Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mumbles, Rumbles and Fumbles

Once again the inspirational well has run dry, and we all know what that means—I get to ramble aimlessly for a thousand words! I love having a blog. If it wasn’t for this, I’d have to sit on park benches and mumble to myself. This way I get to mumble to the entire Internet community. Either way, don’t touch me or I’ll hit you with my purse.

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If you live in the eastern half of the country, you’re probably shivering right now. I’m actually feeling lucky. Here in my corner of Pennsylvania we got very little snow this year. Yes, we had an average of a storm a week, but they were clippers that shot through and didn’t leave much on the ground. The biggest snowstorm we got all year was last Saturday, and that was only about four-five inches, a lot of which melted out on Sunday when the temps soared into the 40s. It felt like spring. The Northeast got pummeled with snow, the South got hit with an ice storm, and we got stuck with the arctic blasts and wind chills to 20 below. It’s been so cold for so long, any time it creeps above freezing I’m ready to put on a T-shirt.

It looks like next week we might start averaging in the 30s for daytime highs. Back in the ‘90s we had a major blizzard a week before spring, so I’m not getting too hopeful just yet.

So far the pipes under the trailer have held up, sort’a. Nothing’s ruptured yet. I know because I heard water gurgling under my laundry room, panicked and called the plumber, thinking one of my pipes had burst. That’s how I learned about the downside of letting faucets drip all night. You’re supposed to do that when it gets ridiculously cold, to keep a flow of water going so the pipes don’t freeze up and break. Ah, but there’s a catch. The water flows through chilly pipes, freezes up and causes clogs. That’s what I heard under the washer when I ran water in the kitchen sink. By the time the plumber showed up the clog had melted out on its own and everything was working again. I had him check under the house anyway. Better safe than sorry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t double-check the bathroom while he was there. Earlier on I ran some water in the tub to see if that would cause noises. It didn’t. However, it wasn’t until after the plumber left that I discovered the water I’d run in the tub had never gone down the drain. But everything else was working, and he’d given my pipes the okay, so I went ahead and took a shower. Bad move. The water ran fine, but the drain wasn’t draining. I ended up with about five inches of standing water in the tub. When it became obvious it wasn’t going to go down, I spent my snowy Saturday afternoon bailing out the tub. I don’t have a working bucket in the house, so I pulled two half-gallon milk cartons out of the recycle bin and used those. By midmorning Sunday the drain must have thawed because it was working again. Milk. Does a body good.

I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been a backed-up toilet. Given the choice, I’d rather do without the shower. I have no sense of smell, so I’m not the one who’d suffer.

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Here’s a depressing story to go with your morning coffee. I was skimming over want ads the other day when I came across one for an editor for a weekly community newspaper. I looked at the location and son of a gun, I think it was my old job. If it wasn’t the Tri County, it may have been the Mercury. I remember hearing the Connecticut-based owners either shut down or sold off their Pennsylvania holdings, so it’s run by a whole new outfit now.

Sadly, with the same old shit in place: the ad specifically stated, “Recent graduates encouraged to apply.” That’s because recent journalism grads have training but next to no experience, so they can be hired for cheap. I know. That’s how I got the job. I had no experience, so they could pay me less. During my tenure there I got very little training and no feedback. Then newspapers as a whole took a tumble and I was out of a job. So much for that.

I was going to apply anyway, just to see what would happen, but when I clicked on the “apply now” button it told me the job had already been filled. So they found some sucker already. I’d love to know what the starting salary is. I once briefly worked as a stringer for the Lancaster daily. I discovered recently pay rates haven’t budged in twenty years. If you’re in school and majoring in Journalism or English, take my advice: SWITCH MAJORS NOW! Take Business or IT or something. You’ll thank me for it later.

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Finally, two quickie tales from the world of entertainment. A drive-in movie theater (yes, they still exist) with two screens showed two features last week. One was the new SpongeBob Squarepants movie. The other was 50 Shades of Grey. The screens are angled so that both are visible to all patrons, so the preschoolers there for SpongeBob and Patrick must have gotten an eyeful. Parents, needless to say, were not amused.

Nor are you safe at home. There’s a big flap over Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. This show, known for zombies, cannibalism, splattered brains and over-the-top violence, crossed the line and showed two gay men kissing. Oh dear God, the horror. People who haven’t blinked at characters getting axed in the head are now up in arms over a three-second gay kiss. According to some of the Twitter commenters, The Walking Dead is a family show and they shouldn’t be showing two men sucking face to The Children. TWD is a family show? Maybe if your family name is Manson. I suppose if one of the guys had ripped the other’s face off with his teeth, that would have been okay to show The Children. Why not just switch off the TV and take your kids to the movies? I know where you can find a drive-in showing a twofer.

As for me, I’m going to go write The Great American Gay Zombie Epic. Off to the keyboard!


Savanna Kougar said...

We live in a weird, weird world... no doubt about it. On the Zombie show thingie, I heard a comment from Sean David Morton about the gay kiss... he's not anti-gay, but it was the 'shock' of seeing that happen in that particular show... or the unexpected, when you want Zombie gore and entertainment... me, I could care less about both... zombies don't do it for me, and I've happily watched gay men in love kiss each other... love is love in my book.

Glad your pipes are still in tact... yeah, I'm doing water dripping with at least one faucet... the temps are frigid, and going low tonight... YUCK! DOUBLE YUCK!

Pat C. said...

Yeah ... how dare they interrupt the violent zombie mayhem with an act of human affection between two people who love each other? Communists! Hippies!

Speaking of which, I just noticed that warning from Blogger about sexually-explicit images. We've run some racy pictures in the past on SSS. Are we going to be okay?

Savanna Kougar said...

They're targeting outright moneymaking porno... supposedly not the artistic use of nudity, etc. We should be okay, if they stick to that 'policy'. However, who knows these days? They can get you for anything, if they want, or someone complains. Now the FCC power-grabbed the internet, and won't release a copy of the so-called rules... you know, it's all secret. Yeah, so much for freedom of speech. That's what this is really about, that and letting the big telecoms take over more of the web. Wring even more money out of everybody. All under the guise of net neutrality. ~sighs~

Pat C. said...

I heard on the news the other day the FCC is legally unable to block those annoying robocalls that have taken the place of telemarketers. Why? Well, my guess is, our elected officials don't want to give up those automated campaign calls that bombard us every election period. I think I got a dozen last election day. The Golden Rule: Them that has the gold, makes the rules ...

Back to The Walking Dead issue: a similar to-do broke out over the original Elfquest comic book. One issue featured a multi-page elf orgy, followed by a multi-page battle between the elves and the trolls. Parents were up in arms over the implied sex. Not one of these same parents griped about the graphic (and some of it was really gory) violence. This was back in the '80s. The more things change ...

Savanna Kougar said...

"The Golden Rule: Them that has the gold, makes the rules ..." ROGER THAT! Now Apple is supposedly going after a third of world's gold to make some fancy dancy watch. I have no clue how they're going to get the gold Russia, China, India are buying and stockpiling. What? Is Apple planning to have Americans turn in their gold for far less than value like under Roosevelt?

Interesting about the Elfquest comic book... 'course, why were kids buying orgy/violence comic books... whatever... anyhoo, absolutely right on about the more things change the more they stay same... unless you really 'transform' or bring about true transformation.