Showing posts with the label miscellaneous

Complicated Solutions, LLC

After Bible study class, my friend and I got to joking about all of the ways people could "minister" in churches. We'd talked about how all should be willing to minister, that we were all called into some form of ministry.

"I could have a ministry of complicated solutions," I joked.

Pretty soon our conversation went to how that could be a fantastic consulting business. The more complex, the longer the billing cycle.

"Complicated Solutions, LLC -- no problem too big that we can't make it worse."

"Ha, no, wait, we make short stories long."

"The possibilities for government riffing are endless."

"Someone should make that into a website..." I said.

Chuck and Jack's bed and breakfast.

In 1991, my brother Jerry, who was working as an electrical engineer at the time, bought my family a Gateway computer, a top-of-the-line 386 powerhouse, with a laser printer. We weren't a family who had a super fancy house, new clothes, or stuff like that, so getting a computer was an incredible experience.

You have to understand the personal computing timeline, and how uncommon it was to have a computer at home. Most of us were exposed to the old Apple computers at school, the one where you had to have a boot disk, with monitors attached to the keyboards.

I believe we were one of the first in the area to have a computer in our home, and it was a very nice one. I was super excited to tell my shop teacher ("Industrial Arts") the next day because he was the computer guy at school. I told him about the computer, its specs, the software my brother had bought to go with it, and things I'd already learned.
I spent hours muddling around with the computer, learning what I co…

I need an official thrower.

We didn't grow up rich.

Most things were hand-me-downs, remade clothes, and just plain making do with what you could with what you had. I don't think "poor me" -- I think it was a blessing. I had such great parents. It was all good.

However, that has left me with the inability to throw or get rid of things like clothes and shoes. I seriously wear things until there are more holes and patches than there is original fabric.

Right now I need to replace my third set of Keen sandals. I wear them for years before making the oddly difficult decision to admit they are falling apart and I need to go get new ones. They generally tend to rip out along the side because I think the leather patch is too stiff for the soft fabric under it, and when you slide your foot in without pulling the heel strap up, it causes it to rip eventually.

"I think I can still wear these another year."

"Julie, they are ripping out in the back," my friend would say.

"I'll g…

I hate this hacker crap.

It's been a long day at work. It's hot and I'm tired and overwhelmed. I'm weary on many levels and I've just paid for three expensive car repairs that have eaten through my savings like a flamethrower in butter. 
So what do I find in my email today when I get home?

"I'm going to send it to your nine contacts."

Wow, dude, seriously.

I'm no stranger to these kinds of threats from these kinds of losers; thanks to the protest a year back, I already have a cartoon ready to use for these pathetic excuses for humanity. I think we're dealing with someone who looks like panel #6 for sure.

So, first I headed to the FBI, reported the email, and then to other various law enforcement entities.

Then I responded back to this cretin.


Ye olde transmission.

In about ten years, I can probably put North Dakota Pioneer plates on my vehicle. It is not a spring chicken.

The transmission has been leaking bit by bit for about six months. I tried to pretend it wasn't the transmission, because of my personally low GDP. Two years ago I tried to pretend it wasn't the brakes, but in the end I had to offer hundreds of dollars to the automotive gods. Last year, I drove through a summer that ended up being hotter than Hades without a working air conditioner. I finally had the cash money to get that fixed just in time for winter.

I set up an appointment at the service station where I get my car fixed. I am going to a conference in Medora this summer and that's a long, hot drive to make in a sketchy car that's leaking transmission fluid.

I drove my car to the shop the evening before, and my friend followed and took me home. Back in the garage, I looked at the concrete floor where my car had been parked. While I was accustomed to the slig…

Revisited: The undeniable facts about the safety of Diet Coke.

On June 5, 2013, I published a blog post to my then WordPress blog about Diet Coke. It was sort of about Diet Coke, but more about the food police. The post sat there with a few comments from my regulars until the July 4th weekend, when it exploded and went viral and got about a half million or more hits.

I could talk a lot about being on the receiving end of virality (it's not so great), and maybe someday I will, but in general the responses I received (in the comments section of the post and via social media) tended to break out like this:

65% "Thank you thank you, I get so tired of the food police."25% "I can't believe how ignorant you are, let me school you in all of the unhealthy things you shouldn't be consuming."5% "You must work for Coca Cola."3% "Ha ha you're an idiot."2% "Check out my sex toys website" (for reals) or some variant of "I have a great business opportunity that you can make hundreds of thousan…