I always mean to explain these bleat bans, but sometimes it’s best if I don’t. Last week had a tableau of barely-sublimated sexual attraction; I think that went without saying. But what’s this week all about?

Simple: name the cost of everything in this picture, and win it! You’re wondering if that includes the manservant AND the “escorts” in the background by the pool? It’s the 50s, so probably not. But definitely the movie camera and the guns.

I don’t know where they’re bound, but they have a lot of luggage.

I always mean to explain these bleat bans, but sometimes it’s best if I don’t. Last week had a tableau of barely-sublimated sexual attraction; I think that went without saying. But what’s this week all about?

Simple: name the cost of everything in this picture, and win it! You’re wondering if that includes the manservant AND the “escorts” in the background by the pool? It’s the 50s, so probably not. But definitely the movie camera and the guns.

I don’t know where they’re bound, but they have a lot of luggage. I'd suggest she arranged it just so but if she was that anal-retentive that bag wouldn't be brown.

Went to Trader Joe’s tonight. The clerk asked if I’d found everything okay, and I said no, because I’m one of those guys. He got the expression some clerks get when you answer that question honestly: dude, it’s just a thing. I said I continued to be dismayed at the organic corn shortage that kept their microwave popcorn unavailable.

“There was a world-wide shortage of organic corn,” he said, as if I hadn’t just said that.

“But you have organic corn chips.” Mind you, this is said in a jocular pass-the-time inflection while he swipes and bags. It’s not the end of the world.

“We did get organic unpopped corn. Is that what you meant?”

“If you mean the microwavable unpopped corn.”

“We got the unpopped corn but it sold out. Maybe it’s just temporarily out of stock.”

“Is that the microwavable corn? In the bags?”

“You could try back in a few days, we’re probably getting more.”

By now I’m wondering if he is in another dimension that temporarily intrudes on our own, and is responding to slightly different questions posed by duplicate me in the alternate mirror world.

“Have you seen anyone buy the microwavable popcorn?”

“You can microwave the unpopped corn. Receipt in the bag?”

Look I KNOW you can that’s IRRELEVANT I’m talking BAGS in a BOX.

”I was here on Saturday, and they didn’t have it, and they said there was no word on when it would be available.”

“I heard we had it, but sold out.”

My brain was sufficiently disturbed by this idiocy I went to McDonald’s because I wanted a Filet-o-Fish. When the manager came by with my box of minced cod bladders and the small envelope of fries (which I prefer to call “pomme frites” in my best Malcolm McDowell-acting-in-a-movie-that-humanized-a-eugenicist voice) he dropped them on a tray that had a large drink. Not mine; I don’t order drinks in fast-food restaurants. Never have. I pointed this out to the clerk at the register, who looked at the manager for a judgment here; he studied the receipt, picked up the envelope and moved it to the proper tray.

I should note that by tossing the bag on the tray, three long, fresh, perfectly salted fries had flown out of the bag.

I must also note that the act of picking up the small bag caused a not insignificant portion of the remaining fries to rejoin their comrades on the wrong tray.

“Why, you just cost me six fries there,” I said. The manager, whose definition of the sum of his existence consisted at that moment of the words I have more things to worry about than this, froze. On the one hand, I had a point. On the other hand, he was riding herd on a crew that was not exactly firing on all cylinders, as evidenced by the mile-long line at the drive-thru and the crowd of people off to the side. waiting for their order to be filled. If he gave me another envelope of fries, it meant walking back and taking fries that might be used for a drive-thru order - at best. At worst it was another evanescent problem he would have to file and solve in the next five minutes, and his entire job consisted of juggling a dozen competing demands simultaneously in his head.

He picked up the fries with his hand and tossed them and walked away.

There was a web address on the receipt. I could “log on” and tell them how my visit went today. I wondered how I’d phrase it: “manager insufficiently concerned about accidental portion-depletion due to inaccurate tray deployment.” I think there’s a certain nitpickery that dispatches an actor dressed as Ronald McDonald to drive to your house and punch you in the nose and shout THE MAN HAS TWO KIDS. HE LOST HIS JOB. HERE. And then he throws, like, a hundred fries on your chest as you’re getting up on one elbow, the other hand trying to stanch the blood.

Then I went to World Market. Last Saturday I lost my favorite whiskey-drinking glass in a dishwasher accident. This followed the loss of my second-favorite glass the previous week. (The former was part of a set of 1701-D Enterprise glassware I got as a going-away present when I left the DC bureau. The latter had a Mondrian design.) I picked out something that felt good to hold, and went to the register.

The clerk was cheerful and bright-eyed and you could tell liked working there. She asked me if I was a member.

“You closed this store before and went away.,” I said. “You broke my heart. I can never trust you again.”

“You can save ten percent on your purchases today,” she said.

Hope springs eternal. Sure. I signed up. Saved $1.12, which was more than I lost on the fries.

Put Wednesday in the plus column.

 

 

   

Some things from the screengrab folder.

Here’s the most meaningless pop-up I’ve ever seen. This could make Gandhi kick a kitten:

 

I DISAGREE. Because I HATE THINGS and want to wallow in a stenchy mire of negativity unleavened by a single photon of hope.

It’s from this site, which I clicked because the link said “This kid thinks we could save so many lives if only it was okay to say 4 words.” It’s a young man talking about depression, and dealing with misconceptions, the confusion of sadness and actual depression, the dead vacancy of the heart and mind. I never found out what the four words were. If you agree with the point - depression is often commonly misunderstood, and there should be no stigma to saying “I have mental illness” (hmm, four words) - then you’re less inclined to listen to 13 minutes on the subject.

I have to say: we’re certainly more informed on depression than we used to be. It’s not as if there’s a cone of silence on the issue. It’s also understandable why people say “I’m depressed” when they mean “sad,” just as it’s permissible to say “the weather is depressing today.” There’s a difference between “I’m depressed” and “I have depression.” Perhaps the trick is finding a new term for the latter, because the first usage isn’t going to leave the vernacular any time soon.

 

I think people would sign up more often for this service if they just offered to do what you wanted them to do without asking for permission to go through your underwear drawer.

 

 

Er. No.

 

I renamed this file just to get this:

 

 

The file is perfectly stuck. If it was a sword in a stone Arthur couldn’t pull it out. Hell, Merlin couldn’t. It’s on a network drive that is ignoring permissions, except when it says that I have them. It says it is in use, but no associated program is running.

Well, James old boy, you say, just put it in the trash and run some UNIX wizardry to clean it out - oh, I’m sorry, you’re on a Mac! Such things are beneath you! Please. I have a terminal window open all the time so I can do things like purge inactive memory. Because of the aforementioned permissions clusterfarg, files on this drive are deleted IMMEDIATELY! when you drag them to the trash, so it’s not possible to trash and then perform code-fu. So I bought a .99 program that just goes in and kills files dead wherever they may be, and it trashed every single stuck file on the drive.

Except this one.

The only alternatives: leave it be, or reformat the drive. Yes, it bothers me that much. It tasks me! It tasks me, and I shall trash it.

 

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New Restaurant exteriors today, and not many sites can say that. Tumblr and Strib Blog after the dental appointment. Have a grand day!

 

 

 

   
 

 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
   
     
 
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