Category Archives: You Stupid Dick

Accidental Tourist

Orlando International Airport, 7am. I’m foraging for food for my husband near gate 25 at an “upscale” cafe that serves cinnamon rolls. I’m 3 away from being served.

At the head of the line is a well groomed gentleman, plain clothes, nothing to write home about, who had just ordered a coffee and a danish. He’s told the amount for his purchase and quickly digs into his nicely weathered satchel and produces a can of mixed nuts.

He hands the can to the woman. “You will find the money in here,” he says. Straight faced.

She hesitates. She looks at him. He looks at her. The can in his hand doesn’t waiver. She takes the can. She opens the can.

It’s filled with dimes.

As she dumps and counts, the man places his fingertips on his eyebrows and looks downcast.

In my post-Disney, post-vacation depression, I don’t know if this is annoying or awesome.

Upgrade, or Be Deleted

New cardio machines at my gym! A new bank of treadmills and elliptical machines, sweat free and working properly. Our membership dollars at work.

In terms of Wow Factor, I’d say they’re about a 4 out of 10. Nothing new really, same screen, keypads. Better inner workings, though, noticeable like going from an iPhone 4 to 4S. Their resistance gave new life into my calves and ass. Bring it on, long walks in DisneyWorld!

As I was huffing along, Mr Breaky McBreaker got on the machine beside me. I know this guy has snapped a couple cup holders on the old-style machines due to his inability to understand that putting all your upper body weight on the keypad and resting your arms across the top of the machine will NOT help you lose weight or do anything positive for his back. No, he’s actually broken a couple machines that way.

The new machines befuddled him. He asked me: “How… What are these things for?”

He was referring to the two very LARGE toggles at the bottom of the keypad. Both looking like light switches neither in the ON or OFF position, with arrows pointing up and down.

“One is for increasing or decreasing the height of your step and the other for speed… resistance,” I offer.

Instantly he starts running at a million miles per hour like a captain off a cruise ship.

He fiddles with the buttons and looks back towards me, face like a question mark.

“How do you make it work?”

I show him on mine, toggling the resistance and height up and down as demonstration. He keeps at the impossible breakneck speed and gets into his slouchy position, both arms lazily across the top of the touch panel.

“Better not rest there, they’re only held on there by a couple screws!” I suggest. Not much of a lie but I’m more pissed that he thinks going so fast and hunching over almost at a 90 degree angle is anyway a good work out. I want the machine to snap and watch him take a tumble but then again, they are new machines and my money went into them.

“I don’t like it.”

“Upgrade or die,” I say, misquoting from Dr Who.

Anatomy of a Vacation

Or… Refusing to Give The Fat Man Any More Attention

Okay so in the last week I’ve written nothing. I’m no going to force anything or apologize so you’ll just get this:

That’s right. We’re headed back next week to enter the bubble. We’ve been scrambling here at Dead Robot Heavy Industries to get ourselves prepared.

Last week the final cheque from Da’s estate came in and with it sitting in my hands I made a vow that I would not spend it on rent or food or any other items that we may use ordinarily – ESPECIALLY with a strike looming. Even more so, in fact. I truly don’t want any of Rob Fucking Ford’s machinations to affect or effect me. He’ll not get this money. No, a semi-evil corporation in Florida will.

So off to the internet! I spent days scouring for the best/cheapest time to travel and finally found that the last two weeks in January are extremely cheap for rooms/flights. After Feb 7th, prices jump up into that somewhat uncomfortable area. Finding a deal on WestJet Vacations (no this isn’t a paid post… I wish it was though! Hi WestJet Vacations SEO bot! Hi!) I had very little time to convince SharkBoy that we wanted …no… NEEDED to go back to Walt Disney World before this deal disappeared into the ether.

I knew that getting him into Vacation Mode would be difficult, simply because he was in Stress Mode due to Rob Fucking Ford. I had to move delicately. I start by small short emails to his work – three lines of text, like a carefully crafted Haiku:

Pop Century: Jan 24 to 31
Room, flight and park tickets: $1705
Car Rental: $80

Understandably he responds with strike news. But he asks about prices for Gay Days in May. The price I find for that weekend are painful. He tells me not to torture myself and stop looking.

I don’t give up easily and I keep it up. A few days later, while watching TV, I hand over my iPad with the booking on WestJet Vacations (Hi! How you like me now, WJV??) in it’s final stages. $1705 all in. Taxes too. He growls. Later, I hear the printer going in the office and he comes into the bedroom and tosses freshly printed booking inquiry sheets. The price at the bottom is $2350.

“See? You’re wrong. Expensive.”

“Oh bitch, it’s on,” I think and take him step by step into my plan:

  • We leave on the night of the 24th, so we’re only spending 4 vacation days and a weekend. Magic!
  • Since we only have 6 full days in the park we can skimp and only do base tickets. As you know, we’re pretty hard core. We know which park is open early/late and know exactly which one to hit for each day, with one extra day for repeats and the last day back at Magic Kingdom (a tradition).
  • Ditto on the food plan – they’d charge us for our “flying days”, one of which gets to WDW at 11pm, so PASS, thank you very much.
  • Rental8 dot com has some pretty cheap cars if you don’t mind slightly less polished service or cars.

I show him my iPad again after all this. I can see in his eyes I almost have him. I hit him with the a fore mentioned reasoning of “This money will not go towards the strike!” And the walls start to crumble. I say that we are exactly right in between our last vacation and our upcoming December vacation (give or take a month) so the timing is utterly right. He sits and starts looking into Extra Magic Hours (resort guests get in early or stay later at the parks) and certain dining reservations. I know we’re truly going when he maps out what day equals what park (Updated from the comments…):

  • Wednesday: Animal Kingdom
  • Thursday: Hollywood Studios
  • Friday: EPCOT
  • Saturday: Magic Kingdom
  • Sunday: Hollywood Studios (This may get replaced with a day by the pool and Magic Kingdom late. It’s on the fly)
  • Monday: Magic Kingdom for our hats

Before he changes his mind I pull down our change boxes and show him that we have already enough coin to be rolled for the cost of the rental car.

In the end, we booked it and are rarin’ to go. “Pull up 2, 5 and 7!” as they say at Test Track!

Admittedly I am feeling a twang of guilt for not saving the money, but I never wanted it in the first place – I’d rather not have it sitting around making me feel bad for not spending/saving it. I think this is right and I’m excited.

And so is SharkBoy – I just got this email:

Me: on our duplicate park days, I’m only bringing my small camera – compact and ready for action, not my Big Betty.

SharkBoy: Well, you be NoCameraBetty if you want, I’m not going to miss an opportunity, I’ll carry my big betté and you’ll be all blee blee blee bloo bloo bloo blee blee blee and I’ll be all click click click ooooo aaaaaaa click click click ooooo aaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa click ooooo click aaaaaaa

Rough Seas

On the downside, SharkBoy’s union just mailed out strike pay applications.

It seems it’s inevitable, unavoidable at this point. Unless some Hail Mary play happens between the pig-headed mayor and the unions, we’re going to see a very messy Toronto over winter.

The question is: how long? Tin foil hatted people are saying that Rob Ford has a plan to keep the strike going long enough to save XX amount of dollars. That or he’s going to staff all these services he’d rather cut with scabs for an indefinite amount of time. Or he just doesn’t give a flying fuck what you taxpayers think, he just needs someone to bully to make him feel good.

For whatever reason, it seems like we’re headed for some drama. And a few weeks (months??) of eating nothing but Kraft Dinner and day old buns purchased at the local No Frills. Thanks Rob Ford for moving the city of Toronto forward!

On the upside: despite this gloom and doom, we are putting a modest down payment on another Disney cruise in exactly 11 months, 10 days. Not that I’m counting.

This trip will be a carbon copy of the Disney cruise/parks trip we did in the spring with a possible variation on “parks before or after the cruise”. Even though when I explain to people that we’re going again and doing literally the same thing, it may sound boring and redundant, but it’s far enough away that we will be needing a little Disney right about then after what could be a very stressful winter/spring.

Fingers crossed cooler heads will prevail.

Freedom of Choice

I’m walking home from work last night and as usual I pass by The Spa Excess, a popular bath house that’s been operating forever. Often I see men coming out of there with de-spunked looks plastered across their faces so I guess it’s popular – I haven’t been inside there since 1998.

Outside the door is a man who is doing the tourist dance: looking up at the building, looking down the street, looking at me with questioning eyes, looking back at the building. As I approach he asks: “Where is Steamworks?”

I’m taken aback. Do I look gay? Or more specifically, do I look like a guy who goes to a bath house? He must have wanted it bad if he’s “randomly” asking strangers where bath houses are.

But I answer (and it takes me a moment to remember): “Up on Church Street… you go–”

“Is this place any good?” he asks, interrupting, pointing at the doors of Excess. Obviously he wants particular tourism information. To know the vibe/popularity of the place, not directions.

“Don’t know, don’t go,” I say and leave him to his (t)horny dilemma.

As I walk away I think of some better responses and file them in my “Shouldacouldawoulda” file:

“They seem to be bed bug free!”
“It’s where I met (KAFFF KAAAFFFF hoark KAFF) my boyfriend!”
“It’s full of… Somalians!”
“I lost my favorite penis scab in there.”
“They clean. So yeah.”
“Worst Souvlaki ever!”
“You have to wish to make your heart’s dreams come true!”

The Death Of Liberalism

“My dad use to say: If you don’t like the noise coming out of someone’s mouth, put your fist in it.”

Okay that got my attention.

I’m sitting beside two 50-somethings at the Starbucks up by my work at Yonge and Lawrence. If you don’t know the area, it’s mostly populated with upper middle class, stand alone house owners with two cars and 2.5 kids, cared for with some South Pacific/Asian nanny. These two guys are right beside me in the busy cafe and prior to that sentence I was successful with my  ignorance of them.

“You know what I hate…?”

Oh please do tell.

“These lefty Liberals at fucking city hall. They need to be cleared out, all of them. A fucking waste of money and time. I called city hall this morning and I got someone at 9:45am… 9:45 am!! And asked them about something and do you know what they said to me?? ‘Wait a minute, I need to turn on my computer.’ They had 45 minutes to turn it on!!”

My back arches. My eyes go to the window so I can see his reflection. If I had not heard this garbage I would have assumed he was a nice, almost kind looking older guy. But after hearing this, he’s super ugly. I’m about to say something, the sentence forming in my mouth, when his friend speaks up:

“Well, maybe he had some paper work to do before starting his computer? It is a bureaucracy, you know.”

That shut him up. On that topic. I leave these two dicks before I get a fist in my mouth.

I, For One, Welcome Our New Overlords

A (airquotes)psychologist(/airquotes) over on Fox News tells us that the iPhone’s Siri will dehumanize us to the point of not caring about human interactions.

No, seriously. He means it. It’s a damn funny read! And then it gets sad when you think he might actually believe the crap coming out of his mouth. I mean horror-hate-fear-techno-blog.

Snip:

To the small extent that we say we “love” Siri or use “her” name or rely on her to get us out of a jam (even if it is just being lost), we cut ourselves free from the interpersonal tethers that bind us, one to another, and which act as insulation against acting toward one another in dehumanizing ways.

Yes, Siri is to blame for us becoming unsociable zombies. Oh hey, my Ford Focus (which I LOVE) just told me to drive away from you, you ambulance chasing quack.

Design By Committee

College of Dental Hygienists, 3pm.

“Alright people! Our ad is due today. We have to create something that says who we are and get more people to visit their dentists! To not be afraid of tooth health. Also enrollment is down and we have to make the public aware that Dental Hygiene is a viable career choice. Or something… We need to get the artwork to the printer by noon today and we’re still no further along on what we’re going to say. So I’ve called in the designer…”

“PLEASE KILL ME!”

“…and we should be able to stand over him while we create this ad. Ideas? Go!”

“I saw The Grunge last night on TV… that chick in it was pretty scary!”

“Good! Next?”

“Yes, ‘scary’ is good – a lot of people equate dental check ups with fear so we should shock the viewer into going to the dentist.”

“But we should be gentle, of course. No punctuation or capital letters in the copy…”

“Except the first word!”

“Okay, you scamp! Good! Next?”

“I heard on the radio this morning “Now with More Ham!” –can we use that?”

“No, but we can say how ignoring your mouth health will KILL YOU! Put: 3rd most chronic illness right below the main image. No other explaining copy around it.”

“That doesn’t make any sense…”

“Shut up, designer fag! Who asked you? Make the words appear!

“…this job is chronic…”

“Great! Next?”

“I like “disorder” – can we use it?”

“Yes! Right under the main copy!”

“What we have now sounds a little weird when you say it in your head…”

“I don’t so think no not all at!”

“Okay, then the main copy is fine. Oh… And we need a “non-equal” symbol in there. That will make us L337.”

“I don’t know what you just said but you’re brilliant! Do it!”

“Okay – happy ending… we need something to bring them back into our arms, from all this horror – words?”

“Pickle!”

“Koala!”

“Victory!”

“NO!! DEFENSE!”

“Winner! Okay designer, show us what you got!”

 

Hijacked

Want to see something cool?

DON’T CLICK ON THE LINK just yet…

http://admin.domain.deadrobot.com/index.html

It’s my URL, right? To anyone, these look like two nested subdomains belonging to me, purely because the “dotcom” is in it’s proper place and all that.

Okay go ahead and click it – no worries, I’ll wait.

Ta Da! That site is Not Mine. In fact I have no clue why this site comes up. That page is a perfect copy of this page. I suspect it’s in place for some nefarious reason that I really don’t want any part of.

How did I discover this? I got an email from a chap in Australia saying that this page

http://admin.domain.deadrobot.com/SignIn/

is phishing for sign ins on his site, admin.domain.com.au

Of course I’m mortified. I’ve checked all my logs and stats and quite frankly I’m baffled. I have no clue how they’re redirecting to their subdomains while using my domain name.

While trying different combinations of subdomains, I ran across that example above. Someone has my “brand” and is fucking with it. I’m not happy.

I’ve passed this on to my host provider but for the first time in my career as a web guy, I feel old. I feel like I’ve been bettered. That dreaded feeling that technology is passing even ME by.

The Perfect Apatow Moment

After my workout, I arrive to my locker to find a 75 year old guy closing the locker right next to mine.

“Nevah fayls! Emptah room and we’re the only two guys heyah.” His voice is a trifecta of decades of liquor and smoking, Italian and possible mild stroke.

“Ain’t it always the way,” I vapidly offer.

“When Iwazza coming heyah back garbleaglrerlajz churfff crarkle…” He’s speaking fast and since his voice is like sandpaper over rocks I can only catch every other word. “It waz alwaahzy with da hurrf and the veins.”

He’s closed his locker and is lacing up his shoes. He doesn’t stop. He’s a pleasantly enough guy and I let him go, but he’s the kind of talker who won’t let you interject anything, not a “oh dear!” even…

“Its awayz the doctorsss. They’ll find a way to glerble your gluff–”

“Yeah I–”

“–I mean they really know florfzzgch, right? Right?”

“…yes–”

“–flarbledy blood test with this Asian flarp–”

And on he went. I start to undress for my shower because if I didn’t do anything I’d still be standing there. I’ve long since try to interject, or  comment since his verbal floodgate is wide open.

“And the needle was thiz big! This big! Big! and he jabbed it into my flarglezzguh and I was oh! Then that nurze I had my eye on hubba flargle–”

BRAAAAAAA. Someone across the locker room started to use the bathing suit dryer. As difficult as it was to understand before, all hope was lost now.

BRAAAAA we had four AAAAAAA with the garh flappy pain AAAAAAA I’m verlty deuce! AAAAA Two of em shuved up in AAAAA until I stahted screamin’ aaaaaa (the machine spins down)…

By this time I’m super naked. Just a towel. But not a smartly wrapped towel, no. I thought I could find a moment where he’d stop talking and offer a “Well! Have a great day!” and exit to the showers so I didn’t bother to wrap it around me. I never wrap a towel around me to get to the showers – I like making the repressed religious freaks uncomfortable. Plus I was hoping that he’d notice I’m super naked and realize I’m on my way and he’d shut himself up to let me go. I’m backing away and he’s not noticing.

“It’s a vaylve in dere, ya know? And they’re sticking needles in mah leg and I’m all fuggedoarljk!”

So for about a solid minute (3 hours when you’re super naked) I’m standing with my saggy ass to the room, covering/not covering my “acorn sitting on a peach” (it’s cold, ok?) looking for an out.

“That’s when he says, ‘You need a bypass!'”

“That’s awful! Butthatslifetoobadyouhavea GREAT DAY!” I say and turn.

I’m a horrible person.