Monday, October 30, 2006

Landmark Day at Casa De Penguin

Today, I experienced another homeowner milestone: my first Jehovah's Witness. I wussed out on all of the snappy answers I had planned for this moment, although I think the bunnies kicked her butt on the way down the driveway.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And We're Back to Non-Standard Standard Time

Did you remember to turn your clocks back? I would like to put an idea out there. Since, effective next year, the U.S. will be on Standard time for a paltry 4 1/2 months, let's stop pretending it is Standard. How about we just admit that DST is now Standard Time and re-name it accordingly. The former standard time can be re-named CLDOS, "Christmas Light Display Optimization Schedule." We can't get rid of CLDOS because we need the extra hour of evening darkness November to January to show off the holiday light displays that consume all the energy we saved over the summer by having the indoor lamps on for an hour less in the evening.

The Onion pokes fun at my favorite mischaracterization of DST in: Daylight Saving Time Yields Massive Daylight Surplus

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Continues

12:01 a.m. - When filling the sink to do dishes, the sink sprayer nozzle pops off, and in picture-perfect comedic fashion, my sink gets me square in the xiphoid process with a jet of water. Dumbfounded, I take almost fifteen seconds to recover the presence of mind to turn the water off already.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

9.5 on the Weird Crap-o-Meter

Ever had one of those days that make you think you must have woken up in the wrong multiverse? Here's mine (times approximate)

6:05 a.m. - Wake up. Reasons for me regaining consciousness before dawn will become apparent, as will be the reason for closing the peng-cat in the spare room.

7:30 a.m. - Drop car off at Toyota service department for its 60,000 mile scheduled maintenance. This is one of the biggies, including some preventative maintenance on the electric part of the hybrid system, so I knew going in this was going to run me about $270.

7:59 a.m. - Drop Emp. Peng. off at work. Drive home, feeling a little better now that the sun is up with me.

10:00 a.m. - Call from service department. I need a new air filter and cabin filter (approx. $50). One of those will have to be ordered in, so the car won't be ready until tomorrow. Tomorrow, I don't have a way to pick up my car.

12:00 p.m. - Pick Emp. Peng. up to take him to lunch. Boss of Emp. Peng. presents me with a foot-tall ceramic penguin filled with biscotti, with no explanation. If you think the day does not get more off than a random biscotti-filled penguin, read on.

1:30 p.m. - Return from lunch. Wrestle Peng-cat into the kitty carrier to take her to the vet.

2:20 p.m. - The cat is fine and vaccinated. The vet suggests that we might try giving peng-cat antidepressants to help with her behavioral couch-wetting problem (note to visitors to chez penguin-the corner of the sectional is "her" spot).

2:45 p.m. - Call from the service department, explaining that my car has brake pads that are glued to another part of the car so that the car can stop. Or at least they should be glued on. I'm about three red lights away from needing to find a retaining wall if I want to stop. They can replace the part and gussy up the brakes like new ($168). Oh, and the brakes might be useful if either of the back tires blow out, which they are about ready to do ($62.50 apiece installed and rotated). I suggest I may need to discuss the additional 300 clams with Emp. Peng.

3:00 p.m. - Emp. Peng. suggests that what must be done must be done.

5:30 p.m. - Pick up Emp. Peng. Almost run over a gubernatorial candidate and a kitten on the way home. I stopped for the kitten.

8:00 p.m. - Winning bid on the used laptop I am selling on eBay is $5560. Cost of a new laptop, comparable model, is about $1,500. The biscotti penguin looks more and more normal.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Today's Befuddlement

Ragu, the Unilever subsidiary in charge of making pasta sauce, has a variety advertised as having "Extra tomato." How does one get "extra" tomato into a product that starts out being pretty much all tomato?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Say What?

The Central Intelligence Agency has TV ads out. I know, I couldn't believe it either. I actually watched the ad--something I rarely do with TiVo--because I thought there was no way the announcer had teased, "This program is brought to you by the CIA." Do they think that, notwithstanding the fuss about warrantless wiretapping, there are still people who don't know the CIA is there?

To be fair, it is a help wanted ad, which brings up another issue. Aren't they pretty much broadcasting to the bad guys "Hey, we're understaffed!"? On second thought, forget pretty much. That is exactly what they are doing. Now, I'll give them that the Science Channel demographic is people who would be good at CIA-type stuff. I think that is why ITT Technical Institute also advertises there.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What I learned fishing as a child

1. Fish don't live near bathrooms
2. If they do, the bathroom is guaranteed to not be sanitized for your protection
3. Sanitation is irrelevant when you are up to your wrists in nightcrawlers
4. Worms are icky
5. Salmon eggs are pretty
6. Life is not a cartoon; the trout come out of the water very much alive and kicking
7. Trout do not like to die
8. Just when you think the trout is dead, it has a surprise
9. Fish don't come fileted
10. They do, however, come with internal organs that must be removed
11. Eviscerating trout is called "cleaning" them
12. "Cleaning" is not at all clean
13. Trout do not like to be eviscerated, either
14. Nor do they come with handy zippers
15. If you don't know where the knife is inserted to eviscerate the trout, you don't want to

Friday, October 06, 2006

Update on the Home Repair Injury Pool

My apologies to whoever had "blinded by nail polish remover in the eyeball while trying to remove a glob of polyurethane foam sealant from her forehead, before realizing that she has non-acetone nail polish remover so it won't do any good" in the DIY Casualty Pool. You were so close. I can still see just as well as ever, which according to the DMV is not very well.

Today's Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Expanding foam sealant is the bastard child of superglue, marshmallow fluff and cheese in a can, so one should always wear a hat when applying it to the ceiling. I've been picking globs out of my hair since this morning's well-intentioned effort at sealing up the gaps around the hatch into the roof crawlspace. However, if someone is looking for a ultra-hold styling product, I can confidently recommend Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lowering the Pry Bar

I should have known better. There is no such thing as a quick project with this house. Why did I think installing foam gaskets on the electrical outlets would be any different? Usually, installing foam gasket seals involves unscrewing the screw that holds the outlet cover in place, slipping the gasket behind the outlet cover, and replacing the screw. At least those are the instructions for people who, unlike me, have outlet covers that are not stuck to the wall with Laura Ashley flat interior latex from the former owner's redecorating. I realize that waiting for the paint to dry before one puts the outlet covers back on is about as exciting as, well, watching paint dry, but would it have killed them?