Everything that isn’t broken is lost. There’s a deep sentiment, eh? The tragic nature of life. The broken thing is the timer that controls the lights outside, and you may recall how I struggled with individual timers that had minds of their own.

This weekend the Giant Swede was happy to help, since he is good with electricity. It is his job as a facilities management person not to get knocked off the ladder and thrown 20 feet with his toenails smoking because he touched a live wire. We got one of those testers that defies all your instincts - here, push these metal rods into an outlet and see what happens - bercause even though we’d be turning off the circuit breaker, he wanted to make sure the wires were hot just to eliminate that possibility.

The wires were not hot. The sensor, therefore, was not defective. At least it hadn’t been; it made some crunching noises when it was removed. Well, if the lines to the sensor were dead, let’s see where they go . . . and holy crow, they terminated in a junction box that looked like it had been assembled by Moties on Meth. He couldn’t figure out why the wire wasn’t hot anymore, but given that the garage door guys had been mucking around up there, well, stood to reason. No? Especially since the lights stopped working right after the garage guys were doing aforementioned mucking?

Today a guy from the garage door company came by and said, well, we didn’t do that. We don’t do electricity. We just plug in the units and string some low-voltage wire. True, true - but given that you were mucking around up there, and the wire that is up there no longer works, I’m thinking, well, it was something you did.

No, that’s impossible. We don’t do electricity.

I get that, but - oh, never mind. I could tell he wasn’t able to do anything, and bade him to go on his way; I’d take this up with the manager at the Home Office. I called them up, and to my surprise while on hold the manager himself called me up to follow up on what Ben had told him. I explained the situation.

Well, we don’t do electricity, so it can’t be anything we did.

I understand, but let’s look at this rationally. The wires were fine before you showed up. Afterwards they did not work. Either your guys did something, or that wire, in an example of an astonishing coincidence that strains credulity, malfunctioned all on its own.

He was inclined to believe the second option.

I asked him if he was in my position, would he believe that? Would he say it was an astonishing coincidence? A real head-scratcher, a revelatory example of the way disparate things combine to form the illusion of causality, when in truth it’s just proof that the universe acts in strange and random ways? (I may have edited that last sentence down.)

All I can tell you is (ALL TOGETHER NOW) We don’t do electricity.

So the electricians from Mr. Sparky are coming on Thursday. More money bleeding out the bloody tattered wallet.

On the way home today, phone lights up. Caller ID says it’s one of Daughter’s friends.

Daughter is on the line. “Okay Dad don’t freak out or get mad but -”

Which, of course, is your cue to spool up the out freaking.

“I can’t find my phone I had it in fourth period I’ve looked everywhere can you look on your phone to see if it’s at school.”

The modern world: I tap on the phone that’s cradled (via magnetism! The nation that masters magnetism will rule the heavens, or whatever Dick Tracy comics said) and call up the Find my Phone feature. It cannot find the phone. It is not active. I tell daughter to make a thorough search. Sigh. Waiting for daughter to get home, I call up Twitter, and while scrolling my phone blanks and goes to the lock screen.


Which is the number of my phone. I use my thumbprint to open the phone - o wondrous tech - and reassure the phone it isn’t lost. Huh. What was that. But: a reminder. I call up the Find My Phone app and disable daughter’s phone. Set an alarm and a lock screen message. Later, of course, I learned that she’d gone to the school library and done the same, except she did it on my phone.






What the what? Ah, that was because she’d locked my phone, remotely. Jaybus H. Keeeeee-riminey on a jumped-up stick, this stuff.

After dinner went to the AT&T store to see about replacing the phone, if need be . . .

And there my troubles began. That will be tomorrow’s Bleat.

Hint: did you know you can save money by switching to this new plan? It's TRUE.



Last year Target redesigned the Archer Farms private label. I don't like it. Didn't like it from the start. I'm sure it was focus-tested and run past many, many people, but the end result doesn't pop. Doesn't stand out like the old design. It's the upscale store brand, and hence is the one most likely tohave complex attributes . . . like this.


It is a mix. It is a mix for buns. It is a mix for buns that are sticky. It is a mix for sticky buns that are mini. It is a mix for mini sticky buns that have caramel and spices associated with pumpkin pie. It is a limited edition, so you should be grateful to be alive at such a time.

It also contains a mix, which is for Glaze, and another mix, which is for sauce, which is caramel flavored.

Thus you have three mixes.

Note: the limited edition is for a LIMITED TIME ONLY. What does that mean? It is only for a limited time. As opposed to other mixes, whose presence will exist in perpetuity? Everything is for a limited time, inasmuch as the universe will either collapse back into a hot dot or expand until heat death turns it into a graveyard of unimaginable dimensions.

I'd also note that you are instructed to Savor Everyday, as opposed to savoring every day. The latter is a carpe diem sort of thing; the former seems to suggest you should take pleasure in regularly recurring things, but does not specify what they are.

Savor Everyday Bun Mixes, though, is implied.




We're entering the home stretch. Past the clip show, past the second McGuffin. No one really knows what's going on, except that the Imp from Another Place wants his daughter to get the fuel for the rocket so they can take over the world.

The old reincarnation-via-sleeping-pills dodge, I suspect.

I know it’s tough to come up with cliffhanger ideas, and tough to find surprising ways to get out of the jams, but I really thing they topped themselves with this one.

That’s about as bad as it gets. But who cares? Anyway, Steve was just playing possum, and he suspects the nurse is really the fortune teller who might be the Black Widow. DO YOU THINK SO REALLY STEVE.

He has her behind bars.

Steve tells the cops to keep her on ice while he goes through his list of fortune tellers again. YES. Again. Remember? In the first episode he went to her place. When he later suspected a Fortune Teller might be the Black Widow, he checked out every one in town until he came to her. Then he saw her again, albeit with a veil over her face. A few episodes ago she was wearing sunglasses. Now he thinks this might be the fortune teller, but just to be sure he’s going to run through the list on which she is again the last entry, to see if any are missing, because if they are missing, then they're the one in jail. Criminey.

They didn’t check her possessions very well; she has her secret radio in her compact.

Rockin' that Jiffy Pop hairdo. She calls the lair and tells them to send over the mouthpiece, i.e., the shyster. The lawyer. Meanwhile, a montage of Steve checking all the fortune tellers; he ends up back at Sondra’s place, blows past Blinky the photographer who hangs around outside and tells the henchmen who's coming via his enormous pocket radio, and then he barges into Sondra's dark room where . . . holy cow!


It’s her! What’s the deal! How - how could that be?

Oh, you know the answer to that.

So the mouthpiece goes to jail and gives Sondra a newspaper. She checks the classified.

I have to think that bottom ad’s a sly joke.

Meanwhile, Steve and Joyce are getting along fine, and Joyce has a new role as the Serial Sartre in the Pilgrim Hat - but then the Plot-Pointe radio kicks in:

Of course, Steve realizes instantly that the lawyer gave her a newspaper soaked with a drug that simulated heart failure, and chases after the meat wagon taking the body to the morgue. This is a totally natural thing for a mystery writer to do without fear of legal consequences:

And so: The motorized self-driving gurney sends Steve careening into a model set!

Tune in for next week, when Steve dusts off the road grit from his jacket and Joyce comes along in another car, and he calls her a silly idiot who's probably a cold fish in bed. At least that's what I suspect.


That'll do; see you around in the Twitter and Tumblr and Work Blog realms. There's half an Industrial update: the miracle of Heinz Liquified Tomato Distribution Infrastructure.


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