Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Celebrity douchebags Shia LeBeouf, Ronkko & Turner have put up a website and art installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, which is basically a rolling feed of other douchebags repeating “He will not divide us” as a protest to the election of President Donald Trump, who took the oath and was sworn in earlier today. They plan to run it for 4 years, or until their wishes come true and democracy is thrown out in favor of some fucked up pre-school logic system where the guy you cheer for always wins and everyone gets a trophy just for showing up.

No, he will not divide us. You fuckwits are dividing us just fine without his help by protesting the democratic process.

Get over it.

Get a haircut.

Get a job.

It’s been a while since I have written anything. The main reason is *probably* because I have been on a strict media fast. It makes me much happier burying my head in the sand. I’ve been happy playing with my little hydroponic garden with my 1000 pet ladybugs (who reproduce better than rabbits– all they do is screw and make babies!) and my homebrew video game projects and myriad other spinning plates.

I tend not to write much when I am happy. It’s more an outlet for my rage. Obviously. You people are rage vampires, feeding on the rancid bloodborne vitriol of my angst!

Drowning in a sea of morons is a voluntary choice. Once in a while they moron on you (I have just made moron into a verb) and you have to scrub it off (with bleach), but for the most part, it seems like you can go about your daily life without getting soiled.

Well, sorta…

debtchart2014

But yeah, buy metals and commodities and hunker down and hope for the best because you have prepared for the worst.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Death Star. It’s easier here, getting things done. Well, sorta…

Never buy a condo under mine. Seriously.

A couple weeks back I found a wet spot in my guest bedroom carpet. Having no pets, it was a curious thing. So I vacuumed it up with the neighbor’s carpet shampooer and went about my daily life. The wet spot kept getting bigger. And more soggy. To the point where a pond was forming in the floor. And so I called the condo nazis to inform them that we had a leak, and to inquire about the process of getting it dealt with.

“We’ll send the plumbers over,” Gemeinschaftsleiter Frau Darth Murrischegesicht says, and so they did.

“Oh, this is definitely your AC condensate line,” PlumberBob tells me, after taking a 2-minute look at everything, “Not our thing. You have to call your AC guy.”

And so I call the AC guy, and he comes over, and we change the AC condensate line to drain into the water heater’s emergency overflow pan drain line.

Yet the pond continued to grow.

And so I called the insurance company and they said to deal with Gemeinschaftsleiter Frau Darth Murrischegesicht, and Gemeinschaftsleiter Frau Darth Murrischegesicht said to deal with the insurance company, and the plumbers said to deal with the AC guy and the AC guy and I did our best and it didn’t help.

Meanwhile, water began to leak into the ceiling of the downstairs neighbors. Which is why you should never buy a condo under mine. Seriously.

This whole situation is merely a microcosm of why governments are such bullshit– if there is this much moronism in such a simple situation, imagine what it’s like on a national level. Actually, don’t. It will depress the shit out of you.

So a week goes by with me getting angrier and angrier because the people who insist they know what they know do not actually know what they insist that they know, and are, in fact, surprising me at their very existence and continued ability to pick up food and put it into their own mouths. And the water continues to leak.  Meanwhile I am pulling the weight of all the idiots who should be fixing this– 10 gallons of water per day out of just the dehumidifier and the whole place is starting to reek of wet carpet and mold. 5 fans on, hourly passes with the carpet shampooer to suck the water out of the carpet. Setting up buckets and pans in a one-man reverse bucket brigade to keep my downstairs neighbor’s place from flooding. It literally squishes up water out from underfoot when you walk in there.

Sounds kind of like a small-scale model of what is going on with the feds.

And so I recruited my neighbor and we picked up a hammer and a drywall saw and went to town on the walls. And surprise surprise, we found the leak. A broken pipe was pissing a geyser of water out into the insulation, which was running down inside the wall and into the floor. And so we called the plumbers and told them what was going on, and they said they would come by.

A few more hours passed and we said, “fuck this, let’s fix it ourselves,” and so we did. The plumbers showed up at 9pm, 8 hours later. I told them to take a hike, since we’d gotten tired of waiting and did their jobs for them.

So the next day, I go in and tell Gemeinschaftsleiter Frau Darth Murrischegesicht that she will be paying me back for the work I have done, the repairs, the new carpet pad, etc etc etc and she agrees, but get this– she insists that the plumbers come in and inspect the repair before she can sign off on it!!! HAHAHAHA!

Yes. I laugh. Heartily.

You fuckers refuse to do anything to fix a plumbing issue that is clearly your domain (it’s even in the condo docs) and then demand the final say in someone actually getting up to do it themselves!? And then send the same crew of droolers to inspect the propriety of something they both misidentified and refused to take responsibility for when it was clearly their responsibility?

Wow… How… government!

(yes, I just turned moron into a verb, and government into an adjective)

Jacksonville, Florida: a nice place to spend New Years’ Eve. The Jacksonville Landing downtown is an excellent public space for festivities, as it links two sides of waterfront promenade by bridge and water taxi. There is a music stage and giant christmas tree, and bars and restaurants. There are public docks along the entire run, most of which are free for 24 hours, in order to encourage boaters to stop by, bring their guests, and engage in commerce there.

I arrived around 10pm by boat, but I was too late to get a good spot to tie up; most of the other boaters had probably come in way early and had been partying for hours. I spied a spot right under the giant christmas tree, which I figured was not taken because of the proximity to the sound stage and the noise and music, and started to pull up.

A guy came up and shouted to me that I can’t tie up there. I couldn’t hear him so I popped my head outside the cockpit for clarification, and he pointed to something. “You can’t tie up here,” he shouted.

“Why not?” I asked.

“It’s for public service boats only,” he shouted, “Read the sign.” That’s what he was pointing to. So I looked more closely, and indeed there was a sign. Hidden behind a large pile of trash. And so would be my first encounter that evening with Paul Blart.

So I took a spot near the end, at an area that had signs, “30 minute zone” for loading and unloading passengers. OK, I’ll tie up here, and if anyone gives me trouble, I can just move. Everyone seems in a festive mood, I’m not hurting anyone, there’s no shortage of space here on this end of the dock, I’m not blocking anything, and so I tied up around 10:30. It’s all good. Or so I thought. Paul Blart was on the prowl.

I headed out with a fine cigar and a vodka cranberry, and prowled the promenade for a while. Came back to help some other boaters tie up to the dock, have some drinks and conversation with them, and generally have a good time. Forgot about the 30 minute limit, but there was still space at the dock, cops were everywhere and hadn’t said anything about it, and everyone was enjoying themselves in a peaceful fashion.

Around 11:30, Paul Blart showed up and started shouting at me and the other boaters, simply saying, “You can’t stay here, you have to leave.” No explanation, nothing, just an absolutist authoritarian attitude.

“Why?” I asked him.

“Because the sign there says you can’t stay here,” he answered.

“Wait, the sign there says 30 minute zone, that’s it,” I told him.

He immediately put space between us and loudly called into his radio, “I have some boaters here who don’t believe me about the loading zone. Can you send someone?”

“Hey, wait a minute…” but he kept backing up and calling frantically into his radio for people to come out.

So I shrugged and returned to my boat to listen to the radio, chill with my cigar, and people-watch. A few minutes later some real cops showed up.

“Is this your boat?” they asked.

“Yes.”

“OK, what’s the problem here?” they asked.

Paul Blart came up and, avoiding eye contact with everyone, started in on his routine about how this area is for loading passengers only and that I did not have permission to be here.

“But it says I can be here for 30 minutes, yes?” I asked.

“You’ve been here longer than that.” he answered. He was right, but then I asked him:

“What time did you mark me down for when I came in?” to which he had no answer. And so, in a vain attempt to fill the void in his lonely soul, I offered a solution: “Tell you what… the fireworks start in 30 minutes. When they are over, I will pull out and leave anyways, and so now that you know I am here, and that 30 minutes are starting, now you have a valid excuse to write me a ticket if I stay too long. Is that OK?”

To this, he backed up again to avoid listening to me, continuing to call to other units on his radio. The cops that were there shrugged and said it sounded reasonable to them. They were normal sheriffs, and said that the marine patrol had jurisdiction over the boat parking.

Paul Blart came back and started badgering everyone at that point, telling the 5 boats at this particular dock that we all had to go. At this point it was 15 minutes until the fireworks started. I tried to reason with him, but he was clearly not interested in hearing anything any of us had to say. The cops could have cared less about him; they had better things to do. I was clearly not being a belligerent threat, and they all knew it. I think it made Paul Blart mad that I was keeping a level head and not yelling at him, but clearly I had no respect for his lack of authority and it was just what he needed to go postal.

After receiving no word on his radio (at this point Marine Patrol was out in the river keeping boat traffic clear of the two barges which served as launch platforms for the fireworks show), Paul Blart came back and shouted that we all had to leave, now. We were to all leave and go anchor out on the other side of the bridge, or Marine Patrol would come and arrest us all. I turned to the cops, and Paul Blart, and explained that leaving now would be a major safety issue:

With congested boat traffic, in the dark, 5 boats untying with 10 minutes to go to the fireworks show, full tide current pushing us towards the barges, and marine patrol already cordoning off the area we had to pass through. Let alone anchoring in the dark in an unfamiliar area. We could not, even if we organized it well, at this point, orchestrate it all before the fireworks started. Then moving these boats during the fireworks show?

“Look, man, I don’t want you to feel like I’m stepping on your shoes here, but I believe that to be completely unsafe. Look up there, they have closed the bridges to traffic because of this, and you want to send us out into the river right this moment? I’ll stay here and take my chances.” I told them, “I think it’s best for everyone that we just stay here until the fireworks are over.”

The beat cops agreed. Paul Blart was furious.

“Hey, if it would calm you down and make you feel better, just write me the parking ticket. Cheaper than paying for damage to my boat.” I told him. Which made him even more angry. It would seem he didn’t have that power either. And so he called even more furiously on his radio to Marine Patrol’s deaf ears. He stalked off somewhere, never to be seen again.

I joked with the cops for a few minutes and then went back to my boat.

The fireworks went up, everyone had a peaceful time without wrecking anything, and once the show was over we all untied in an orderly fashion and went where we had to go. Nobody got hurt, nobody collided.

I’ve seen the same sort of Paul Blart behavior in abused, frightened dogs– they bark and snarl on their leash at anything that goes by, and the moment you try to be reasonable with them they back up towards their masters unsure what to do. You try to mind your own business and go past them, and sometimes they still try to take a chunk out of your ankle. It’s a sad, sad thing. Thankfully I didn’t get stuck with other Paul Blart cops with any real power, because I know there are a lot of them out there.

Since the taboo has been broken and it’s no longer considered gauche to start running for President 2 years before the actual election, I have decided to announce my candidacy for the President of the United States of America.

My platform: Let’s fix our shit.

Yes, I am a pretty staunch anarchocapitalist but I am also pragmatic in my knowledge that most people are just food tubes looking for people to tell them what to do. What is plaguing the place is that you food tubes have been given delusions of grandeur and the resulting class warfare is making those of us who support your sorry asses a tad irritable, to say the least. So instead of nuking the entire site from orbit and starting over, I will do the following to get things sorted back out:

My first act upon taking office will be to throw all caution to the wind, and, unlike all previous presidents, I will not be a whimpering pussy and wait until the last moment of the last minute of the last day of my tenure to issue pardons; the Presidential pardon is the ultimate check and balance in the system and it has never been used. Yet.

I will immediately create an office to issue pardons to all people convicted of the following “crimes:”

  • Tax evasion. This will pretty much gut the IRS and force reforms to the tax code which not even the IRS, admittedly, can make sense of.
  • Drugs. What you put in your body is none of the government’s business. You’d think they would have learned from Prohibition. No more people need to die over plants you can grow in your backyard.
  • Prostitution. There are no victims, except the people in jail.
  • Money laundering. If it’s OK for the feds to do it, it’s OK for Joe the Plumber.

My second act in office will be to immediately cease all external military actions, close all foreign military bases, and bring every soldier home where he belongs. Let other countries sort their own shit out. The world will need to become a very civil place very quickly. If they don’t want to be, that’s fine; we’ll be OK right here on our own dirt, with the entirety of the world’s angriest jarhead army defending the home court.

I will then assign the most pacifist, uncooperative assholes I can find to positions like the Secretary of State, and intentionally make it hard for people to reach them. I will scramble the phone number directories on a regular basis.

Every member of Congress will then be rounded up by my own private army (what to do with all those soldiers?) and be implanted with tracking devices that the American people can watch on a public website. Their houses will be wired for Reality Television, the shows aired on cable, and the proceeds rolled back into the paying off the public debt.

The White House will also be wired up for Reality Television. I will fill it with rock stars and porn stars, and the Playboy Mansion will have to be condemned as “being too square” in comparison. As I am unmarried, there can be no ridiculous scandals about who I screw, and it will be televised anyway. The profits from this cable channel will also be rolled back into paying off the public debt. Instead of picket signs, the White House fence will be festooned with a garland of bras and panties.

All of my Secret Service will be replaced by women, and they will then be renamed my Victoria’s Secret Service. I will parade around the world collecting massive speaking fees simply to show up as an international sex symbol with babes hanging on my arms. These fees will also be rolled back into paying off the public debt. I believe that over 4 years’ time, the Sexy President (TM) franchise will be a significant monetary machine and a tremendous public asset.

I will then spend the rest of my Presidency actively vetoing every last piece of paper that comes across my desk, firing all the losers I can fire, trimming fat where I find it, and doing absolutely nothing else to endanger the health and wellbeing of the American people.

Maybe I’ll take up golf.

And, if that works for you, I’ll run again 2 years before my term is over.

Remember, vote for ExpatBob in 2016!

I just replaced the old fire extinguisher on my escape boat, since the water nazis saw fit to cite me for its lack of charge, and so I thought it might be a good idea to see if I could recharge the old one and keep it in the Evil Swamp Lair. And so I called the local fire department.

“Sorry, we don’t do that, and unfortunately we are not allowed to tell you where to go to get it done.”

“What?! Are you not the people to call about fire prevention and safety? How is NOT telling me where to get it recharged in any way good for anyone?”

“Sorry, sir, but it’s the law. It would probably be cheaper anyway to just go get a new one.”

Just a taste of the police statehood in the past 48 hours…

On the boat, out on the river, headed to do some fishing. Beyond a bridge I have passed under hundreds of times, I kick up the throttle and get the boat up on a plane. Moments later I hear the horn and siren of the Florida Fish and Wildlife boat cops, and see them coming after me. So I slow to a stop and let them state their case.

“This is a no wake zone,” BadCop growls, “See that sign?” she points to a sign a few hundred yards away which clearly reads, “No wake,” but is not, clearly, for this particular channel; it is for a channel to the north. Here, beyond the bridge, is full throttle. She demands to see my registration papers.

Papers, please, citizen.

To this point I have yet to say a single word, I just let her do her BadCop routine, and now she demands to see my life jackets, my fire extinguisher, and a whistle. Yes, a whistle.

Years ago I was ticketed for this same bullshit, while in my dinghy, transiting between my boat and the marina, a few hundred feet away, in a river maybe 500 feet wide. A whistle, my ass. I told the jerkwad cop then that I was carrying a VHF radio with a range of 30 miles; a whistle was absurd. The law is the law, he said, writing off any form of moral responsibility. And I had to pay a $75 fine for not having a whistle, while moving a few hundred feet, in a river only 6 feet deep, in a basically unsinkable inflatable boat with both oars and an outboard motor. Even if the motor failed, I could row to shore. Even if the oars fell out, I could paddle with my hands. Even if the boat sank, I could swim or wade to shore. I’ll go out and buy a whistle just to shove it up your ass.

BadCop now demanded not only to see my fire extinguisher but to check the gauge on it to make sure it was adequately filled. Do you have life jackets, do you have flares, blah blah blah.

As my boat is always prepared for the zombie apocalypse, I had everything. Except for that fucking whistle. What a joke. Maybe you can use it to call the zombies to you, so that they take you out first. I have no idea what use it will be to you trying to signal anyone on a river when they are all roaming around drunk, blasting the radio over the engine noise.

In the end, she wrote me up a couple of warnings: the bullshit no wake zone violation, low charge in the fire extinguisher, and no fucking whistle. Then, the cherry on top, she told me she was doing me a favor, in true politician form, while she handed me back my slave papers.

Like we’re supposed to thank you for making yourself a problem and then “going easy on us.”

Then I get a notice from SunPass that my account is being terminated, “For not replenishing your account when it has a low balance… you will not be able to use your SunPass until you reactivate your account.” so I check my account and there is $8 and change. Probably enough for a round trip on the turnpike between here and Miami. Low balance my ass. I check and see that yes, indeed, they still have valid credit card info for me, my balance is not negative and never was, so what the hell? You’re going to hold my money hostage and NOT let me use the toll roads???

It reminded me of a time in college when I received notice I would be put on academic probation for poor grades, when I had a 4.0 grade point average (for the unwashed, you can’t get any higher than that).

“To re-activate your account, you need to put in at least $10,” so I do, and the account is miraculously reactivated. What the fuck. Police state mentality has invaded SunPass.

 

On January 1, 2014, it will be illegal to manufacture and import incandescent light bulbs in the USA. Some of you don’t care, but now it will cost $13 and up to replace a standard light bulb with a CFL one.

CFL light bulbs, while more energy-efficient than incandescent, suffer from a few deficiencies:

  • They do not last as long if they are used in standard household applications (ie being turned on and off repeatedly).
  • They require a much higher initial surge of energy to come on.
  • They do not deal well with cold temperatures.
  • They contain toxic levels of mercury vapor, and, if they break, they literally turn the area into a HAZMAT zone.
  • The cost per unit of light produced is some 15x greater.

Make sure your xmas shopping includes some incandescent bulbs!