Monday, October 31, 2005

Do-it-yourself Assclowns

Today, I went to plug the laptop charger into its usual outlet only to be disappointed . I could only get juice if I jiggled the plug continuously. The receptacle, in question, is the only one that is convenient to my kitchen table. This means that it's a necessity, not only for charging my electronics but also for powering some of the arc welding equipment that has become a staple at the weekly orgies that I have become fond of hosting. But that's another story. The bottom line is that it was beyond repair and had to replaced. This just sucked because it meant a trip to the local Lowe's instead of watching the Giants assrape the Redskins on national television.

I get to the Lowe's in Cockeysville, and the place is packed. I go to the electrical dept and find the new receptacle and start to look for some cheap wire strippers. Unfortunately, there is an Assclown standing directly between me and my potential purchase. As a veteran Assclown Spotter, I recognize the telltale signs: He is wearing an immaculately pressed button-down shirt with a horsey on it and a look of complete befuddlement. He spied me and immediately tried to press a bag of wirenuts into my hands while asking "Will these work for fluorescent lighting?" I avoided his offering and replied, "I'm sorry, but I don't work here." I mistakenly believed that my tone would convey the idea that I didn't want to be bothered. He looked at the receptacle in my hand and persevered, "Yes, but I'm asking you. Will these work on fluorescent lights?" I relent and take the bag from him. The wirenuts were riduculously large, big enough to be used for connecting a home electric chair or even as part of this girl's halloween costume. I exchange his bag for a bag of more appropriate sized connectors and say, "This will work for you. Good luck. "

I resume my search for overpriced wire strippers when I realize that I am not to be rid of this Assclown so easily. This time he handed me a light ballast and says, "They gave me this and told me it will work, but he didn't seem to sure of himself." I assumed he was referring to a Lowe's employee and on this score I could I could sympathize. It is rare to find a knowledgable employee in these places. This is because all of the knowledgable employees are in the Lawn/Garden section doing themselves in by shoving their heads into woodchippers, due to the daily stress caused by dealing with Assclowns.

The prospect of being deprived of the pleasure of watching Tiki Barber continue his onslaught was looming large in my mind. Nevertheless, I relented further and asked, "Did you bring the old ballast. You know, the one that you want to replace?" He replied "Well, no. I needed to leave the light on so I could see how it was wired." Hmmm. I said, "I see. If the light is lit, why do you want to replace the ballast?" He responded, "Well, it makes this awful buzzing sound. Replacing the ballast looked a lot easier when they did it on TV." I toyed with the idea of asking him if he ever watched the surgery channel and, if so, whether he had ever contemplated performing an appendectomy on himself or family. Instead, I simply tell him that his old ballast is probably fine and that the buzzing is due to loose screws used to mount the ballast. He appeared both relieved and disappointed. Relieved by avoiding the spectre of certain electrocution and, probably, disappointed that he wasn't going to get to buy a spiffy toolbelt, perhaps even one with a horsey on it.

Of course, at this point, a Lowe's employee showed up, undoubtedly fresh from an exploratory mission in the woodchipper aisle, and offered to help us both. I politely declined, got my strippers, and returned home to find that Mr. Barber went on to have a career day in my absence.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Not much explanation required here

Somebody forwarded this to me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Assclowns or not? You make the call.

Several years ago, while languishing in a Midwestern hellhole, I ran across a city paper article about two brothers (Brian Taylor and Vaugh Vigil) that purchased a shell of a rowhouse at 1708 Madison Ave. in Baltimore City. As you can see from the map, these guys didn't select the suavest part of Baltimore to call home. As a result, they paid less than $30, 000 for the property. There were articles in the City Paper and the Sun and Taylor even has a blog about it. I remember thinking that this might be the first blogger to document his own suicide. It turns out that I was wrong. Taylor has been there for over 3 year and according to his online journal he is still with us. Regardless of what you or I think of these guys, it can't be argued that they don't have balls.

I have read his journal in its entirety. It consists of his struggle to get the Baltimore City government to stop drug sales in his neighborhood. He makes endless calls to 911/311 to try to get the police to crack down on hand- to-hand drug sales near his home. He has even gone as far as building a lounge for city cops to use for breaks. In his journal, Taylor reports that there has been some progress; the local dealers are more discreet when plying their trade. Nevertheless, he doesn't have to look far to find evidence that the local drug trade is still flourishing.

On the whole, Taylor seems like a nice guy who genuinely cares about the well-being of his neighbors and neighborhood. Nevertheless, there are some circumstances of his situation that are troubling. The real estate market in the metropolitan Baltimore area is absolutely apeshit and has been for years. Housing prices have skyrocketed, tripling and quadrupling the prices paid for equivalent properties in other regions of the country. The only reason that Taylor could afford to by his rowhouse is that it was an abandoned shithole in a crack neighborhood. These are the majority of properties in the region that are going for less than $100,000. Now that he is established in the crack neighborhood, he wants to eliminate the very factors that allowed him to buy there in the first place. I have to think that property value is a motivator for Taylor. If he simply wanted an affordable home then all he had to do was renovate the property and move in. It is possible to live in inner Baltimore City, without declaring war on the local drug peddlers. Not that I am condoning crack dealing, but I am not naive enough to think that Taylor (nor do I think that Taylor is, either) is making a dent in the city's drug trade. I wonder if the local crack dealers agreed to conduct all sales at a minimum of 7 blocks from 1708 Madison, whether we would hear of or from Taylor again. He says that a realtor has recommended a selling price, for his rowhouse, of a $100,000. I guess we will find out shortly whether he is a property flipper that managed to rook the City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and the police department.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thermodynamics and Assclowns

If there was ever an argument for the extermination of the entire human race, I believe that I have found it.There is a nominally popular sport, known as Competitive Eating, that consists of having several "athletes"/assclowns (I'm unsure about the former, but absolutely certain of the latter) compete to see how much food they can consume within an allotted time. The eater that eats the most, before the bell, takes all.

According to the I.F.O.C.E , August 6th was a glorious day for overconsumption:

Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship
Date: 08/06/2005
Location: Sheboygan, WI
Winner: Sonya Thomas, 35 Johnsonville Brats in 10 Minutes
Total Prizes: $11,000 Total - 1: $4,000; 2: $1,500, 3: $1,250, 4: $1,000, 5: $800, 6: $700, 7: $600, 8: $500, 9: $400, 10: $250
Recap: History was made in Wisconsin at the Johnsonville Brat eating contest when Sonya Thomas downed 35 of the favorites in Wisconsin.Joey Chestnut of San Jose followed closed behind with a convincing 34 and 1/2 and Richard LeFevre impressed with 30....
According to Johnsonville , there are 290 calories/bratwurst. Thus, the winner consumed 10,150 calories, the runner-up was edged out with 10005 calories, and the 3rd place contestant's uptake was a mere 8700. In other words, approximately 29,000 calories were consumed in 10 minutes.

The UN has estimated that 20,000-25,000 people die daily due to hunger. The minimum daily caloric intake to prevent human starvation is about 400-600 calories. Starvation takes about a month or two to occur. In other words, if a human is deprived of 400 calories/day for 60 days, that human is most certainly dead. Give that same human 29,000 calories over a two month period, and the human is likely to be alive on day 60.
Now, maybe I'm being a sactimonius little dickhead, but I find it repulsive that 3 assclowns in Sheboygan were rewarded for consuming, in 10 minutes, that which might have prevented someone from starving over a 2 month period.

As if this wasn't sufficiently repugnant, it also appears that gluttony is a profitable trade. I am having trouble seeing how the consumption of 35 hotdogs is worth $4000. Perhaps I would be more sympathetic if the folks at Johsonville would require that the bratwurst consumption to be conducted via the other end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ahh..that new blog smell.

These are the chronicles of my epic struggle with one of the darkest forces of evil in contemporary society: Assclownism. I have been dispatched to Baltimore, from the nether regions of the Midwest, to root out this abomination. Not that Baltimore has the Assclown market cornered, but preliminary reconnaissance indicates that this battle will be a protracted one.