One of THOSE Days

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Yesterday was one of those days. I actually woke up early, to get the promo post up early. Of course of all the posts in the week, the promo post is the one that requires me to paste images, right?

So, I first tried the normal thing, where I copy paste the cover from Amazon. It didn’t work, as in…. at all. It just showed a blank and acted like it was an image.

So, I uploaded it to my computer, then pasted from there. It refused to.

Finally I found a work around of a screen shot, and it seemed to work, so I set about doing the promo post. When I put in the last book I paged up…. and the images were gone, replaced with “insert image here”.

By that time it was twelve thirty my time, and with a might ARGH I decided to fly without images, which I realize will materially impact hits on the books.

And then I went to have coffee and breakfast.

Would you believe the entire day was like that? Everything I touched broke/didn’t work/ did something bizarre I didn’t expect.

I’m trying to finish BOR (aka the TRULY cursed book) but by the time I sat down to write (four thirty?) I just didn’t have the brain.

And so, here we are.

I’ve done a backup of the entire blog, so that should things get froggy I can take it elsewhere. In my copious spare time I might do a backup with everything setup, so it’s a flip button. The problem being, the backup doesn’t seem to have downloaded.

This morning I woke up and thought I’d finish the typeset work for Odd Magics. I did, using atticus. I’m perfectly happy with it, but the ebook export isn’t working. The print is, mind, so I suppose I can do the print in atticus, then go back and format everything with kindle create. And I will, if I still can’t get the ebook to download by this evening. But seriously… Must everything be like this. Like the last two years aren’t enough.

That ARGH you hear is mine.

I wish the internet hamsters would find someone else to torture.

This post is mostly to figure out if I can, indeed, post something with an image. If I can’t I’m probably going to go Librarian, and no one has any frog pills to hand.

Part of me just wants to go back to bed, but we need my income, so I suspect not.

You know what? When it all blows up it will be over someone having a day like this, not over some grand philosophical dispute. Like the vegetable vendor who set himself on fire at the beginning of the failed Arab liberation.

No, I’m not going to set myself on fire. I usually set the internet on fire.

But again, seriously — looks up — can the simple things just work? Just for one day?

181 thoughts on “One of THOSE Days

  1. Sounds like you need to make a sacrifice to Murphy. Cookies. The heart of a Communist. If you’re really desperate, Scotch.

    (Use of Scotch is normally reserved only for the most extreme cases of bad luck.)

    1. Commies do not have hearts. The blackened remnants of such may be found when a live communist is vivisected, but the actual organ itself is inert. Charcoal without the utility thereof, basically. Further scientific investigation into how a Communist might simulate actual life has revealed that they live through parasitism. A Communist cannot, therefore, survive on its own- it requires a host to provide it sustenance as it is completely incapable of producing its own.

      A true Communist is therefore a rare thing indeed, and often requires the blood of thousands to merely maintain the appearance of life. If ever the stated dreams of “true” Communism would come to pass, then the Communist itself would immediately thereafter cease to exist, as there would be nothing and no one left for it to leech off of.

      The victory of the Communist is therefore less even than the victory of the worm, the maggot, and the mushroom. These forms of life have purpose and utility. The Communist is a net negative in any system so unfortunate to suffer with its presence.

              1. Good point. We’re the All-Conquering Defenders of Civilization, we need to look the part.

  2. Yeah, this sounds like Murphy is unhappy. Who’d you kill? Or who’d you not kill that you should have. A sacrifice seems in order, like Mike said.

  3. For any who were interested…
    Link to download Ça Ira ringtone:

    m4a format is Android, m4r format is Apple

    (Eh, the splice is pretty clean, but it annoys me that I can still hear it. Unfortunately, most of what I could do to bandage it would only draw more attention to it. Or be hours of work with a lot of timing and sound-matching headaches.)

      1. I’m afraid not. (At least unless the most recent OS upgrade changed it. If so, I wasted time I’d much rather have used on something else!)
        If you have Garage Band installed, you can invisibly convert from a to r and set the new file as ringtone without ever raising there a conversion and new file, But only r can natively be used as ringtone in Apple (or could be, in the documentation I looked up. It probably wasn’t the latest revision, since it was dated last year).
        But good luck visualizing and copying the file after GarageBand converts it! Bloody hell. I wound up having to use a third party program on the PC. It was a PITA.

        1. Bother! I see what I thought I saw! It’s a ringtone, not an iTunes / mp3/ etc. file. My bad.

          Thanks for the explanation.

          1. No problem!
            (I’m just happy I didn’t miss something obvious. It’s been known to happen. With some frequency.)

  4. When it all blows up it will be over someone having a day like this

    That is my average day. No, seriously. The other day when something went wrong I told C “I’m amazed I have never gone on a shooting spree.” She admitted she was amazed as well. She was not being sarcastic.

    That’s one reason I have largely quit trying. If trying always gives the same results as not trying, kick back and at least enjoy being lazy.

    1. One of the best days of my professional life was the day I realized I’d moved from being Dilbert to being Wally.

      1. I’m close.

        I mean, if my if statements and for loops need to be rewritten in code reviews and my emails to other teams about errors need to be dictated to me through chat by my team lead who then replies to “my” email with more details making me look like an idiot it’s not like my work is seen to help the organization.

        1. What’s code review? Seriously? Never have participated in one … in 35 years. Not once. Walks off whistling …

          (FWIW. My “code review” take on “What’s Sale Tax?” given we live in Oregon. Know what it is, just don’t deal with it at home. Same with code review. Know what it is. Never had to deal with one, for real. Never will, now.)

          1. Ever commit now has to go through a code review. Corporate requirement.

            I have no objection to the idea. Sometimes useful stuff comes up. But when you decide that the trinary operator is not good enough and instead want a compound if statement all you communicate is my work has no value so don’t expect much of it.

            1. Your corporate isn’t the only one.

              I can look back on the last 12 years I worked that I almost WISH we’d had code reviews on changes. OTOH with the pace we had? With the backlog? We didn’t even have a testing department before it went to beta. We rarely had beta testing. Client testing was change went to client who requested, if broke, heard back, maybe.

            2. We have an official code style, but since since I’m not the tech lead and I really have no idea if the fix the other developer is doing actually makes sense, code style is pretty much all I can review for. Our team’s repos are set up in Github so they have to have another developer’s approval for pull requests, but that’s the extent of it.

              1. “team’s repos are set up in Github”

                We had a custom program for code storage and check out. Did not include all the library code. IDK if that still applies. The head programmer who made that call has retired, original owner retired, the company has sold to private equity firm that collects these type of small private software firms. I suspect it has been replaced with something less custom. I know the current manager was pushing for it in 2004 (when I hired on).

                I might not have completely conformed to company standards, if my code changes were so identifiable. Not completely off script, so to speak, just my take on it. I never complained about others code, unless it was something broken and I couldn’t fix. Even then probably just put in a comment. “Removed” code, wasn’t. It was commented out, documented why removed and dated (which was then traced back to dated comment at top with changer’s initials, and description; since 2008-ish description would include Trouble Ticket number, for further tracing.

                The ONLY time I got angry over someone else’s code change was two times. Once because it affected two clients payroll, involving PTO type calculations which I had to go to the programmer to get fixed. Then surprise, surprise, he didn’t “have time” to drop what he was doing and fix it, after I had to “prove” it was broken … Payroll!!! The other time involved a concept change that was changed in ONE program and not followed through on changes in other programs affected. This one I fixed. Not without leaving terse comments throughout the code where the changes were needed. Should have taken it to the programmer in question, but didn’t. Both issues had clients on the other end not only complaining, but the client got written up because, whatever, was wrong, even if the problem wasn’t their fault. At least our fixes were done (usually) within hours if not the next day. Which, as I understand, isn’t common.

                Other “fixes” of others code, and mine (sure I was perfect, uh huh, not possible), was generally just accompanied with one of my “sighs”, but no comment. Honestly? Most “fixes” were because someone misinterpreted a client’s request and generally the original coder “fixed” that. Not that the code was coded wrong. Or condition statements got over complicated and needed simplifying. Most changes were just that, changes.

        1. Mine too. Understand him. Especially once decided to retire. But hadn’t actually given notice. I think the only one who didn’t catch on was my boss. My attitude might have taken a bit of a dive.

          Create trouble tickets, don’t immediately assign them to myself to insure they got done in a timely manner. What? Am I getting Fired? Don’t need a reference!
          Refuse to take phone calls after 4 PM. Especially on payroll Friday? What? Am I getting Fired? Don’t need a reference!
          Arrive right at 8 AM, leave at 12 PM, arrive at 1 PM, out the door at 5 PM, no matter what. What? Am I getting Fired? Don’t need a reference!

          Nothing I did was actually “fire worthy”. But definitely was not going above and beyond either. Should I have just given notice sooner? Probably. The point?

          1. I noticed that all the really awful, disruptive, passive aggressive, office psychopaths were absolutely convinced they were Dilbert when they were actually the pointy haired boss. I’m sure that most of the people who worked for me over the years would agree that I was the pointy haired boss, we’re all so incompetent,

            Going Wally didn’t mean sitting around doing nothing, I actually got more productive when I stopped caring what any of them thought about me and didn’t have any ambition left. I do and say what I want and they can all go whistle,

            1. Didn’t make a big deal out of it, but company finally got forced into doing what they’d more or less promised to do for years, and clients wanted even longer. Problem was it was a major rewrite to not break interface. Then came that request with another absolutely must have for a high priority client that also required same rewrite. Once that was in place and working, everywhere else either process could be used, got converted. Generally when I was assigned to change something else in a program that could use it despite the extra time needed. On top of that, I took the time on how to figure out how to setup for clients that used the same “customization” (made a generic setup available) so that when we got new clients “customization” wasn’t missing and breaking the program (a Huge problem). They might want a true customization but at least not broken. Did not say a thing. Just did it. Took longer. But not like we were being tracked on how much we got done, either code lines, or trouble tickets. 1) Right thing to do. 2) Didn’t care. Though I doubt remaining got done after I left. Was down to last program. Program was converted, generalization 100% complete, and 25% of the customization were completed. Had it down to 3 – 4 hours per actual convert, if nothing needed tweaking. BUT that still left 120+ clients to check (to see if they had a true custom version or could use generic) or convert.

              On top of all the above. Four of the subsystems did the same thing, but had “reused” (COPIED) code, in two different programs for all 4 systems. By the time I was done with it, all 4 subsystems used exactly the same code, as in common files, and the main programs called the other programs for that functionality. PIA in that had to compile for the different systems. Tried to create one program that could be shipped for all 4 systems, but that came under “No, not how things are setup”. But at least it was “make change once”, compile 4 programs. VS Make change 8 places and compile 8 programs … and every single time, miss at least one. Again. Not something I announced I was doing this. Documented the heck that it HAD been done. But did not announce doing it.

              The only grief I got for it (teasing) was after I actually quit. I used the following for all the programs affected:




              Where * was subsystem in question. I just didn’t rename the virtual functions. I thought it was “clear” by the time it got to the functions because the program name had that definition. Virtual process was the same. Core of the actual data collection or processing different, but high level logic was the same.

              Teasing I got was “Can almost always tell which code is yours, without checking change date against comment at file top”. Not that I broke company conventions.

    2. Perhaps the most AMAZING thing EVAR is that I now possess axes. Plural. And, yet, despite everything, they have NEVER been in contact with blood. Unless you count ‘sap’ (the PLANT fluid) as such. Mind, it’s not for lack of temptation. Yes, I know, you (ALL) have a List.

      Hrm.. maybe I need a BIGGER axe?

      1. The thing about axes that shed blood is that since things that shed blood tend to be less tough than wood, and also force you to run about more, axes for that purpose tend to be smaller than ones for cutting wood.

    3. While I’m harmless unless provoked I apparently give off a bit of a thug aura. Every so many years some female coworker remarks that she doesn’t think I’d hurt anyone except in self-defense, as if people expected otherwise.

      One day while serving my sentence at Wal-Mart, I was sitting with a couple of female coworkers (one of them my supervisor) who were commenting that I seemed in a bad mood that night. As I walked out I promised that if I DID snap and go on an axe-murder rampage, I would kill others first so they’d have time to flee. Their loud and profuse thanks followed me out.

      1. We hired a driver when I worked at Dominos who told me I had delivered to him once. Guy was a hardcore jugallo.

        Yet he told me I had delivered to him once and upon seeing me he upped the tip. He was afraid I’d ax murder him (his phrase) otherwise.

        I was very angry all the time back then.

  5. It is raining outside, and my brain no seem to worky.

    The various bits of business are longer term than a day.

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, and blah.

    1. Trying to remember if I had a roommate who had a poster of Limp Bizkit crossing the street….

      Nope; brain is asleep. Sinuses flooded last night; should have taken something, I guess. I would still feel out of it, but at least I would have slept more.

      First body shop I called is booked up till June.

  6. El,Gato Malo’s post won’t let you into the comments. So you’re not alone. Definitely one of those days. And the moon is no longer full, so we can’t use that reason.

  7. Have you considered that you might have picked up a malign spirit? From your description it appears you are haunted. My client’s call me with similar complaints and the problem is typically spiritual.

    Call a trusted medium if you know one and they should be able to clear your situation up quite quickly. If you don’t have one handy, I can help. Or, you can just be a stoic and soldier on until it leaves.

  8. Sounds like an ordinary day at the Reader’s place. The Reader is especially cursed when spouse and better half touches anything electronic. The Reader believes she has a negative quantum aura that disrupts the functioning of anything having a computing function.

  9. It just seems like a lot of people are having trouble with stuff just not working, personal, mechanical or otherwise.

    I know I’ve been stuck in the doldrums at work lately. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but all of it seems to be in varying degrees of stuck in one way or another. Either its no one’s real priority, or all the tools have changed and no-one knows how the new ones work, or no-one really seems to notice whether it gets done or not.

    Just feels like I’m working with amorphous blobs of gray goo at times.

    And, of course, everything you say anywhere, can and may be used against you, so there’s always this subtle thread in the back of the head that one must always present a sunny face on all fronts, let’s the wrong entity see any hint of less than full enthusiasm.

    1. There are a lot of details that have to be made to be correct for things to ‘just work’.

      The current push for totalitarianism in America a) demoralizes the people who work to make details correct b) corrupts information flow by pushing out honesty and replacing it with concern over what one may be punished for saying c) results in technical projects that are obviously claimed to be super successful, because no officially mandated project can ever be a miserable failure.

      So, we would expect this more and more now.

      Humans are spirits. Humans are sometimes malign. Thus, this can also be understood in terms of malign spirits.

      There are lines of thought about remedies, and I am confused about the merits of them.

      1. Yeah, and because a lot of this stuff is highly fuzzy, it can be hard to tell how much is kissing frogs vs massive bs, and I’ve come to suspect it may be my whole industry that’s turning into this. Or it could easily be that I’m just a bit of a wreck at the moment and everything is still chugging along, and I just need to get some focus?

        I do know I need to hedge hard, and it’s hard to really wrap my head around that, either.

      2. The day I realized the average McDonald’s had fallen to the quality of service of the average Popeyes I knew something was wrong.

    2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like the world is just stopping to work by degrees. I know things get better and worse now and then, but this seems to be a uniform things are no longer working.

    3. Things being stuck in one form or another, mainly in my personal life and now at work, sums it up nicely and it gets really hard to deal with, especially when it’s posing a huge threat to some critical plans of mine.

  10. I think it’s either a plague of incompetent upgrades or subtle hacking (Russia or China, take your pick). People use things, do things regularly, for years. And now it doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work oddly, intermittently.

    1. Fundamental issues with the management of programming issues make a lot of sense for being worse now.

      Let’s talk Microsoft Windows.

      There are a lot of patches sent out. And, the software being modified is fairly significantly complicated.

      If you carefully describe what microsoft does over, say, 4,000 words, the question occurs: Why don’t that screw up those tasks in a substantially worse way? How on earth do their programmers and managers know the difference between reasonably good or neutral things to do, and catastrophically horrible things to do?

      The expected value of mess, putting together teams from scratch to do those tasks, seems like it would be much higher than is actually there.

      So, somehow they managed to do a little bit better.

      And now society is going a bit crazy around them. More problems are what I would expect.

      And, this might be generalized from the microsoft case study/mental experiment.

      1. It’s been noted in my company (and not just at my site) that Windows reimages are failing a disturbingly large number of times all of a sudden. The failures are still a small minority of attempts. But you don’t need that many failures before you start taking notice when talking about reimages.

        The question is whether the fault lies with Microsoft, or with the company team that’s tasked with adapting Windows Enterprise edition to our company’s requirements. And I don’t have enough information to speculate.

      2. Then there is the recent intentional sabotage of node.ipc by the project owner. I would have thought I’d be angry about that kind of behavior but now I’m like “wow, I’m surprised this didn’t happen before.”

        1. It’s elevating personal political statements over care for the end user.

          And frankly, in Belarus, the end user is just as likely to be “the Resistance” as the Evil Overlord. But apparently the joy of messing with people who trusted you is greater than the obvious consequences (nobody will ever trust your system, ever again).

          1. In many ways I see in his actions the distilled essence of virtue signaling: destroying useful things to prove you’re more moral than the users of those useful things.

            1. Yes, a mysteriously large number of businesses seem to be willing to damage themselves for purposes of worthless virtue signaling ….

            2. Jesus F***ing Christ, I heard something referring to that earlier today and I thought it was a joke.

              Way to destroy your reputation as an open source developer, idiot. I hope there’s a line out that guy’s door of other developers waiting their turn to slap him.

              1. And I went and checked both apps I work on just now and it’s not anywhere in them. I didn’t think it would be, we don’t do anything that low-level, but still I’m relieved.

              2. Open source software is a source for other problems that aren’t malicious. Witness the recent log4j issue. We had delays in getting solutions attributed to the simple fact that no one is getting paid for open source work, so it isn’t necessarily a priority.

                Open source can be useful, but it imposes costs down the road that are rarely taken into account. I never recommend it for mission critical for exactly that reason.

              3. One would hope, but I figure any project that has a code of conduct will start doing this at some point. The exception would be sqlite which, when forced to have a code of conduct by business users initially proposed the Benedictine Rule.

          2. And frankly, in Belarus, the end user is just as likely to be “the Resistance” as the Evil Overlord.

            Which is part of why I’m wondering if it wasn’t aimed at taking out “the Resistance” rather than the bad guys.

    2. Speaking of doesn’t work, Pam, I can’t comment on your blog all of a sudden. And I wanted to say, I thought Jade died in one of the Tales Around the Supper Table volumes.

      That is all.

      1. I can’t see the comments in what used to be the owner comment view. It shows me no comments, which was freaking me out.
        But the comments are here under comment view. The heck?

    3. I think it is a realism/cynicism born of the COVID response. A lot of us just realized how much of a lie our entire culture has become. Even those of us somewhat cynical in the past are realizing how naive we were.

      Not a week passes where I don’t realize I’m more naive than before. That was not happening before COVID, but with all the masks coming off and curtains coming down, I am left wondering who isn’t Oz the Great and Terrible and is actually competent.

      So a lot of people (myself included to various degrees) have reached the old Soviet “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” about the culture as a whole.

  11. Sorry you’ve had such a frustrating time. I can sympathize. Too many of my work days end up like that because of issues beyond my control. Good luck finishing the Bill of Rights- er, Bowl of Red.

  12. My “to do” list today had an item that said “Make List”. Because yesterday was one of those days for me. And today it is snowing. I will accomplish things.

  13. Oh, dear. Remember, this too shall pass … evidently in the manner of a kidney stone, but still.

    1. I just found out we’re under a blizzard warning for tonight and tomorrow. As thunderstorms are moving in. I am so not happy with this. It does explain why my sinuses are screaming, though.

  14. There’s Murphy, then there’s malicious intent. And then there’s WordPress…

    This weekend featured the news that an open source developer decided to put malware in a library he was responsible for. If the program sensed Russian or Belarus IP, it proceeded to wipe the hard drive. This mightily pissed off a group that was documenting Russian and/or Belarussian human rights violations.

    One of the key developers of the Pale Moon browser (a fork from Firefox) rage quit, and proceeded to do other damage while he was at it. This, a few days after a major release, so now we’re going to have to go back to the previous version.

    So yeah, things are getting weird weirder.

    1. Open Source development is by it’s essence a high trust environment. If that is lost, we are in serious trouble since the Internet largely runs on Open Source. The Reader sincerely hopes this doesn’t spread but it sounds as if he should update all his Linux machines quickly and then lock them down. Sigh…

      1. I suspect open source audit companies are coming, generalizing what things like IBM support for RHE does now.

        That will significantly limit creativity and adoption of OSS.

    2. This whole popularizing-turning-open-source-into-malware thing is hitting my Malice sense– anybody who deals with software like that should know enough to realize telling it to do damage is a “go to jail” type offense.

      But it does make it more likely folks will go with companies that can be bullied….

      1. Malice sense as in you suspect there are people intentionally trying to break the open source system?

        Or that the open source system needs to be more active in response to this?

        Or that this is more, the open source system as a whole is breaking down?

        1. Malice sense as in you suspect there are people intentionally trying to break the open source system?

          This one.

          If it was an existing issue, it should have been showing up before this point– instead, it’s something that’s been predicted for years, and then all of a sudden in like one quarter it happens multiple times?

          1. I see. I’m not sure. Right now to me, this looks more like the thing where, once one person has thrown a brick, it gets easier for the next person to throw a brick. Once that one guy broke the Internet by de-listing his code, it was easier for other people to consider breaking the Internet by doing stuff to their code.

            I suspect the extended lockdowns have also removed the moderating factors, by stopping most of all human contact in software work, and we’re hitting that point when people lose their marbles.

            1. Despite coworker’s claims, I am Not Evil. I might be playful in a Strange and Bizarre sense, but there’s enough Evil out and about and manifesting that such things do NOT need/require/deserve my help/assistance. Now, a bit of humor here and there, sure, I’ll lend a hoof. To the Truly Deserving, I might even add in a full-on stomp (or test of horn sharpness). But simple plain evil? Feh, even if it interested me even obliquely, BO-RING!

              1. I think the Joker might want some words with you.

                Likely he wouldn’t consider himself evil but He Thinks He’s Funny (and far from Boring). [Crazy Grin]

                On the other hand, would he survive the “conversation” with you? [Very Big Grin]

          2. That’s been going on for a while with people joining a project, pushing for a code of conduct (ie, SJW “rules”), and using it to defestranate project principles to be replaced with “right-thinking people” (replaced earlier more accurate but less family-friendly verbiage). They are also pressuring companies to require such codes for any open-source brought in-house.

            That’s how you get absurdities like Linus being forced off Linux kernel development or a Python conference in the Czech Republic being canceled for having no black presenters.

              1. Sooo…the PHP conference was permanently shut down because 3 white men complained that there were too many white men participating? Is that for real?
                The world is full of self-important, self-righteous, obsessed assholes, tormented by the conviction that Somebody, Somewhere is Doing Something they don’t approve of, and driven by a compulsion to Do Something About It at any cost.

                1. Yes, it was.

                  I can help but think the organizers were like “we’re volunteers and don’t have to deal with this BS”. Having run a conference or three (well, retreats) and even when it goes well you hit that point at least once per cycle.

            1. Or ESR’s blog post about that time someone was clearly trying to generate a fake sexual assault claim against him at a convention.

              1. Considering he had someone TRYING to play “take advantage of me” who was offended he was a Right Proper Gentleman regarding such…. and I suspect (but do NOT in point of fact KNOW) that Cathy Raymond likely laughed herself into needing (non-prescription) medication to deal with the laugh-reaction.

              2. I was just wondering if ESR would make a public comment about this. As the face of the open source movement he’s got to have some flesh-meltingly scathing opinions on the matter.

  15. Well, this worked. Yesterday was the weekend. Perhaps some critical part of the invisible chain of data flow was shutdown for maintenance.

      1. You too? WordPress has been hiding new comments from me on my own site for a couple of weeks now. Randomly. And then something breaks them loose and I get them all at once, like they were always there I just couldn’t see them. And randomly puts a regular into the spam folder because why not?

        If there were some rhyme or reason to it, if it was predictable, that’d be one thing. As of now, WP is kind of like that phantom noise the old Pontiac I used to drive made. Never when it was at the shop. Almost never when someone else was in the car. But every freaking time I started it up on a cold Sunday morning…

      2. I got an email about an impending update that was supposed to take place round about now. Updates always break things. I’m assuming that’s what this is.

          1. I was referring to the problems with WordPress and the general run of comments today. All odd, random events in complex systems are caused by gremlins. if it’s good enough for bugs bunny, it’s good enough for me.

          2. Specifically it’s based on an old WWII era cartoon where a pair of Russian gremlins were dismantling a German bomber mid-air. (singing ‘we are gremlins from the Kremlin’ the whole time.) Though I think they were just two tone green vs. orange and blue.

            1. IIRC, a largely identical (his coloring was different) gremlin turned up in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, as well, causing all sorts of havoc on a big bomber.

      1. I have to say Walt’s version of a gremlin is an improvement on Bob Clampett’s. Although Clampett’s Gremlin is one of the few to pull one over on Bugs…

          1. Yes even in the depths of the 70’s gas shortage we never got ration cards. Although there were odd even rules, and even those kind of tanked vacation travel that summer. The little town I grew up in used to go from ~3500 population to over 10000 for the summer making traffic jams on Rt 1 and clogging all the grocery stores and food joints. That summer we could barely tell that it was summer, it looked like normal. LOTS of small businesses especially restaurants and anything tourist related went under.

      1. I’d forgotten the AMC Gremlins. I always liked them but what I really wanted was a Javelin…

  16. The internet has been busted for a while. Kids’ activities send me double emails, because sometimes one or the other email addy doesn’t go through.

    I expect there’s a bit too much kludged code in there. Everyone made everything cool and shiney on top and didn’t maintain the supports underneath properly. Kind of like our infrastructure, in general, really.

    1. “I expect there’s a bit too much kludged code in there. Everyone made everything cool and shiney on top and didn’t maintain the supports underneath properly.”

      You’re not alone. I’ve been following a couple of programmers – Jonathan Blow and Casey Muratori – who’ve been banging that drum for a while now. Jon is working on a new programming language that tries to address some of this and has reached private beta.

      A few years back – 2019, I think? – he gave a talk in Russia about how technology degrades and gets lost, and the danger this poses to modern civilization. It might be of interest to some here. Somewhere around the 40-minute mark he gets technical enough that non-programmers won’t understand him, but that only lasts for a few minutes so stick with it:

    1. “The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.” ― H.L. Mencken

      Ain’t that the damned truth.

      Oh, and oddly, that quote was George Will’s argument for why Hillary would win in 2008.

      1. This always amazed me. Other than grifting, what record of competence did she possess? Surely her record is one failure after another and her only successes came because she was attached to powerful men.

        1. She was competent at cruelty towards specific women in the service of a man’s appetites.

        2. But her grifting has been spectacular! (Which says more about George Will than perhaps he should reveal…)

          1. But going through lean times since both of them are no longer in positions of power. They can’t deliver anything worth bribing them for.
            “E must be a king!”
            “Ow d’yer know that?”
            “E ‘asn’t got shit all over ‘im!”

          2. I think that has more to do with Bill than Hillary. Despite his faults he does seem to possess tremendous charisma, psychopaths often do, and I would class him as the best pure politician since Johnson.

            I love to rub my oh so with it sister — though Covid seems to have dented some of that, she’s not stupid — with the fact that the great leftist feminist politician icons, Hillary the Camel, etc., seem to have made it through their relationship with powerful men, Traditional that is, but not what they want to believe. Then I point out Maggie Thatcher made it on her own merits while her husband just stayed out of the way and watch the sparks fly,

            it seems that women can only rise on their own merits in the Conservative party while the progressives still preserve the casting couch. That fits in with an observation I made when I was young that Conservative girls were beautiful, smart, and talented but left wing girls were easy, crazy too.

            1. Bill Clinton wasn’t just a psycho. He really does pay attention to what other people think and care about, if only so that he can use it against them.

              Hillary, OTOH, always seems to think that she can ignore the “paying attention” part, just like Kamala. She’s a lot smarter than Kamala, but not smart enough to listen to anyone, or react to what they’re saying.

              1. Bill is brilliant as a politician – when it aligns with what he wants. Thus his willingness to compromise in ’96 after the party got spanked in the midterms. He can be very charming, and apparently is one of those people who gives you their whole attention while talking to you and makes you feel as if you are appreciated and respected. It’s just that you are only appreciated when you are going in the direction Bill wants to go.

                  1. But being Evil makes you Stupid. For instance, I’m in a discussion of the current plot of Girl Genius and much is talk of how STUPID the lead villain is being.

            2. Labour is for women which is why there has never been a Labour Party Leader who was a woman but two Tory PMs.

              Laying the marker now, the first Labour Party Leader who is a “woman” will be a trans-woman.

            3. It wasn’t Bill who was Secretary of State when every major arms sale approved by the State Department correlated with a substantial donation to the Clinton Foundation. The Reader knows that correlation is not causation, but the correlation was 100%. The Reader’s son, who is a lawyer and IRS enrolled agent, wants to meet the lawyers and tax accountants who dreamed up the Clinton Foundation structure.

        3. Well, grifting does come in between adultery and zoology. While Edwards was mostly competent at adultery, what was Obama competent at?

          On the GOP side McCain was mostly competent at grifting and backstabbing, so it was an even contest.

        1. I’m not sure she’s even good at that. Honestly, she’s a complete waste of food and air. Why otherwise intelligent people can’t seem to see the reality of her boggles my mind.

        2. So, that’s two, malice and grifting to match McCain’s backstabbing (a subset of malice) and grifting.

          I still want to know what Obama is competent at.

            1. This !!! Almost every election he won before president he had backstabbed the competitor. Probably not a man against whom you’d want to play Avalon Hill’s Diplomacy.

          1. “So, that’s two, malice and grifting”

            I’d also add making lots of “suicidal” friends.

  17. Xfinity Mobile billing broke two months ago. First ran into the problem with “old structure” VS “new structure”, got all 3 phones switched to “new structure” so the 3 lines unlimited = $100 + taxes max. Suddenly it is $100, bill $125 … “Wait! What?” Then the conversation is “But you are paying off one of the phones.” Yes, but that isn’t part of this. Fine. Paid OFF the phone in question. Did get the 2 x $25 credit for January and February. Now it is back for March. Sigh. If I’m constantly getting dinged extra money, I’ll go to T-Mobile, dang it. Person support at location reported s/b fixed within 72 hours. Programming ticket issued. We’ll see.

  18. At this point, all I can do is KCBO-Keep Calm and Bugger On. At the very least, since this is spring break from school, I was able to get three pages of writing done and I might even do a test ad campaign on Facebook to see if I can get any sales numbers via that.

    Fingers crossed.

  19. Seems like Murphy’s been kicking a lot of us hard lately, huh? If it’s not the job on my end it’s all these delays, which is only making me even more nervous about a certain project. The image on the post works just fine from here if that helps. Here’s hoping Murphy turns his gaze elsewhere soon…

  20. We all have off days. 2016 was kind of an off year for me.

    But I got better.

    And we know Sarah won’t give up on us, so we won’t give up on her.

      1. Today was the first day of No More Masks in Ontario. I took advantage of it in a big way, went to lots of stores and ate out just because I can. I’m -amazed- by the number of people who were out on Freedom From Masks Day wearing a mask. I figure an easy 30% still wearing the virtue signal flag.

        Interesting datum, I went to some car dealerships and THERE ARE NO CARS for sale. All the new-car dealerships have nothing but used cars on their lots. 8 weeks minimum wait at two places I checked, Honda and Subaru. 2019 it was drive-away in the colour of your choice.

        Also, 4.99% financing on leases. That’s a BIG interest hit. 2019, 0% financing on everything. Socialists can f*ck -anything- up.

        1. The car I bought the summer of 2020 — they were grateful for the sale but the selection was somewhat limited.

          1. We sold an RV (travel trailer), 4×4 Pickup, Boat, and Car, ourselves, Fall 2020. Got top value dollar for everything except the boat, and even the boat it sold for value but no more than would have before (just because that type of boat resells well and quickly). Also not unexpected for the pickup (an 10 year, 11 season, pickup with < 60k miles, clean, excellent shape, resells well no matter when). Ditto on the car, especially with a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty. But the TT? While clean, excellent shape, looks and smells new, for any age trailer, let alone one that had been used 13 seasons in all types of weather (except snow/ice), TT do not resell for 87% of original cost. They just don’t. Half is the best to be expected, maybe.

            Then we bought hubby’s 2020 vehicle afterwards. The dealership was glad to have the sale. We got a very good bargain for a lot of reasons not entirely related to the lack of sales expected. At that the dealerships in question (they traded for the one we wanted) had some inventory of new. That was not true in 2021 and into 2022.

            RV’s couldn’t be found anywhere until this last winter. If one knows what to look for on the RV lots, they still are not full, but there is now a lot more inventory.

        2. The local Subaru dealership is saying they’ll build a car to your specs, with a 4-8 week (I think) lead time. I think they are close to giving up on getting our 2012 Forester (resistered in $SPOUSE’s name), but they’ve been more leery of pushing to get the ’16 Forester registered in my name.

          [Smiles, shows fangs teeth]

          We bought a travel trailer in July 2020. Flyover County dealership, with manufacture in the Midwest. Every one of the trailers in that shipment was sold before they made it to the lot. OTOH, the owners of that dealership just sold out to a small chain. We’ll see how that plays out. (The new inventory looks like it’s selling at about a 20-40% premium over 2020 prices. Whew.)

          1. Our big local RV dealership just sold out to Bish. Went from dang little available, not used. To “lot is full”. The RV dealership that sold is also a Chevy dealership. Vehicles are “sparse” even now. Both used and new. Pickups are almost non-existent. (Hubby drives buy both frequently going to play golf.)

        3. In December (I think) $HOUSEMATE was contacted by $MercedesDealer who said “That car car we sold you, to get you to trade the diesel we really Really REALLY wanted? We really Really REALLY want it. Would you be interested in $SameModelWithMuchBetterEverything?” and $HOUSEMATE was…. as long as the color was NOT white or black (too many of each). ALMOST BLACK, BUT NOT REALLY won. Dealer even tried “We have this $SuperDoooooooperThing, you should consider.” But it was white, so NO. As in NO. Do you need to parse all the syllables of NO?

          And the “old” car… was listed as if it had NOT been driven for a year. Yeah, a year-old car at new-car price. $HOUSEMATE did some number crunching (aka “figuring”)… and, aside from fuel and insurance, the dealer PAID him $160 to drive the car for a year!

          Ox know ox slow, but this strike ox as indicating Much Strangeness. NOT saying the humans involved are stupid (humans are STUNNINGLY smart when money is directly involved – and they see it as THEIR money), but, well, it IS at least a bit weird, yes?

          1. The other half of that was that the new car had been ordered and was waiting at the dock. I was supposed to get it the week before Christmas…then the week of New Year’s…it actually arrived at the port of Baltimore on January 12, and in the Twin Cities on January 19. It’s the same model, a year newer, with nicer equipment, a lower interest rate, and it’s NOT WHITE! I love it, but then I loved the one it replaced, too.

  21. “Would you believe the entire day was like that? Everything I touched broke/didn’t work/ did something bizarre I didn’t expect.”

    I keep three (3) vehicles of various ages in case of exactly this type of thing. I live in the middle of nowhere, not having a working vehicle is a dangerous situation. Can’t just call for a cab or wait for the bus.

    Last week, all three vehicles decided they needed to die at once. One had an unexplained battery drain, the second had a check-engine light and a check-4×4 light on at the same time, the third was making an absolutely hideous noise in the front end. 3 vehicles and none of them work? Seriously, Murphy? Give me a break here.

    Hideous noise got seen to first, I’m driving that one today and giving thanks for the Ford warranty program. Check-engine light is at the shop since Friday, hoping for a speedy recovery for that one. Dead battery is going to the shop after the second one is fixed. I predict pain in the wallet area.

    Clearly, diabolical forces are at work. To wit, a snippet:

    “What’s a gremlin?” asked Erwin.

    “A gremlin is a mythical creature,” said Nike. “The Royal Air Force of Great Britain invented them, so they’d have something to blame when aircraft malfunctioned.”

    “That is not true,” said Alice with determination. “Gremlins are destructive little turds which infest everything that keeps me alive, and they hate me. They’re killed by maintenance, redundancy, and swearing. I am the queen of all three.”

  22. I thought it was the Bursar that was on dried frog pills and the Librarian was an orangutan?

  23. Adding the Hoyt household to the God Blesses. I still pray for your parents, though these days its to preserve them from both the scourge of Covid and the Branch Covidians. May a merciful Heaven provide a cure for the mRNA pharmaceutical poisons.

    To the Huns and Hoydens: I am observing a customary Lenten fast from soc media and the pleasures of rampageous opinionation (com boxes). If I ignore a plea or a prayer request it is by accident. Please drop me a line.

    I still read your posts and pray for you (when I remember. I’d lose my head ifvit wete not screwed onto my neck)

        1. Not what I was referring to, but never mind.

          I’ve sent an email named “Email test”. It has an .rtf attached, which has a couple of lines of text and an embedded image of a mind flayer. Let me know if that all works this time.

          1. …And I just got a mail daemon notice that the email couldn’t be sent, so it didn’t even leave my end before bouncing. Which is actually WORSE than before.


            I just tried ANOTHER resend and the mail daemon immediately spat it back out a second time. This is apparently not going to work.

              1. Not at all. The universe is being perfectly consistent here in not allowing me to have a private channel of communication with you.

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