jail.  He was hung over and miserable.

"What happened?" He asked.

"Well, you drank a little too much and ran off on us," I replied, "We spent all night looking for you."

"Uh, sorry guys.  This mean the job is off?"

"Not at all.  We expect a little eccentricity from our best minds.  In addition, it is obvious that you are not a hard-drinking man, like ourselves.  This is a good thing, and takes a load off of our minds.  You wouldn't believe how many chemists are habitual drunks."

"This is the weirdest Goddamn job interview I've ever heard of", Bill said, oblivious to the fact that Tim was sending Bill's current boss emailed pics of his shame (both on the sidewalk and coming out of the jail) with his smartphone.  Handy things, those.  I really should get around to obtaining one.

"We are not a normal company," I said, "We do not do things the way other companies do them.  That is why we are the future and they are the past.  But we'll talk about that later.  You need to get some real sleep, and so do we.  We can discuss things this evening over a nice quiet dinner."

"That sounds like a plan," Bill responded, looking relieved.

Obviously, we had no such intentions.  Once Bill was back in his room, Tim and I went to the Crabshack next door, and met Sharon for lunch.

"You are okay with going through with this?" I asked.

"Oh, sure," she replied, "He's a creep.  Seriously, I fucking hate him, just from the hour I spent with him yesterday.  So no problem.  Hell, I'm even getting paid for this."

"Yes," Tim said, "And a very good coin indeed.  With the promise of future acting engagements of a similar nature...Provided you can keep quiet about this one, at least until it's done.  Longer would be better."

"No problem, muscles."

Tim grunted, which is about as close as he comes to laughing. 

That evening, Sharon showed up at Bill's door.  Tim and I observed from the fire stairs, listening in on my tablet, receiving from a small wifi device in Sharon's purse.

"Hello," he said, with a look of mild distaste.

"Hello yourself," she chirped, "Hamish and Tim had to handle a few things, so they asked me to show you a good time."

"Asked you or paid you?"  Bill wasn't quite as dense as he looked. 

"Paid me, of course.  Are you complaining?"

"Um...No."

"Well, then, let's not worry about it.  How about you and I loosen up with a drink?"  The two of them went into the room.  They chatted a bit, her leading him to believe he was about to get into the pants of what he thought was a high-end prostitute.  His voice became slurred by the second drink...Thank God for Roofies.  Then we heard Sharon say "Okay, he's out."

We walked into the room, and put him on his side on the floor near the bathroom.  Then the three of us scuffed the room up a bit, and went down to the car.  A 20 minute drive back to the makeover palace, and a makeup tech got busy on Sharon.  Within 30 minutes, she looked like she'd been curb-stomped by angry gorillas.  Then a quick drive over to a clinic that "stayed open" after hours for us...We had a little photo shoot with Sharon lying on a gurney looking brutalized.

We dropped Sharon off at the makeover palace.  I smiled while I handed her an envelope. 

"I already got paid," she said.

"This is a bonus.  You did a fantastic job.  You'll be hearing from us again."

She looked in the envelope, and her eyes lit up.  "Thanks, guys!"

"No, Sharon, thank you."

We went back to the hotel and took a nap.  When we woke up, we let ourselves into Bill's room, and shook him until he finally woke up.

"Uhhh, what's going on?"

Tim dropped the photos of Sharon on the floor beside Bill.  "What is going on, my friend, is that you are some kind of animal."

"Just look at what you did to that poor girl," I added, "You are in a lot of trouble, son.  That's going to be about 5 years in the state penitentiary.  What in God's name where you thinking?"

"I don't...I didn't..."

"She says you did."

"That lying bitch..."

"You have to get out of California," I said, "And you have to do it right now.  Today.  Within the hour would be best."

"Uhhh..."  Bill's head was still fogged.  So much the better.

"We have a car waiting downstairs.  A 22 hour drive to Louisiana - one would not wish to use an airport - and one would never be found by inquisitive Los Angeles police officers.  But one would have to be an employee of The Company."

"What?  But...Um...What's the pay?"

"A fairly generous wage...And your liberty.  Perhaps even a new name.  Certainly not quite as generous a sum as one with less legal difficulties, but generous nonetheless," I replied, "You have 5 minutes to decide."

Ten minutes later, Bill was off to his new life in Louisiana.  Tim and I relaxed in the restaurant, over some substandard and overpriced food. 

"Do you suppose he will ever realize that nobody is looking for him?" Tim asked.

"Doesn't matter.  Not really.  The pics you sent his boss, plus his absence, means he won't have a job to miss here.  But with any luck at all, he'll hunker down in Louisiana for 5 years or so before he realizes he isn't a wanted man."

"I almost feel bad about this," Tim said, "That was too easy.  There is no pride in outwitting a fool."

"But there is in a job well done.  Anyway, it's time to drive home.  You will of course be driving, for I am old, and easily fatigued."

"Okay.  Perhaps we can stop in Yuma for lunch.  They appreciate us in Yuma."

We got into the Charger, and drove East.



11
We met Bill in the hotel bar in Garden Grove.  He was a caricature of the bad side of nerd-dom...Greasy ponytail, a mangy neckbeard that accentuated the fat under his chin instead of hiding it, adult acne from poor hygiene, sloppy clothes, and a sloppy body.  He even had the trilby and the decades out-of-fashion frames on his glasses.

Consider:  Nobody, not even the most hardcore MRA, would consider this to be attractive, yet it is done deliberately.  It is done - and this is the hilarious part - to again acceptance among other losers who can't get a date.  It is the deliberate sabotage of one's own chances, for the purpose of impressing other males that also refuse whatever chance they might have.  Why?  Who knows?  Perhaps it is a means of rationalizing their fear of women.  Women are strange creatures, admittedly, and some people are intimidated by that.

We walked up to where he was sitting at the bar.  "Bill?" I asked.

"That's me."

"I am Hamish and this is Tim.  We have reviewed your professional achievements, and I believe that I can speak for The Company when I say that we're interested.  There are some minor details to go over, of course, but I feel we can do that in a more relaxed environment."

"Any place in mind?"

"We are strangers in your city, but I have indeed looked up a couple of places worth investigating.  It must be somewhere casual...If Tim can't get that tie off, I am unable to answer for the results."

Bill just looked at me.  His mouth was slightly open.  Something was stuck in his teeth.

"But," I continued, "not ENTIRELY casual.  We do have certain standards, Tim and I, standards I think you'll agree with.  But that will require a change of clothes for all 3 of us."

"All my clothes look like this.  What's wrong with my clothes?"

"Nothing, Bill, nothing...When it comes to work.  When it comes to being out on the town, we'll have to do something.  More specifically, Sharon will have to do something."

"Who's Sharon?"  Bill looked suspicious.

"A consultant.  Sharon's job is to make sure that we present the best possible face to the public.  It's all paid for."

Bill muttered something about "bitches".  I sighed inwardly.  So far, the file on Bill was 100% accurate.  Unfortunately.  We chivvied him out to the Charger, and Tim blasted down Chapman Street, up to the highway.

An hour later, we pulled into the parking lot of what can best be described as a "makeover mall".  We tossed the keys to the valet - Only LA would have valet parking at what is best described as a combination beauty parlor/clothing store - and were immediately greeted by Sharon.  Sharon is a twenty-something woman of dubious acting talent, but possessing a true eye for fashion.  She's also smoking hot.  If she was to give up on her dreams of being an actress and concentrate on her strengths, she'd go very far in this town.

"Hi, guys," she said with a smile, then gave us an appraising look.  "Gonna take some work, all 3 of you."

We followed her in.  Bill seemed a little awed by her, but I could already see that turning into resentment.  Perfect.

An hour later, we were done.  Sharon not only had an eye for what was in fashion, but what worked for a given individual.  Tim was dressed in a perfectly-fitted pair of slacks and jacket, minus tie.  It made him look like the CEO of Muscles, Inc.  Bill was shaved and dressed in slacks and a loose shirt.  You can't hide the fat on a guy like Bill, but you can distract people from it.  Me, I looked like a bald James Hetfield from the Whiskey in a Jar video.  They had even groomed my fu manchu straight and to the correct length, and razor-cut my scalp.

Looking good.

As the three of us piled back into the Charger, Bill asked "Isn't this a little excessive for a job interview?"

"Yes," I said, "But that is just one more reason to consider working for The Company.  We do things right.  And we don't quibble over a few thousand dollars when stacked up against the profits we'd see with you on board."

"I am a little unclear on what exactly is is that your company does."

"We build the future, Bill, one new material at a time.  As far as you're concerned, it's pure research.  You don't worry about time to market or even marketability itself.  But we'll discuss this all a bit later.  Tim and I are worn out from the drive across the desert, and we need to kick back."

"And drink whiskey," Tim added, speaking for the first time since we entered the hotel.

"Whiskey replenishes tired brains," I added, "Don't question it."

We pulled up at the sidewalk in front of the 'restaurant', and tossed the keys to the valet.  It was actually more of an exclusive club...On our own, neither Tim nor I had the cred to even be a bouncer there.  Inside, we were greeted by 3 insanely beautiful women, who escorted us to our table.  They sat down with us, and told us which outrageously expensive whiskeys were available.

Bill looked a little lost.  "I'm more of a PBR man," he said, "I don't know from whiskey."

"Then I'd say," replied the blond girl next to him, "That it's time you learned."

The brunette across from me winked at me, and gave a grin that would have looked more appropriate in an aquarium. 

The whiskey flowed, and for a time, things actually went well.

For a time.

To be continued.


12
We had made it as far as Yuma when the trouble started.

We finally had to gas up the Charger...Tim and I were both feeling hungry, and we figured we may as well use the stop to get a meal as well.  Once we reached the mountains, of course, there would be no stopping at all.  Highway 8 gets ugly when you get that close to San Diego.

After we tanked up, we headed across what passed for the main drag, towards a sign that was partially obscured, but had the word "diner" in the name.  Once in the parking lot, however, it read "Diner and Cocktail Lounge".  Anytime I see the words "cocktail lounge", I immediately become depressed.  It brings to mind 50-something guys in shorts and Hawaiian shirts, women with too much rouge and mascara, and guys with beards and faded grey wife-beaters.

This place was no exception.  There was a faint reek of stale beer, and half a dozen people were propped at the bar watching football and/or Nascar.  All of them drunk, at noon on a Sunday.  There was, as a matter of fact, a bearded guy of indeterminate age wearing a grey wife-beater. 

We sat down, and the waitress ambled our way.  She was a woman of indeterminate age, maybe 40, maybe 55, wearing a ton of makeup over a black eye.  "Help you boys?"  She said, in a voice that sounded like Tom Waits with strep throat.

"We'll have coffee," I replied, "And a couple of menus."  She pointed at the menus in a stand at the wall-end of the table, and wandered back toward the coffee pot.  A few seconds later, we had our coffee and placed our order.  Something was happening in the football game, and the corpses at the bar were demonstrating something resembling animation.  Grey wife-beater guy was holding his pipe-cleaner arms up in the air and cheering loudly.  He looked a little confused, and then his eye settled on us.  He staggered in our direction.

"Who you boys rooting for?" He asked.  His breath rolled over us.  I have smelled worse things, but I cannot quite remember what they were. 

"We're not into football, " I replied, "Please go back and enjoy your game."

He glanced at me with the sort of malice that can only come from people who are both truly drunk and truly stupid.  "You too good for football, are you?"

"Sir, go back to your game while you still can."

"You gonna make me?"

"No."

"Then I think I'll just stand right here."


"I said *I* wouldn't make you."

He was too dumb to take the hint.  He reached over and spilled my coffee onto the floor.  "HOW D'YE LIKE ME NOW?"  He crowed.

I didn't even see Tim move.  There was a sound like an anvil landing on a side of beef, and grey wife-beater guy was on the ground, blood trickling from his mouth.  The bar was dead silent, save for the unconscious man's sonorous breathing.

"I think you'd all best go back to watching your race or your game or whatever,"  I said into the silence, "There's nothing here but trouble and emergency room bills."  The remaining patrons turned back to their television, though most kept one eye towards us.  I gestured to the waitress. 


"I think we will take our meals to go.  The stink of this man is putting me off my feed."

She gave me a look that would kill.  "You and your boyfriend there too good for us, eh?"

"Too good for your friend on the floor, yes.  Now, get us our food.  And if you tamper with it, or spit in it, we'll be back."

"Tough guys, aren't you?"  She sneered.

"I think you misunderstand my boss", Tim said, his Boer accent making him sound almost Nazi-ish, "If we find that our food is less than perfect, if for example there is a..."  He looked at me, quizzically.

"A booger."

"Yes,  a 'booger'.  If there is a booger in our food, we will come back and burn your bar down around you.  Nobody will care."

"I ought to call the police," she said, sounding a lot less sure of herself.

"Yes," Tim said, "You should do that very thing.  It sounds very wise.  They may even respond within an hour; Nothing much can happen in one hour."

The waitress just looked at us, then backed away. 

5 minutes later, we were slamming West at 80 miles per hour.  I was driving, and Tim was inspecting our food.  "I see no 'boogers'.  Nor do I see any ground glass."  We ate as we approached the mountains.  We hadn't even made it out of Arizona, let alone into California and North to Los Angeles, and already things had gotten a little out of hand.  I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing...My life had finally gotten back on track.

But when we hadn't met William Schwabe, the subject of our trip, yet.  We were still clean.

to be continued.

13
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / I NEED HELP
« on: October 04, 2014, 03:04:23 pm »
SOMEONE CALL THE HELP DESK!


14
So, I finished moving into the new digs, and I called the various utilities to get them switched over to the new place.  All went well, even the cable company no longer pretends it takes 4-7 business days to turn cable on.  The guy transfers the account, then gives me a number to call to activate the modem, the phone, and the TV.

Later on, though, things went horribly wrong.  First, every time you have to navigate their phone robot tree thingie, it's about 25 minutes, and they're playing some fucking music that sounds like Gershwin wrote the background music for a Japanese video game, and then some bastard dubstepped it.  Occasionally, the song cuts off mid-repeat, and you think "AHA!  A PERSON is going to pick up!"  Then the music starts again.  Once in a while, a robot asks for you account information.  Then the announcements start; you will not talk to a person until you've heard them.  The first one is about power-cycling your router.  If I need new service and have told them so, why would they bother saying that shit?

Then there are 3 techs in a row.  They are named, in order, "Susan","Barbara", and "Leo".  All of them have (Asia) Indian accents you could use to drive rail spikes.  All of them begin by asking for all of my account information.

Susan and I go through the rigamarole on the internet service.  When we are done, I have a connection but no service.  She tries to tell me that we are finished, and that she needs to transfer me to someone about the TV.

"But we're not.  Your system isn't recognizing my account."

"But you have a connection."

"But I don't have your service."

This goes on for a while, and then she announces that she'll just have to send a technician out in a week or so.  Unacceptable.  I tell her to put her supervisor on.  She puts me on hold, where I wait for ten minutes listening to that fucking music, and then the phone disconnects.

Fume a bit, call back in.  Get Barbara, who says "You don't have service because there is an open work order that someone forgot to close.  This requires one of the cable phone guys."  She puts me on hold, and the horrible music begins.  After 8 minutes, the phone hangs up.

Call back, ask for phone service.  Give the account infor 6 times again.  Listen to crappy dubstep Gershwin.  At this point, I am convinced that I am in hell.  Leo eventually comes on the line again.  He needs my account info.  FINE.  He gets the work order closed.  He turns on the modem and the television.  Being the phone guy, of course he is unable to activate my phone.  He will send a technician out to do that, at some random point and can we have someone in the house between Tuesday morning and Friday at 7 PM? 

Finally, I am done for the moment, having drained 2 cell phone and 2 vaporizer batteries to death, frayed my nerves, and burned up FIVE HOURS of my life that I will never, ever get back.

And this is all an illustration of my point:  We have, as a society, reached a complexity level that means we can no longer run things that worked in 1985.  We are - no shit - 16 years from being able to go back to the moon, if we started right now, and we did it in HALF that time in the 1960s, from a presidential speech to Astronauts hitting golf balls in Mare Imbrium.  We are a society of idea men (stuffed full of ideas and enthusiasm, not so much on getting shit done), and nobody holding a wrench.  I've heard this joke before, something about Rome.

And next week, New Flunky and I go to Los Angeles, to the heart of the monster & the place where all this complexity thrives, to attempt to recruit a horrible person to do genius shit for us.  We are driving because we don't feel any desire to deal with LAX.  I will of course write down all the brain damaged shit that entails.

Okay for now,
Dok

15
I'll start:


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