And, we're here to help you through it!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It's early. I am up to check to make sure the football games we captured and published to the VOD channels last night made it to air this morning.They did, and now I am wide awake. So, I made some coffee and a bowl of oatmeal and I thought I'd catch you up on the silly shit that makes up my Life. I call it my Sunday MopUp, and it goes like this:
Getting Into Hot Water
I own a townhouse that was built in 1969. Much of the place still has the original equipment from back then. This includes my electric hot water heater. Now, that is an unusually long ass life for a water heater, and I have been aware that it is on its last legs for several years now. I've procrastinated about getting a new one forever, it seems.
A few years ago, The X and I noticed a serious decrease in the hot water pressure in the upstairs shower. Being the mechanically inept homos that we were, we called a plumber and a guy came out, surveyed the situation, and informed us that the water heater was so old that it was passing chunks of calcification through the hot water line, and these chunks were causing blockages at the diverter in the shower. We just nodded like we knew what the fuck he was talking about while fantasizing about whether the guy was going to bend over at some point to reveal his hairy crack. Hey, you spend that kinda money on a service call, you expect a little show.
He went out to the water main, somewhere behind our unit, shut down the water, disassembled the shower, showed us a couple of chunks of funk within the diverter, put the whole thing back together, and charged me about a hundred bucks without ever revealing any glimpse of ass. Oh, well. When we cranked on the water in the bathroom, we were back in business. Hotness returned.
The lesson was: a new water heater needed to be bought and installed, for this would surely happen again.
That was about six years ago, I guess. Did I do anything about replacing the heater? Umm...are you serious? Don't you know me well enough by now to know better than to wonder such things?
So, last week I crawl into the shower to start my day, and the hot water pressure is limp and flaccid again. Oh, great. I'm standing naked under my rain shower head, with lukewarm dribbles and drools (from the SHOWER, not me!) streaming down my chest and I realize what is going on. I curse myself for not dealing with this since the last time, and switch the diverter to Cold and take a cold shower, since the water pressure with the cold line is absolutely fine. I dance like an epileptic marionette while hosing down, lathering up, rinsing off, and shampooing.
Now, I'm days away from my next paycheck, so I think about what action to take here. Call a plumber again to clean out the line, try to clean the line out myself, or bite the bullet and finally buy the water heater that I KNOW I need? Dropping a hundred bucks on a plumber (with or without a furry butt) seemed like a waste, I CERTAINLY don't have the skills to fix this myself, and I have known all along that I needed replace the ancient contraption. I decide to wait until payday and then buy a new one.
I take cold morning showers for about a week. The friggin' HORROR! The only thing that saved me was my daily trip to the gym, where each workout was followed up with a HOT, LUXURIOUS shower in the locker room. Thank God for those. It really helped motivate me to go to the gym during that time period.
So, Friday at work, I look at Home Depot's website and find an electric water heater for $388.00 and a mention of installation services. Not a word about the cost of such installation. So, I call the 800 number and talk to a Little Thing who walks me through the process. Turns out, I am promised a replacement heater, INSTALLED ON A SATURDAY, for $663.00. Jesus, that is some serious cabbage in my world, but I cannot stand the thought of another morning of my penis retracting into my abdomen as I stand under a cold shower yet again. So, I agree to the deal, give her my credit card information, and am told that I should expect a phone call from the Install Dude by 10:30AM the next morning.
Saturday morning it is pushing 11AM and there has been no phone call. I have the phone number of the company that is to do the work, and all I get is a voice message stating that no one is there to answer the phone, please leave a message and blah-blah blah. I left a message, all right. I stated that I was promised a new water heater TODAY and I expect a call back asap. I then call Home Depot and another Little Thing puts me on hold while she calls the installation people. She comes back on the line to inform me that the company contracted out to do such things is closed on the weekend, and I will have to wait until Monday to get the water heater.
[Cue me going ballistic]
Chickiepoo apologizes and offers me a 50 dollar Home Depot gift card for my inconvenience. I state, emphatically, that 50 bucks isn't gonna cut it. I'm having visions of my shrivelled genitals lodged somewhere in my chest for two more days. I bark that I need to cancel the order, because I have to find another solution to my issue immediately.
She puts me on hold and comes back, stating that her supervisor has agreed to trim 10% off the package price, along with that fifty dollar gift card, if I can just hang on until Monday. The adjustment puts the installed tank to under $600 dollars now. I breathe deeply, tell myself that I can shower at the gym the rest of the weekend, and agree to the deal. She takes my credit card info from me again, credits me for 10% of the price, and we hang up. I immediately begin packing up for the gym.
Within fifteen minutes I get another phone call. This time it's from the contracted installation company. Installer Dude is calling to tell me that he can be at my place in an hour. I tell him that the store told me that I couldn't get the job done until Monday. He laughed and said that Home Depot has their head up their ass. I told him to come on over, and I'm giddy now that a hot shower in my house today is close to becoming a reality.
By the way, did I call Home Depot back and inform them that I was getting the work done on that day after all? Did I offer them their 10% back? C'mon now...
His name was Will, and he was a big, burly, hairy-assed (I'd bet) guy who had a little sidekick named Brandon in tow. He took one look at the old tank and pulled out his clipboard.
"We have some problems", he stated.
Seems the City of Austin requires a permit to do such work. A permit which, by law, he must follow in order to keep his company out of trouble. He showed me the permit. We went item-by-item through it. See, my old heater was installed so long ago, it wasn't up to code in a shitload of ways. Here were the additional steps, and costs, needed in order for jimmycity to have hot water once again:
1. Installation of time clock for water heater: $375.00
2. Water heater drain pan installed to Code: $124.00
3. Temperature and pressure relief valves: $65.00
4. Vacuum breaker installed on bibb hoses: $50.00
5 Smoke Alarm installed, tested, working: $45.00
Adding that figure to the cost of purchase and installation of the new tank took my cost to nearly $1250.00
[Cue me beginning to froth at the mouth as my blood pressure spikes]
Look, this wasn't Hairy-Assed-I-Bet Will's fault. This was a requirement of the City. The reason, by the way, that the time clock was so expensive, was that an electrician would need to come out and wire an electrical outlet, cuz, like, I didn't have one there.
When I was able to breathe again, I explained that I didn't have the budget to make this happen. He nodded and assured me that he would feel the same way. He suggested I find an independent person, like a buddy or something, to help me do it myself. Yeah, right.
The fact is, I could try to talk my video tech at work into taking this on as a project. I could pay him cash for his effort. He knows electric and plumbing. Hell, he BUILT his own house 20 years ago. I could work alongside him, we could hit the Plumbing Supply Store (where Hairy-Assed-I-Bet Will said I could probably find a water heater for $250.00) and probably get the whole thing up to code for HALF of what this guy wanted to charge me
I sent him on his way, called Home Depot and canceled the installation scheduled for Monday (heh!)and got the final Little Thing to credit the cost of everything back to my credit card.
I was back at Square One. Still with no hot water in the shower. Okay. Now, I needed to find a plumber on a Saturday to cut the water off and unclog my shower lines, or I would have to try to fix it myself.
What the fuck? I decided I would try to unclog the line myself. You can do this, Jim!
I found the water main. I had never seen it before. It was under a manhole cover back behind the townhouse unit, along a fence line, on a street between two tiny trees and some bushes. Once I got the cover off (no small feat in and of itself), I used a BigAss wrench to torque the rusted valve to the "Off" position. I was bent over, supporting myself again one of the small trees. I think I killed that fucker by the time I was done. I KNOW I wrenched my back in the process.
Once the water was off, I went upstairs into the bathroom and began taking the shower apart. At least fifteen pieces of shit to remove and account for, and try to remember the position they were in as well as the order in which they were removed, so I could put the bitch back together when I was done. I was swearing like a sailor. More cuss words than I use here. No kidding! Hard to believe, I know...
When I pulled the diverter out, a chuck of calcified crud fell out of the back of it. That was the problem! I checked for more stuff, found some, cleaned it out, and began the process of putting the shower back together.
What took me 10 minutes to take apart took nearly an hour to put back together. Rubik's Motherfucking Cube. No lie.
But, when I was done, I went back to the water main, grunted like a gorilla while trying to get the rusty valve open again, closed up the manhole cover (say it with me..."manhole"...yeah, that's right!), and trooped back up to the bathroom and turned on the water.
Sweet, sweet hot water poured down upon me with full pressure. Testosterone coursed through my veins. I raised my arms in Victory, sniffed my sweat-soaked armpits and rejoiced in my Manliness and Butchness. Jesus, I really needed a shower! But now, I could take one.
And, take one I did.
Some Stuff Some Friends Sent:
One Small Leap
It's July 21st, 1969, and Neil Armstrong has just taken a giant leap for mankind. In Muskogee, Oklahoma, one man is turning back the evolutionary clock.
I have a friend Up North who is quite good at graphic design. He sent me the following:
And, finally, since Halloween approacheth, he sent me the a really cool graphic for a Halloween card he put out this year. I meant to save it for this week and share it with you all, but managed to forget to stash the pic, and it has fallen out of my email. Damn it!
I've stated before that I hate Halloween. In MY mind, it's a kid's holiday that adults use as an excuse to get shitfaced, drive drunk, and puke around town. But those are just MY prejudices. If you love Halloween, I hope you have fun. In any case, have a safe holiday!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's the buttcrack of dawn and there is a chill to the air. I had to get up early to check the cable system and see if a high school football game correctly published to a VOD channel and, so, I'm grumpy. The coffee will help shortly. But, welcome to what I call my "Sunday Mop Up", where God and I review the past week here in jimmycity and, together, we try to figure out who is to blame for what. I rarely point an accusing finger.
I got there by 8:30AM, and sat around until nearly 9:15. Made me furious. I had to drive clear to the other end of town in morning rush hour traffic to be there on time. How do people contend with this shit on a daily basis?
There were 17 of us, and all they needed was 6 jurors. We were impaneled and interviewed for those slots. I noticed that people who volunteered information about themselves got paid a lot of attention. I figured this attention meant that they were going to be noticed and chosen as jurors. So, I kept my mouth shut. No one asked me anything directly, and I kept all opinions to myself. The case going to trial was for a black guy who was clocked going 81mph in a 65 mph zone. He was defending himself, so he was allowed to interview prospective jurors as well. One of his questions to us was "Does anyone know what 'DWB' means?" We must have looked dumbstruck, because he told us. 'DWB' meant "Driving While Black". In other words, this guy was accusing the police of profiling him because of his race.
I didn't want ANYTHING to do with THIS trial! So, I kept quiet.
After ten minutes of questions from both the prosecutor and the defendant, we were asked to leave the courtroom while jurors were determined. It was 10AM, and I figured I would be out of there within 30 minutes. When we were called back, they read the names of the jurors. They called my name. I was selected. Fuck!
I was asked to take a seat in the juror's box, along with five others. Everyone else was excused, and the six of us were given our instructions. We were to listen to the case, go back to a little room and determine who the Foreman was going to be among us, and then had to come to a UNANIMOUS decision about the case and, if guilty, determine the fine the defendant was to pay.
Before we heard the chronology of what happened, we were schooled on how a Doppler II radar unit works. The thing gets checked and tuned and tested daily by the Officer. It had been tested that very day, and was working properly. Turns out, you use tuning forks to calibrate radar guns. Huh! Who knew?
The six of us listened to the hoo-ha. 8PM on May 31st, an Officer in an unmarked patrol car was driving 65 in the right hand lane of a long stretch of highway. Suddenly, a BMW SUV blows past him in the center lane. The Officer hits a switch and turns on his radar, which clocks the SUV at 81mph. The Officer turns his lights on, pursues and pulls over the car. The driver was not argumentative or disagreeable and signs the ticket.
Now, the ticket is brought into evidence. The Officer had mistakenly marked the driver as being Asian, then crossed through that and marked African. Also brought into evidence is the report. The Officer states in it that he was driving and saw the suspect drive past him, speeding. The black guy claimed that if the Officer really HAD seen him, he would have known that he was black, not Asian. Clearly, argued the defendant, the Officer had clocked someone else.
The Officer admits that he made a mistake in checking "Asian", but corrected it on the spot. The Officer says that when, in his report, he states he saw the suspect speed past, he meant he saw the CAR speed past, not the individual in the car. The Officer explains that at no point did he ever take his eyes off the speeding vehicle, so there was no way he had used the radar on another vehicle. - It didn't help matters that, as the prosecution was laying out the case for us, the lawyer for The State referred to the car as being a "black BMW". For that matter, the Officer referred to it as a "black BMW" as well. The defendant points out that his SUV is, in fact, GRAY!
[gasp!] [insert an eyeroll from me here]
The prosecution apologizes and reminds us all that the TICKET clearly states that the color of the car in question was GRAY, it was a slip of the tongue and should not be a problem for the jury. After all, these lawyers see case after case, day after day. Is it any wonder that they can keep any of these details straight?
The defendant seemed pretty certain that these details bring the whole "beyond a reasonable doubt" rule into play. How could we, as a jury, be sure that the speeding car in question was his, when the Officer got his ethnicity wrong, and now The State and the Officer can't seem to get the color of his car correct?
We are now sent into a back room to deliberate. Our first task is to pick a Foreman. When seated around a table, the eyes turn to me, and the black guy suggests me as the Foreman. "Look," I explain, "thanks, but I would like to make another suggestion. This guy thinks he is being picked on because he is black. He mentioned that a cop who sees a black man in a BMW is going to get a second look, anyways. It will send a message to this guy that we, as a jury, felt unanimously that this guy is guilty if it is presented by another black man." A very timid Oriental woman jumped in and exclaimed "I aglee!"
It was decided. The black juror was very startled that we wanted him to be the Foreman, but seemed pleased.
The case was an easy decision. The defendant had even gone so far as to speculate that the Officer had perhaps actually clocked an Asian in a black BMW SUV, not the the black guy in question. I pointed out that not once had the defendant said that he had not been speeding, but rather, was trying to point out errors in the paperwork. He never denied that he passed the unmarked patrol car. He had mentioned being black and owning a BMW and being picked on as a way of playing the race card. It was ridiculous. The Officer who wrote the ticket was Hispanic, by the way.
We had to figure out what his fine was to be. We had a range of $1 - $200 to assess. I suggested that we find out how much the ticket would have cost. We sent a note to the bench, and found out that the ticket was for $160, and that, if found guilty, the guy would owe court costs of $105. We assessed him a fine of the $160, then. With court costs, he would have to pay 265 bucks. Done and done.
We filed back into the courtroom and the Foreman delivered our decision on a piece of paper to the judge, who read aloud what we had decided. The defendant shook his head like he had been ripped off. I shook my head and wanted to tell him that he had wasted all of our time with this flimsy dispute. We were dismissed right at noon, and I felt I had participated in my "civic duty" and was relieved to find out that, having gone through this, I wouldn't be hit up for jury duty again for a full year.
And that, kids, was how I wasted my Thursday morning.
jimmycity makes a porno
Using my digital camera, I shot a couple of minutes of a movie of me being a bit of an exhibitionist. Meat Puppet Theatre, if you will. I emailed it to a few select friends. I am now regretting that I did this am sure that at some point it will surface on the internet and my mother or father will see it and have a heart attack.
This has been my moment of TMI for the week. Sorry.
How About A Music Video?!?
...since I mentioned video, here's a clip of a song by a band that has been around for several years to whom I have just been introduced. I like it when the animals start dancing.
And here's another. Music to take drugs to, a friend has said. I disagree. I'm sober as a judge and enjoy it.
Finally, Let's Check In On "Overheard In New York"
Well I've Been Trying to Cut Back on MSG
Woman to younger boyfriend: Honey, that Chinese food that you brought over is still in my fridge. I was going to throw it out.
Younger boyfriend: No, I'll eat it.
Woman: You don't think it's gone bad?
Boyfriend: It's only two days old. You're 31, and you haven't gone bad yet.
Woman: That makes no sense, and in any event, you haven't eaten me in a while either.
--Upper East Side
via Overheard in New York, Oct 18, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The windows to my townhouse are flung wide open, there is a lovely autumn breeze outside, and I have laundry working and dishes a-cleaning and most random bio-hazard safely corralled.
Welcome to my Sunday Mop Up of stuff that has happened in my little world lately!
Tuesdays and Thursdays I meet with my trainer and we see how pathetically weak I actually am. It's really surprising. That I can keep my head upright on my shoulders on a day-to-day basis is suddenly amazing, because it has become MORE than apparent to both of us that there is nothing beneath my layers of fat but rubber bands and, perhaps, some kinda paper-mache (sp?) stuff. Sure as shit isn't muscle.
He's a sweet kid, Daniel. He's twenty-three. I have underwear older than he is. He calls me the day after a workout to see if I am okay. Wanna meet him? Okay, I know you do...
My arms are gonna look like that, one day. I'll be one of those guys that flexes his bicep and then kisses it gingerly. You'll hate me, but I won't care. Cuz I'll think I'm hot.
I told Daniel that I wanted to take his picture, so I could post it on my blog and he became very excited about it. I think he thinks more people than three (on a good week) read this, or something.
I eat them almost daily now. Big bowls of the stuff. Do you eat salad? You should, you know. All that roughage makes for a very productive poop. I'm just sayin'. I'm tryin' to help, is all.
is killing me. My boss is taking the entire week off this week, and it means that my stress level will be out of SIGHT! If I had high blood pressure, I would be stroking out right about now. No kidding. My job blows at the present time.
Keeping Austin Weird
So, I was on the south side of town last weekend, and I had to check in at a store that is on a stretch of road that has become VERY trendy and hip and popular with the cool kids. All sorts of shops and restaurants and bars have popped up all up and down it, making traffic really miserable in the area. Well, after battling for a parking space, I jumped out of my truck and crossed the street to the other side, at the corner where good, law-abiding citizens cross the street. You know? I'm the kind of idiot that will try to dart out across a street anywhere I please, and I took the time to cross where pedestrians are supposed to cross: at the corner and with the light.
Well, as I am standing there, waiting to get permission to walk where I'd like to walk, I notice that there is a person in a bear suit on the other side of the street, among the other people milling about. A cute, cuddly Care-Bears kinda suit, all white and fluffy. It has some kind of design of hearts or something all over the belly, but this was a full-blown costume. Had a big-ass head, like a mascot for a sports team, or something from Disney World. Big eyes and a smile. Creepy.
"Huh. Dork in a bear suit," I said to myself. The bear was standing outside a pizza place. Why would a pizza parlor put a person dressed as a bear outside? I shrugged, the light turned green for those of us waiting to cross, and so we did.
As I got closer to the dude (I'm assuming it was a man inside, because of the person's height. From his body proportions, he was easily six feet tall, but the ginormous head made him tower to well over seven feet in height), I noticed that he wasn't keeping to the pizza place area, he was wandering down the street, now in my direction, waving and dancing. Everyone was pretty much ignoring him.
Closer still, the guy stopped and focused on me. As I was passing him, he reached out and pointed at me.
"Bear!" he exclaimed, tapping me on my chest. His voice was in this falsetto that really pumped up the creep factor. I looked down and realized I was wearing one of my t-shirts that, indeed, says "Bear" on it. Oh great.
"Yes, I am!" I replied, in sarcastic exhuberance.
He then pointed to himself with both his furry paws, touching himself on the hearts of his belly.
"Bear!" he explained with a single word and that same infantile tone. Then, he extended his arms, like he wanted a hug.
Luckily, the store I was headed for was just of the other side of him, and I ducked quickly inside, wondering what the fuck that guy's purpose was out there. If someone had hired him to promote their business, I don't think they were getting their money's worth.
When I came back out, he was gone. No sign of him. I was worried about another confrontation, but could relax. I hiked back to the street corner, crossed again with the light, and walked down to my truck.
As I was leaving the area, a full four blocks down the strip, I passed him again. He was just kinda dancing down the street. He was getting to the point where the business district ended, and the residential area began. Dude wasn't on the clock.
I believe I had just met my first "Furry". And I think he cruised me.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I've said it before, I'll say it again: funny smart people turn me on. Take Kirby, for example. This guy absolutely appeals to me and I know it's because he's a clever dick. He's probably completely into women, and that's okay. He's one of my Internet Crushes, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
(something I lifted off the internet)
CANDIDATE 1: I'm happy to be here tonight.
CANDIDATE 2: I am, too.
CANDIDATE 1: You shouldn't be.
CANDIDATE 2: Why not?
CANDIDATE 1: Because you shouldn't be agreeing with me. Didn't you see that in the manual?
CANDIDATE 2: Manual?
CANDIDATE 1: You know: little yellow book, about this big, says "Top Secret" on the front. Maybe only I got one.
CANDIDATE 2: I don't know. But what's your point? I shouldn't be happy to be here?
CANDIDATE 1: You should be arguing.
CANDIDATE 2: I will be.
CANDIDATE 1: But you agreed with me. You should be arguing so that the people listening to us have a clear choice.
CANDIDATE 2: Okay. Let's argue.
CANDIDATE 1: No! You're agreeing with me again, only this time it's about arguing. That's kind of a paradox, isn't it? It's like seeing Russia from Russia.
CANDIDATE 2: It's nothing like seeing Russia from Russia. And that's not a paradox, anyway. It's a tautology.
CANDIDATE 1: But a paradox is a paradox.
CANDIDATE 2: That's a tautology, too.
CANDIDATE 1: So a paradox is a paradox is a tautology, which means that a paradox is a tautology.
CANDIDATE 2: It doesn't mean that.
CANDIDATE 1: So you disagree with me that it's a paradox?
CANDIDATE 2: I disagree, yes.
CANDIDATE 1: I think we're on the same page now.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Police arrested Michelle Allan on Monday night and booked her while she was still wearing the costume.
Police say after allegedly chasing the children, Allan urinated on a neighbor's porch. Police ordered her to go back home and stay there.
Later that same evening, an officer reported finding Allan allegedly disrupting traffic.
The same officer in his report stated that Allan was verbally abusive while being transported to the police station.
© 2008 WKYC-TV
According to the news report I heard about this, the woman was screaming "Suck my udders!" as she was being taken to jail.