2016: A Package Odyssey (Days 3-4*): Spin Cycle, For The Moment

Well, I figured this would happen at some point, but yep, it happened. Step back from your viewing screen and hold onto your butts, folks… this post is going to suck. Up to a point.

(Thanks, virgilio72!) 

I didn’t post yesterday because I decided to try and work a bit and I was in a crappy mood because I decided chronicling this ongoing nonsense wasn’t all that therapeutic after all. I was just getting more annoyed at every person involved in this mess I’m (still) a victim of not being very helpful. USPS was giving me a slow runaround, the seller is kind of lost and asking me what to do (I’ve been passing along as much help as I can), and despite being a longtime fan, I’m about to go postal and recommend anyone I know just NOT use their local post office for anything but whatever passport services they offer. But let’s not pull that rabbit out of the hat just yet, folks.

Anyway, after a suggestion from a message board that I call the number on the USPS web site and another user comment that

The postal service is very serious about employee mail theft. They will get to the bottom of it.

Well, I would hope the hell so. I decided to pick up the phone this morning and try my luck. That turned out to be both a terrifically terrible and (very) good thing to do. Well, maybe on the “(very) good” part.

Continue reading

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What’s Cookin’: Greens, Eggs, and Ham? Make Them Yourself, Man!

2016-05-20-183833Hmm. Memo to the loud guy I passed on the way home yelling about the (and I quote) “bitch who won’t make me eggs after noon”: Ugh. Learn to cook, you ignorant jerk and make your own damn eggs ANY TIME YOU WANT. Keep it up with that overly cranky attitude and those aren’t the only eggs you’ll never have anything to do with ever again.

That, and it’s no joke to get hit upside the head with a cast iron fry pan while one is snoozing. Anyway, let me be nice and give you a recipe you can learn and perfect, provided you’re not un-jamming a pan from your gaping maw: Continue reading

What’s Cookin’? The Case Of The Moving Rice Cookers

zojirushi rice cookerOkay, I haven’t done a food piece in a while and this isn’t really one at all, so that trend continues. Anyway, today I ended up having to do a favor for a very busy friend in the form of going downtown to pick up and deliver four rice cookers to be used by a certain Japanese retailer as part of an in-store celebration. I take it they’re cooking rice to go with something or perhaps someone will be making rice balls to pass out to the masses who show up.

That, by the way may not be a great idea, as a good rice ball will fill you up and make you want a nap just as soon as you take that last bite. I think the sight of a few hundred people laid out and snoozing all over a store isn’t the best publicity image, but someone’s mom will be really happy because her rice ball recipe was put to good use. I actually DO have a food story to tell that involves ranch dressing, a few chickens and eventually, rice. But I’m away from my camera with the pics I wan to run with that piece so it will have to wait.

Actually, this day was quite draining and I didn’t eat much so I could actually use a big ol’ rice ball to put me under for the evening. Too lazy to look up and activate a recipe am I, so it’ll be something faster like a quick eggy thing with some of those onions and peppers I chopped up last night. Back tomorrow.

October Surprise, Indeed

(thanks, Kévin Aze!)
 

Ha. Welcome to October where nothing is working as it should, whee! I do need to change that banner and background and update the site with a few posts and such. But it seems that the internet here is chuggy and slower than a dead coyote trying to catch that pesky Road Runner that’s sent him off a cliff for the last time. Thanks to the awful connection speed today it actually took me longer to make this post than it did to write up one of the reviews I’m about done with. Anyway, this test post aside (which BETTER go through when I hit “Publish”, grrr!), I’ll see what else I can get done and up later this evening. Or at worst, tomorrow. Yeah,even if there’s a hurricane or whatever zooming through here, there’s still work to be done.

Yeah, blow, wind… blow. You can’t stop me. Nor you, sideways rain. You’re nothing but an overly damp punk.

The Martian Trailer 2: Get With The Space Program, Already


 

The funny thing is, after I decided to recently zip through the book (it’s a great summer read, by the way) and took the longer range viewpoint I usually do, these trailers really don’t bug me at all. In a way, the filmmakers are a bit pushed and painted into the proverbial corner because being too vague means you get unfairly compared to Chris Nolan’s Interstellar (although that’s what’s been happening online anyway). On the other hand, anyone who didn’t like Prometheus and didn’t know Ridley Scott’s other, better sci-fi films might see either of the two trailers and say to themselves (or online to whomever is reading what they write) “Not THAT guy again!” or words to that effect. Rock, meet hard place. Of course, a film’s performance should be based on how well it does among those who actually see it as opposed to those who don’t and won’t that spend more time griping about it.

The Martian banner 

But so goes the modern world these days, I guess. The Martian is in theaters October 2, 2015. Go read the book at some point beforehand. Or afterwards.

June Bug, Or Life Doing Its Gear-Shifting Again

(thanks, VEVO!)*
 

Let’s see now. Not counting the usual outside world lousy news that will absolutely drive one bonkers if one pays attention to all of it, my life is in a bit of a bumpy phase. No, you’re not getting any juicy details other than things are about as complex as Ernest Hemingway’s hamburger recipe right about now. And nowhere near as tasty. Okay, I haven’t tried that recipe yet, but it sure sounds as if it packs in a ton of flavor. But I digress. Let’s talk mostly in music because it makes things easier and funnier when all is said and done.

(thanks, Leroy Skibone!)
 

What’s Up With the Roof? Well, it’s still being repaired and it seems that June 5th deadline may or may not be met thanks to some rainy and windy days where not much took place. They’re doing a bunch of the buildings here at the same time so it looks like Scaffold City in some spots. Given the amount of drilling and pounding going on, it seems that the intent is to make this fix a bit more “permanent” than previous jobs. That were also supposed to be “permanent”. Yes, “permanent” is in quotes because maintenance such as this is never really going to be “permanent” (which is why it’s called MAINTENANCE, correct?). Which leads me to the apartment (eek):

(thanks, dodgybizkit!)
 

The place got one a few months back before the roof repair but needs a new inspection after it to see if anything’s been shaken loose from all the pounding from above. A different set of inspectors came in and checked the ceilings in every room to see if they needed any repairs. Of course, nearly every room in the apartment now has red marks on the ceilings were some work needs to take place. Wonderful. Even more annoying is the wall that was completely replaced twice over the past twenty years thanks to the drainpipe behind it that more than likely should have been replaced during the first wall job. My brain boils every time I recall assorted inspectors and workmen saying variations on “Well, that pipe really needs to be fixed, but it’s too much work because the whole line needs to come out” meant all of the current issues really didn’t need to happen.

That and while terribly inconvenient for the tenants along the line below me, had the work been done back when it needed to be, it would have cost less and probably been done with far better materials. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. The wall in the home office was last “fixed” last October and painted but a month later was showing signs of (that’s right) minor water damage. By the time the inspector popped back around to check something else out, I had to show off the now more cracked and damaged wall to him just to get a reaction. Yep, he actually asked me when was the last time it was repaired. Le sigh. Le annoy! I also need to figure out where to move over 1000 games, a bunch of systems and other stuff as I’d planned to use the formerly empty back room here that’s now occupied by a relative who’s moved back in.

Eh, I’ll figure that out. It may involve a screwdriver, hex wrenches and disassembling some furniture to make room, a few drop cloths and a LOT of tape. Ugh. Well, at least I have some masks in the closet so I can hang out and get all dusty with the workers here while I keep an eye on my stuff. It looks as if the rest of June past the 5th or so will mostly consist of me packing stuff up, moving it around and unpacking it later. Yep, I’m moving in my own apartment but keeping stuff in the same room. Whee. Science? Or just insanity.

(thanks, Aussie Roadshow!) 

What’s Cookin? And nope, the kitchen still isn’t at 100 percent thanks to a combo of the assorted workers not putting things back together completely. I have two sink legs under the sink that need to be reattached, some trim that needs painting (well, once they actually finish making and adding the rest of the trim around the kitchen ceiling) and there’s a small hole in a wall that was somehow missed during all that earlier kitchen nonsense that I just spotted when moving the refrigerator back to its original spot. “If I had a hammer…” I’d probably be doing 2-5 for some sort of Three Stooges meets Screwy Squirrel assault.

Some Other Stuff! Trouble Man. People Ain’t No Good. Promises, Promises. Beat it. That’s all I’ll say about that.

What it’s too vague for you? Well, as my man K.C. says:

(thanks, Nerisob!)

Feh. Add all that up and the fact that I need to make some money fast (and legally, of course!) and things are a bit stress inducing of late. If I can make it through June without Hulking out, it’ll be a good month. My poor head is stuffed with stuff I need to do, but concentration isn’t an easy thing to concentrate on with so much crap in the synapse.

Back in a bit. How’s YOUR month (or hell, just this Friday) going?

*Yeah, I know that Bruce Cockburn song is used way out of context. But so is every other video in this post.

READS: It’s Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow. Go Get Some!

Dark Horse Fight Club Freebie Dark Horse Kids Freebie

 

So, it’s May already! That means a few things of note for you fans of a few things pop culture-like. One of them being FREE COMIC BOOK DAY which is tomorrow. If you’ve never participated in this event, it’s a simple and enjoyable thing to do. just find a comic book shop near you, walk in and claim your free comic. That’s it. As you can see above, Dark Horse Comics has some nice freebies this year, but you’ll have about 50 different free comics to choose from at some larger retailers with room to spare.

I actually want to check out that Fight Club sequel, as it’s got Chuck Palahniuk writing every single word. Hopefully the guys at the comic shop near me get themselves open before 1 tomorrow afternoon. Sometimes I’ve run by there only to find the gate down and no one answering the phone. Boo. Well, we’ll see what happens this year. If I post pics tomorrow at some point, that means things went according to plan.

“What Do People Do All Day?” DAF Edition!

What Do People Do All DayAh, memories. Anyway, it’s been an intense and stupid week for me, but at least I got other stuff done besides grow a few new gray hairs from all that annoying tech nonsense.

In honor of one of my favorite books from my childhood (that you should buy whether or not you have kids of your own), here’s what I did of note on a few days this week:

A Pizza I made a nice pizza on Monday. I also got a nicer new phone, but that’s an ongoing post in the making as far as getting some stuff sorted out before I can activate the damn thing.

stuff to review  I got some stuff to review including three more excellent Blu-Rays from Arrow Video (thanks, Clint!) and a nifty tablet stand that’s actually pretty cool.

VHS Cover Art Speaking of movies, the greatest book I’ve read (this month) also arrived for me to review. You should buy a copy just for the cover alone. Okay, the insides are great as well.

old star wars stuff I found some cool original Kenner Star Wars stuff when I was looking for something else in a bin of lots of something else. Yeah, I’ve kept a few of the things I’ve bought from when I was younger. Not enough of them, sadly.

Elminage I played a bunch of new and old games I’d been needing to get to. That’s Elminage Original, a PSP and Vita RPG very much in the Wizardry vein that initially had a lousy English localization until a patch over half the size of the full game cleaned things up considerably.

Some other stuff is on the way or has arrived, but you don’t need to know about a box of packing tape, some razors and a few other mundane items. Okay, back to poring over my email and figuring out what sort of time machine I need to build in order to catch up to the workload backlog. Or I can avoid that rabbit hole fantasizing and just get back to the grind. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Off to get some sleep now. I’ll be back in a few hours after waking up and soaking my eyeballs in a cup of coffee. Or trying out the Uptime energy drinks I got in the post last week to write about. Hmmm… there’s an angle right there to work, right?

Indie Royale’s Insulin Bundle: Sweet Games Make For A Cheap High

The Insulin Bundle Indie Royale
 

Here’s a pretty nice deal on a nicer Friday from the fine folk at Indie Royale. $3.32 for seven Steam games, 6 are DRM-free, 3 run on Macs, 1 on Linux-based systems. Well, you can’t have everything, right? But you do get more than enough in this set of indies.

What, that’s not enough for you? Okay, okay! Head to Humble Bundle and check out the slightly more expensive ($5.00) but well worth the cost Humble Origin Bundle 2 full of over 9 (and counting) Electronic Arts games. or perhaps you’re an IndieGala guy or gal-a? Well, they’ve got you covered with the Evoland Bundle which has eight game for $2.89.. but only ONE is called Evoland. Well, I’d gather that it’s the most popular indie game in that deal, thus the bundle’s name.

Finally, Bundle Stars has an all-multiplayer deal in the Factions Bundle, which will set you back a measly $2.99 for 10 great Steam MP games. As usual, you know what to do next – go support charity and load up your computing device with some fine indies!

Some “Light Rock” For Your Friday

(thanks, ScottBradleeLovesYa!)
 

So, I had a weird day today that turned out great by the end. I got stuck in an elevator for a bit (boo), and during that quiet bit of hell, I missed a few calls about attending a game preview event. Fortunately by the time I was freed, I still had time to make that event and you’ll read the results of that little trip over the weekend. In the meantime, here’s a little tune to listen to that might be familiar to some of you out there. I kind of like this version better.