Blame The Squirrel

Bwahahahaha……… ZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!

Late Monday morning right before I was ready to hit the sack, my power went out.  This was followed a second later by a very loud explosion.  Having been through this enough, it was easy to put the two together and realize that a transformer had blown up somewhere nearby.  Maybe the on in my backyard.  There was only one way to find out…. look for the dead squirrel.

Blargh! I’m dead!

Only there wasn’t a dead squirrel to be found (Nor is there one in the photo above, if you thought I was being macabre).  OK, the transformer must’ve blown up somewhere nearby.  Either way, I’m stuck without the ability to run my white noise fan which means no sleep until someone gets out here to fix things.  Well, the power guys finally showed up almost two hours later… and sure as heck, they head right for that pole in my backyard…

transformer

Highly paid professionals at work. Do not attempt this at home…

They have this big, long pole they use to fix the issue from the ground.  The first thing they did with that pole was dislodge the fried squirrel who didn’t drop to the ground because he got trapped atop the transformer…

He’s dead Jim!

Alas, poor kamikaze squirrel… we hardly knew ye.  There is no time to mourn, however, as I need to get some sleep so I can fill up the counters at Mecca with delicious, overpriced Halloween candy…

Not this shit from Halloweens past… I think it’s finally been banned by the FDA.

So I wake up that evening, fire up the ol’ desktop, and……

Um………………

(Keeps hammering the power button)

This isn’t good….

It’s dead Jim!

Apparently the abrupt power loss or power gain finally did in the only desktop computer I have ever had at my nest.  Eight and a half years of service, reliability, and familiarity all up in a puff of smoldering mange.  I had just splurged to replace my eight year old laptop a couple weeks ago, and now I was finally forced to do the inevitable and upgrade my main computer as well.  When it rains, it fucking pours…

Oh no, you have first world problems! Boo fucking hoo, douchebag!

Apparently, all we bother to sell off the shelves at Mecca anymore is Hewlett Packard desktops.  My family once had a computer where the hard drive just up and exploded.  It was an HP.  I’ve heard a lot of bad things about HP computers, but wasn’t in any position to pay more elsewhere, and I refuse to order anything expensive that has to be delivered to my home online.  So, the HP it is…

It fits in perfectly with my nasty ass computer desk, doesn’t it?

I kept the old keyboard because I needed something I was familiar with, plus the new one looked too much like the crappy keyboard on the little red laptop that I can’t type worth a shit on.  And so, unless I dig out the archaic laptop for old times sake, it’s goodbye to the Vista OS format that is the only thing I ever used since 2009.  I loved the Firefox layout for Vista.  I don’t have enough vulgar words to properly express what I think about the Windows 10 look.  I expect a menu at the top of the screen with words like “Files” and “Bookmarks” and such that will bring up nice, crisp, clean dropdown menus for me to select what I want from.  Why do I have to open a second dropdown menu to have access to all of my 69,000,000 bookmarks now?  Did someone outlaw simplicity at Microsoft?

cute kitty

Oh, hey! I can see the rest of your bookmarks if I lay like this!

One of the main reasons I wanted to hang on to the old laptop as long as possible was for arting purposes.  Having to purchase a new version of Photoshop is bad enough, but the bread and butter of what I use for everything from drawing to resizing images is good ol’ MS Paint.  And to say the newer version of Paint is absolutely fucking useless would be like admitting the content of my blog is just a little bit messed up. I’ve already fixed that problem by finding a download for an older version of Paint online, though it’s the old XP edition that I haven’t used since Dubya was in office.  At least the ten year old version is useful, whereas the Win 10 Paint is like Kim Kardashian… 99.9% looks and 0.000000000001% practical.

The remaining percentage is made up of fillers….. like birdshit.

The loss of my familiar art programs has pretty much killed off my so far futile attempt to revive the missing Thursday comic series for the time being.  Oh, and uploading photos is going to be a real joy since this desktop has the hard drive built into the monitor and all of the plug-ins are in the back.  So I have to pull out the big screen monitor just to hook up the USB cord.  Heck, even the power button is a pain in the ass to operate!  it’s located underneath the monitor on the left side and is level with the base, meaning that every time I want to turn my new play toy on, I have to feel underneath the screen to find the damn thing like I was trying to find the hidden button to open a secret passage…

I found it!

And speaking of great 80’s movies…. you know what else bugs me about Windows 10?  The fact that it feels the need to pop up a message to let me know every time a program I put on my computer wants to do something.  Yes, I know the photo uploader wants to start running because I just hooked up a whole camera full of squirrel pictures I’d like to put online.  Yes, I would like to install the program off the disk I personally put into your optical reader.  Yes, I can wipe my own ass, thank you.  It’s like having my very own Col. Sandurz around to let me know my computer is preparing to do something and is awaiting my acknowledgement so it can take even longer for it to actually get that done…

Preparing preparations for preparing to prepare, sir!

Once I get all my old bookmarks back, those old passwords figured out, and find a way to make sense of this horrible mess of a layout…. I guess I’ll get used to it.  After all… it’s not all bad.  I no longer have to deal with a computer whose speed can be measured with a sundial, videos on YouTube have mysteriously stopped randomly buffering, and I can actually play games again that work just like they’re supposed to!

Unicorns for the WIN!!!

I guess I’ll survive, even if the squirrel who put me in this position didn’t….

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His Cheatin’ Heart

How many drug tests did you fail, Lance?

So this post is just a little late.  You can thank a squirrel…. or maybe whoever hired that squirrel to sabotage the countdown that has everyone on the edge of their seats ready to have their musical taste insulted.  I’ll explain more about what happened tomorrow…… but back to the already tardy business at hand first.  Yes, it is Wednesday, and it’s time for me and those record smashing ponies to reveal the next song that just isn’t all that in my Top 30 Iconic Songs I Just Can’t Stand countdown!  So far, we’ve tarred and feathered one classic each from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s… and while it’s hard to call any songs from the New Millennium classics just yet…. there are certainly those that stand out from the crowd and have their cult following.  This is the first of five songs I’ll hoist on their own petard that was composed in a year that begins with a 2.  Here’s our first naught from the aughts…

#27. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood

There are many, many reasons to despise the long running king of reality talent shows, American Idol.  Forcing Ryan Seacrest into our living rooms just a tad too much, somehow making Paula Abdul relevant again, boring us to death with the most predictable unpredictable pregnant pauses, making it cool and lucrative to fail miserably in front of a worldwide audience…

This seems so mockable, but on the other hand, it probably sounds better than Chipmunks singing.

Oh…. and sometimes, on very rare occasions, the young men and women who would compete for the chance to sign their lives over to Simon Cowell would actually go on to have a real music career once the last fraudulent phone vote was cast.  One of Idol’s most successful alums was Season Four winner Carrie Underwood, who out-countried a whole bunch of other forgettable names that my Mom once had crushes on in 2005.  A year later, she recorded the song that would become her biggest pop crossover success… the anthem of every girl ever scorned by a guy who couldn’t keep it in his pants…

This glorification of vigilante vandalism was a #1 hit on the country charts, and made it all the way up to #8 on the Hot 100 chart that takes into account radio stations people actually listen to.  On its face, it’s really not that bad of a song…. but it eats at the one thing that will get my goat and turn me into the raging, murderous psychopath that I portray an innocent teddy bear to be…

Wow! That felt great!

You can call me any name in the book, yank my chain, make fun of my taste in squirrels and even laugh at my shelf full of unicorns.  It won’t bother me in the least, and I’ll probably get a good laugh out of it.  But for your sake and mine…….. please…….. and I mean PLEASE………. do not…….. EVER……. fuck with my stuff!!!  I mean it!  Accidents will happen, but if you willfully put a scratch in my already battle scarred piece of shit car…. I just might have to forgo my wimpy side and kick your fucking ass.  I once made a federal case out of my cheap $2 tumbler I drink out of at work getting pitched by a maintenance worker who was a little too thorough in cleaning out the break room…

Time to run somebody’s balls through the shredder!

If you can even somewhat comprehend how pissed off I will get when something I own is deliberately defiled, then you might understand why this song sounds like nails on the chalkboard to me.  Not that I would ever be cool enough to date someone like Carrie Underwood, but if I did, and somehow had the even better fortune of meeting some bimbo in a bar, I’d…….. well, I’d better not walk out and find my non-existent pickup truck looking like I had left it parked in the middle of some peaceful protest.  There are no delicate words to describe the feeling of rage I would have towards the foolish person who did such a deed, even if I might have deserved it….

Hulk SMASH!

Join me again next Wednesday as I take a Louisville Slugger to another overrated song…

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Let The Kitties Take The Stage

Well. It’s nice of you to turn around and notice us for a change.

While I very much like to work alone, sometimes my cats decide that I’d enjoy myself much more if they were around to bother me.  Here you see Ody (the black and white blimp) and Biskit sprawled out on the two cheap Mecca end tables I have in my computer room waiting very impatiently for me to lavish them with the attention they seem to think they’re due.  Of course, you probably recognize those two tables as my most frequently used “stage” upon which the antics of my Shelf Critter Theatre productions come to life.  This is why I must barricade the door whenever I am creating the next critterized testimonial for why I should be institutionalized, because laying down on the floor is too good for my spoiled cats… and I don’t need one of them crashing a scene.

I thought this table always smelled like unicorn!

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The Muzak’s The Boss

Who gave permission to play this awful garbage in the office? Turn that music off and get back to work!!!

Happy National Boss Day, everyone!  Well, at least that’s what my calendar says today is… it seems to be about as big a waste of a special occasion as Valentines Day or Pi Day.  But regardless of what some greeting card company looking to stay in business decides to call it, today is still Monday!  You know what that means on The Nest…. it’s time once again to for us to send our minions on a team building exercise to dig up another overlooked and underpaid gem out of that cubicle farm of lost hits we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  The Sponkies will tell you that DJ Scratchy is the bestest boss to work for, even if they’re not going to buy her a fruit basket and a flower today.  It’s time to put the record player to work…

Who else could I possibly feature in this week’s National Boss Day edition of the DVA other than rock and roll’s self appointed boss, Bruce Springsteen?  Bruce and his E Street Band were a fixture on the rock scene for much of the 70’s and 80’s, and it’s really hard to find a “lost” song of theirs befitting my Monday feature simply because their entire body of work is so well known among the legion of Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuce fans.

Right, Courtney?

But me and the ponies are gonna go with this one of Bruce’s breakthrough 1975 album Born To Run

“Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” despite being released as a single, inexplicably only made it up to #83 on the pop charts.  This tale of the band’s formation is easily one of my favorite Springsteen songs (And Bruce released a LOT of much more famous dreck that nearly made that countdown I’m doing now), and even if it is relatively well known, it certainly doesn’t get played on the radio much these days when Bruce’s contribution to modern playlists seems to have been reduced solely to his Born in the USA hits…

Baaaaaaaarn in the USA!

Come back next Monday for another lost earworm for the glory days…

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Brown Noser

Why is everyone laughing at me?

In the literal sense of the term, a grey squirrel is in fact not grey…. not entirely, at least.  Outside of white squirrels and black squirrels (both of which are mutations of the grey species), grey squirrels aren’t the least bit monochrome in fur color.  Their overall outer coat appears to be anywhere from light to dark grey, with some tinges of brown and even orange interspersed.  Their underbellies are very light shades of almost white, with a hint of “tabby stripes” if they’re positioned the right way.  Their tails typically have a lighter colored ring around the fringes.  And grey squirrels almost universally have a very light brownish ring around their eyes.  All work together to give the common grey squirrel its adorably cute visage…

But genetics have a way of adding little individual quirks to everyone’s look… and that even applies to squirrels.  Their differences from the norm are usually very subtle, but sometimes they’re as plain as the nose on your face….. or, say, the nose on this squirrel’s face.  His abnormal discoloration is somewhat extreme for squirrels, featuring a much darker brow when compared to his base color, which also extends in a semi ring around his nose.

And then there’s the…… well, mustache, I guess.

squirrel mustache

Don’t make fun of me!!! I’m cute, dammit!!

Don’t worry, little guy.  I did not write this post to mock you, only to show that even in physical differences there is beauty, and this week’s Saturday Squirrel is quite dashing with his hipster “facial hair.”  At least I hope that is your natural color and you weren’t scrounging in the trash can for a deadly chocolate bar… or even worse, a half used bottle of Just For Men.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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