greatbear: (aerial me)
Today at the Laurel Amish market, I notice I out-bearded all the Amish men in the place. I also laughed as I was entering the place and saw one of those guys, perhaps my age or so, sitting outside on a bench, smoking, and starting intently at his smartphone, swiping and tapping like an old pro. One thing I have noticed with a lot of the Amish in the area where Jeff grew up, while the horses and buggies are de rigueur, the buggies have LED lighting in a lot of cases, and a good many have cell phones, some are even smartphones. The whole idea of cell phones works with their belief systems in a way that regular landlines couldn't, since they have control of them and can turn them on and off. They help them in their work, and let them keep in touch in emergencies. But seeing this one fella today zipping through screens made me almost lose it. Is there a Scruff or Growlr for Amish?

The place also employs a fair amount of non-Amish, usually high school and college types who are off for the summer. So it was just as strange when a young lady working at the produce counter asked us if we saw Rush at Jiffy Lube Live (we had out merch on from the show). A bit surprised, we said yes, and she informed us she had also been there. We had a nice little discussion as we gathered our produce and paid for it.

That is one high-tech, rockin' Amish market.
greatbear: (forearms)
As everyone seems to know, a lot of snow fell here recently, and I waited until the next day (Wednesday) to hobble out of the house to the garage, fire up the snowblower and have at it. It wasn't a huge snow, only about 6-7 inches. Anyhow, since my back is in absolutely no shape to even touch a snow shovel, mostly hanging from the handles of the big, self-propelled snowblower is fairly easy, and I have to say, sending a rooster tail of snow high into the air that blots out the sun in my general vicinity is kinda fun. It does, however, fly back at me quite a bit, and after about an hour I pretty much look like the abominable snowman by the time I'm done. I park the thing in the garage, trudge back into the house where I strip myself of my snow-covered outerwear, boots and whatnot and otherwise dry off. While I got most of the snow off of me, I didn't realize there was close to two inches on top of the geeky Mad Bomber hat I use to keep my big flappy ears warm. I set this in the kitchen sink to thaw out, and shook the copious icicles out of my beard. I relax a bit, sore and hurting from the exertion (which I still am as of this writing). I play with the various four-leggers in the house, including the stray cat that makes herself all-too-comfy here. A little while later, I head to the kitchen for a snack, and I notice a furrball on the kitchen counter. The damn cat is always jumping up, looking for anything she can to eat. I yell like I usually do to shoo her off. It was then I realized I was yelling at the hat I put in the sink earlier.

I had a good laugh at my own expense.

Bonus irony points: It was at this time the doorbell rang, it was UPS delivering one of my purchases. A new, black Milwaukee electrically heated jacket. That would've been nice to have on while doing the snow. Well, I know how my irony goes. I was wearing my old red version while slingin' snow. Take that, old irony monster.
greatbear: (picard kick)
Today Jeff and I did some things that were way past due in order to get with the season. Firewood is brought up to the house, the snowblower is ready, vehicles are good to go, freezer and fridge fulla goodies, generators ready if needed. The weather radio sent up a couple of SAME alerts for impending winter weather doom. Other than the unfortunate fact that Jeff might end up driving in it Monday, we are all set. Since we live next to a primary road that must be cleared for emergency vehicles, the worst we usually see is the quarter mile from the driveways to the main drag, the to major roads which already have been pretreated. I probably won't go anywhere.

Here's an engaging little ditty in honor of the imminent Weatherpocalypse:


Feb. 17th, 2012 01:15 am
greatbear: (Default)
I know a few people like this, some right here on good ol' LJ.

I had to say, this made me laugh, mainly because I notice such things myself.

Hells yeah

Aug. 24th, 2011 01:06 pm
greatbear: (Default)
This is lots of fun. What happens of you combine the Muppets, those darlings of all that is youthful and fun in humanity, and OK GO, the catchy rock band noted for some of the most amazing and entertaining music videos since the heyday of MTV (y'know, back when EmptyVee actually used to have music videos)? Yep, exactly what you'd think.

greatbear: (born to drive)
Rally car driver Ken Block is back with "GYMKHANA 4", his latest crazy-assed showcase of unbelievable driving skill, humor and destruction of tires. This time around, it's a full-on Hollywood-style production, the only thing not done with special effects is the driving. Maximize the frame, crank up the sound, and enjoy this hoon-fest.

greatbear: (Default)
Here is a charming short film from the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It explores the latest trend in personal statements, namely facial hair, something in which a seeming majority of my readership indulges.. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I.

Presenting: Mr. Stache.

(As seen on JMG)
greatbear: (Default)
There is a bush in from of the house (I forget what it is at the moment, somethingsomething japonica) that draws bumblebees by the dozens. Since you have to walk past this bush on the way to and from the driveway, you have to avoid the bumblebees (which have never gone aggro, they yield the path in all their clumsy, friendly glory). These guys are fun to watch, they are often rather playful it seems. But today I saw something that had me rolling. One been was hovering perfectly away from the plant between hauls of pollen, as if making decisions where to go next. Well, one of his compatriots comes bombing in at hyperspeed, the hovering bee turning around just in time to get a fast and furious, yellow-and-black headbutt.


One bee drops to the concrete, sliding on its back, the other goes careening into the trash and recycling wheelie bins. The collision sounded like someone shelling a peanut and tossing the shells. I had no idea where the one bee went, but the other that had hit the floor was clumsily trying to right itself and eventually succeeded, then was staggering around just as disoriented and awkward as anyone could ever anthropomorphically imagine. If humans see birds and starts when they get their bell rang, what do bees see? X-D

greatbear: (march of the pirates)
Seriously, you should.

greatbear: (Default)
As some of youse know, I'm currently being very careful with my spending. The last few months I've been treading very lightly on my credit card, with the last month being rather light. Mind you, I am not an extravagant spender, but possibly a bit more than some. Yesterday, I had placed an order for the three skylights (two 2' by 4' electric venting, and a "sun tunnel" to be precise plus all the flashing curbs and whatnot that go with them) at Lowes to the tune of nearly 2800 bux. My credit card took the hit in stride, almost as if to say, THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER. Today after PT I stopped into the little local hardware store to pick up some specific long power screwdriver bits to the tune of fourteen bux 'n' change. My card, the once valiant warrior in retail spec-ops came back to me with DEEEEE-CLIIIINED, MUTHAFUCKAH! WTF? I started laughing, having an idea what was going on, paid cash instead and came home to a message on the answering machine (yeah, I still use a 20+ year-old Panasonic analog answering machine, with two cassettes, I love it) with an automated message from the credit card company's fraud prevention system, timed precisely to the moment I tried throwing the national debt level of 14 dollars on the card. I call back, give the usual security answers and was asked if indeed the charges were mine. We both had fun with it, as I said the big charge is so typical that they had to be certain that a mere 14 clams just had to be fishy. It was all straightened out immediately. It was more entertaining than an actual problem at this moment, I'm glad I did not have to make some emergency purchase and have it declined and be SOL. I have a second card as a backup that is not used except for very rare occasions, so I would be fine for the most part.

While a minor inconvenience, I'm glad these safeguards are in place. I've had friends get their cards or card numbers lifted and the thieves had gone on extravagant spending sprees without a notice from the card issuers, or at best after a large amount had been charged. This causes all sorts of grief for my friends, though they aren't responsible for the charges, the issuing of new cards, having to change over auto payment info for recurring charges and the lingering credit wariness is a pain. I've never had that happen to me yet, as I am very careful where and how I use my cards and numbers. Still it can happen due to events out of my control no matter how careful I am. At least this little humorous call the the card company was not such an occurrence. This is actually not the first time I have gotten such a call, and the previous time was much like this one. The auto response system gave me a list of charges and the dates, I was to press a key on the phone when I heard something amiss. A hundred dollars, okay, 230-something, fine, 88 dollars, cool, one dollar, Whoa! BEEEP! I never charge such a small amount, and when the voice on the other ned came on it was explained that the charge was a ping of some sort from a hotel or gas station that verifies an account then erases the charge when the true charge is posted. A bit of laughing on both sides happened then as above, and everything was fine. I think it was after Jeff and I had taken a vacation or something.

How dare they charge me so little! lol
greatbear: (dr evil)
I decided to get to bed early for a change. Well, no dice. I hear a ruckus on the carport, Kodi starts growling, Jeff tried hushing up the dog. I had a feeling what the racket was all about, and sure enough, it seems our raccoon had returned from some extended absence and decided to find an evening meal in the trash cans. Well, this time it's a little different, since I had replaced the cracked and broken can with a rather sizable wheelie-bin with an attached, hinged lid. Previously, the consarned varmint would knock the can over then drag everything out as part of his feast. That is now thwarted by the size and stability of the new can as well as how it gets parked, with something on three sides. It ain't going over. Well, as I watched Rocky The Raccoon from the window, I wondered what his trick would be. Sure enough, he pushes the lid up, walks around the lip of the mostly-empty can, then jumps in. The lid closes on him and that's when I decided to have a little late-night fun.

I stumble outside, walking stick with me, and I place two heavy boards on the can lid. I then proceed to bang the can with the stick, driving the critter crazy. Each time he's try and pop up, I'd shove the lid back down on him. He did this for a while then quieted down. Darn.

It was then I noticed the hose.

I turned the water on, set the spray head for a nice powerful stream, then cracked the lid and started the spray. The wheelie-bin looked more like a washing machine trying to spin-dry a bucket of bricks. This time though, when the lid would pop up, the arcade game changed from Whack-A-Mole to Shooting Gallery. Ka-bloosh right in that masked face! Finally, the ol' coon had enough, pushed his way out of the can, scattering the boards and running off across the yard, getting blasted the entire time. I was laughing so hard the whole neighborhood could probably hear it. Pinky the Cat showed up in the middle of all this, and I swore I heard her laughing too. This is the most fun I had in my underwear all week.

Let's seem him try that stunt again. He's probably going to stick to raiding the cat food dish on the deck.

Only problem? I'm now wide awake.
greatbear: (inconceivable)
I took delivery today of a small, 7" diagonal portable digital television. It's so typically Chinese in nature, with a lot of features (ATSC and NTSC tuners, FM radio, analog video/audio inputs and outputs, along with USB and SD-card slot for playing music, movies and photos) but a rather dismal usability set due to funky menus and UI. The user manual is soaked in Engrish as well, always fun to read. But the absolute best thing about it is the tamper-evident label covering one of the screws on the back. You know, the ones that say "Warranty Void If Seal Is Broken" or similar text. Well, this one is pure Engrish gold:

tear it up

I so wish I could get sheets of these for all the test equipment I repair and calibrate for The Big Company That Makes The Cool Airplanes.
greatbear: (the call of cthulhu)
This is the perfect antidote for those nauseating Mormon ads, the heinous Scientology spots and those creepy "Foundation For A Better Life" commercials that are increasingly plastered all over television and starting to invade movie theaters quite often these days. Would that the Fairness Doctrine still be in place, these should be required:

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Opps... heh... *wipes off screen*
greatbear: (forearms)
There are a fair number of mechanically inclined folks who tune into this space fairly regularly. I found a list of various mechanic's tools and machinery that also defines quite accurately what each one does. Unlike the neophyte's list which simply explains the purpose of each tool, this list is for the seasoned professional. Let's take a look and validate the list, shall we?

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch...."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age

Clickie for More )

Pretty accurate, I must say. Does anyone have something they'd like to add?


greatbear: (Default)

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