Thursday, December 26, 2002

One Down, One To Go

Beatification accomplished, Mother Theresa only needs to perform one more posthumous miracle to qualify for sainthood.

It's a C-Dog Xmas

I'll start by letting you know that my Xmas Eve and Xmas Day were the best I ever had ... great time with the fam and my girl, lots of presents, etc. All good. The adventure begins on the drive back to Providence ...

Route 6 is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country based on the number of accidents per year. Too many trucks travelling too fast on a too narrow two lane road that winds and twists up and down the woods and hills of eastern Connecticut. It was windy, snowy, and sleeting all day and all night. The roads weren't the worst ever, but they were none too good. We left my mom's at about 5pm and began the 35mph crawl back home. Thought I heard something bang/snap/crack under the car as we left, but figured it was just an icy, slushy block getting jarred out of the wheel well. My car was jam packed with presents, blankets, pillows, cookies, xmas dinner leftover, fruit tort, beer, wine, you name it. I'm wearing my new shoes, sweater, and jeans from my girlfriend. By the time we get to Bolton, she's napping in the passenger seat. I hear the sound again and the steering wheel shimmies a bit. The road is making a long, broad turn and the shimmy stops when we start to straighten out and turn the other way. Seems fine on the freeway bit of Route 6. We get into Brooklyn and the shimmy starts to get wicked bad. I pull over when we finally get to safe spot. Lots of long stretches of nothing but woods in that area. I look for another snow chunk in the wheel wells and don't see anything. Get back in and keep going. The steering wheel is shaking like crazy. Finally, we get to a gas station where I can pull up to a pump and check it out again. Still nothing. I jack up the car to see if the tire's loose. It's on tight. Look under the hood for things that might be obviously snapped in two, dumping fluid, or spewing smoke or sparks. Everything looks fine to me. You could replace my engine with wheelbarrow full of discarded tractor parts and I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference, but still, looks fine. Get back in the car, freezing and wet, and go to put it in gear. No movement, but it sounds like somebody trying to run that barrowload of parts through a trash compactor. Not good. Push the car up near the gas station and call AAA. Happy Christmas, standing around the Xtra Mart 8pm Xmas night with a sullen clerk (who, by the way, doesn't seem to appreciate your trying to describe to AAA where you are by saying, 'middle of freakin' nowhere ... seriously, I asked at the counter and they don't have a street number') trying to remember your warranty terms, waiting for the tow truck, and feeling like a dipshit for making Mega leave his house on Xmas to come and pick up you and the Xmas boodle to drive you back home.

Waiting now for the garage and the Toyota dealer to figure out how they can best screw me. "Your warranty covers the drive and power trains to 60,000 miles, unlesss something happens to your CV boot."

Friday, December 20, 2002

Trouser Monkey

Airport security: "Do you have anything to declare?"

Tourist returning from Thailand: "I've got monkeys in my pants." (Thanks to Will F. for the link.)

In related news: if the girl at the counter goes "na-na-na-na-na-na" when she gives you your burger, don't take it. It's a BatBurger. (Jack C. gets credit for this one.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Liberal Media At It Again

Thanks, Bonedaddy, for pointing out that I should be reading Paul Krugman. Molly Ivins has been the only columnist I make a concerted effort to keep up with, but now I've got a second read. Krugman's piece on the Trent Lott quip and the difference between how the mass media was determined to ignore that quip, but lambaste the speakers at Wellstone's services is spot on.

All my dreams about power boats and cars without mufflers are starting to make sense.

Apparently, I snore something fierce. I've always found it hard to believe because it seemed impossible that a sound as loud and obnoxious as what people have described is something I could sleep through. My roommate assures me my snoring is thunderous. His room is downstairs and down the hall from mine. My girlfriend says it's like having someone start a chainsaw next to her head in the middle of the night. Then there's this 'alien noise' I make as, I'm told, I jerk awake for a moment to start breathing again. (I find it hard to believe I wouldn't remember waking up from suffocating, but my girl assures me she's not teasing.) Though I was sceptical about the snoring being that disruptive, I agreed to try Breathe Right strips. The name brand seems to work about half the time. Generic CVS brand doesn't work at all. MSNBC reports there's an 'easy solution'. This is the 'easy solution'. A machine that forces pressurized air into my head through a mask. Yeah, that should aid my sleeping. Not to mention, how big is this machine? What kind of noise does it make? Who can wear a mask while they sleep? Do they just give these things away? I'm not rich, y'know. Sleep apneacs of the world, please help! I got spammed with an ad for a sling once that's supposed to keep your mouth shut and force you to breathe through your nose ... would that work? Any suggestions?
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